Teenagers and the impact of too much homework

Teenagers are given way too much homework every night, which does not allow them to do the other activities and hobbies they love. That is why homework should be reduced, or better yet, not given at all.

The+amount+of+homework+students+get+is+actually+hurting+them.+
The amount of homework students get is actually hurting them.

The amount of homework students get is actually hurting them.

The amount of homework students get is actually hurting them.

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RIIIIIING. The sound of your alarm. You get up. Actually scratch that. You snooze. Snooze again. Finally you find that motivation to get up. You get ready. You go to school. You come back. You eat. You do any other activities after school. You do your homework. You sleep. You repeat. This cycle keeps going on and on, and students are not given a break from it. What with all the work they have been doing the night before, students are not even able to salvage five minutes of free time from their overcrowded schedules.

 


Teenagers are overwhelmed with homework on a daily basis. Coming home from school, never actually feels like coming home. It still feels like the work is tearing at you, growing claws that are shredding through your skin. Millions of students come home every night and never get to blow off steam. Their engine just keeps running and running; a never ending loop.

 

The National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) both believe that the system of “10 minutes of homework per grade level” is the right amount of time for students to spend on work outside of school. So, as a freshman, you should have only around ninety minutes of homework. As seniors, you should have around two hours of homework. In reality, many teenagers spend more than three hours on their homework, while spending more than two hours on homework is shown to be counterproductive in a study.  

 

Not only do students work every day but they also work every night, and the worst part is homework conflicts with students’ other activities. Teenagers devote their lives to additional extracurricular activities outside of school; such as sports, theater, clubs, and more. I am not able to participate actively in as many clubs as I would like to  because of the homework that is quietly looming over my shoulder each and every second of my day. With all that a student has to do, it is difficult to remain positive and upbeat. Numerous students do not feel healthy nor cheerful when they start a new day. In fact, it has made teenagers dread coming to school. I used to love school before, and don’t get me wrong, I do still love the ideas and facts I learn here, but it can get overwhelming returning home with a backpack full of work to do that night. What I really want for students, like myself, is to be able to go back to school and enjoy learning again, without having to worry about finding that time after school.


 

Besides the countless number of tasks students have to complete each day, they also have to deal with lots of unhealthy stress. In 2013, according to a Healthline article, a study showed “high achieving communities“ and their students that had to do more than two hours of homework every night. These students have endured too much stress, physical health struggles, and have been completely removed from their social lives. More than 80 percent of the students surveyed in the study, said that they had at least one stress-associated symptom that occurred in the last month, while 44 percent said that they had three or more symptoms occur. Symptoms of stress include headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach troubles. These students felt the need to do homework over their other hobbies and talents, and sadly they are not the only ones. It isn’t fair for teenagers to have to work as if they are adults. It isn’t fair for them to be under this much stress and anxiety. It isn’t fair for them to have their free time get stolen away from them.

 

On the other hand, I do know how helpful homework can be. Homework helps students learn and understand concepts they previously needed help with. The thing is, a lot of the time, these homework assignments are just busy work. They do not help students understand the material better in any way. Now, an acceptable way to limit homework is creating sheets for students that are optional. Whenever students feel the need to focus on one subject more than another they can grab those sheets as they please. If teachers are not able to do that, and have no choice but to give students homework, they should at least give students some time in class to finish it. If students do not finish the work in class, it is their responsibility to complete it after school. Many assignments seem to be quantity over quality, and quantity of homework does not necessarily play a role in forming a teenager’s understanding on a topic.

 

Kody Pudil, a science teacher at our school West High, does not give out much homework to his students. When he is asked about his beliefs on homework he says, “What I’ve seen over the years, is that if you give out a lot of homework … the kids that struggle in school are the kids that aren’t doing all the homework. But as long as they’re still getting the concept, that’s what I want to focus on more. So, when they are showing that […] they mastered that content through the exams and other things, I don’t feel that homework is quite as important.”

 

All in all, homework really should be reduced, if not some, than all. With this, students will be able to explore their hobbies again. They will have time to interact with their friends, and do the sports and clubs that they love. Students will no longer have to be under stress almost all the time. All these benefits, along with the quality of homework improving, will ensure that students will be able to live a healthy, fulfilling life.

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