Who needs homework?

Gabriella German, Senior Reporter

Homework may be the biggest burden to all students around the world. 

Waking up before what feels like the crack of dawn to enter the school building at  7:30 am, to spend 6-7 hours in school, working and being constricted to your seat, placed within the walls of 3 to 4 classrooms a day is physically and mentally taxing on children. 

We glance at clocks every hour, waiting for the time to pass by, daydreaming of being at home, and suddenly we remember the daunting task of homework. In addition to an already long day at school, most students are then sent home with 3 to 4 hours of homework each night. Adding loads of homework into the mix of life is just one more thing to deal with. 

Many students, when released from their school days, are tackling work, taking care of siblings, sports, and other responsibilities outside of school. Class time should be spent completing and teaching whatever is assigned that day, during the 45 to 80 minutes in class.  Students and teachers using class time wisely would decrease the workload that students are sent home with. 

Sending students home with copious amounts of work after spending hours before working all day, becomes just another dreadful task. Drained students only care about completing the work and not retaining any true information. 

“It’s just irrelevant and busy work to occupy students, I have to say I definitely do the same thing and just try to get my homework done, but not actually learning,” said Danielle Oliveira, an NHS senior. 

Homework will and has become something to just get out of the way for students or their last priority. The findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high-stress levels, physical health problems, and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story by Joseph Lathan.

Most teens and students already have developed terrible sleeping habits due to other influences daily, but homework plays a big part. Already such a danger to students, increasing sleep deprivation. “Too much homework can result in a lack of sleep, headaches, exhaustion, and weight loss,”  Lathan wrote in his article. Resulting in poor grades, drowsiness, anxiety, depression, and inability to concentrate. Sleep deprivation and an overbearing workload are real problems for high school students. With restless nights, how can the administration expect students to perform at the best of their ability each day? It’s not possible. 

Having excessive homework also disproportionately affects students from less fortunate families. Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork, and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at after-school jobs or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs. (Lathan)

Most kids in disadvantaged areas usually head straight to work or other responsibilities outside of school, leaving no time for the piles and piles of work schools believe is beneficial to a student’s learning. But the opposite is actually true. Although homework can improve student achievement and performance, due to constant practice of material that same practice and work can be done right within a classroom, just what they are meant for. 

Alfie Kohn, an education and parenting expert, said, “Kids should have a chance to just be kids… it’s absurd to insist that children must be engaged in constructive activities right up until their heads hit the pillow. (“Homework Pros and Cons – Should Homework Be Banned?”) 

After speaking to Naugatuck High student Jenna Ashe, this is what she has to say about homework and its effects on students.

“Homework only carries more stress on students, especially for every class. Most of us have other responsibilities like work, hygiene, and sports. Thinking about the load of homework at the end of the day is taxing. Teachers always like to tell us, homework is for us and it would be helpful to us, but when we pile on homework most of us including me, barely try on our assignments just to get it done, then our grades end up worse.”  

Homework has been proven to make students physically and mentally ill. Is it truly worth having your students miserable? Is homework worth the extremely negative effects? Whatever you feel homework can help with, should, and can be translated into the work students do within a class. School is for school work, and your home is not.