Students are always under immense pressure to do well in school, no matter what the cost. They have to figure out how to balance school, their social life, and extracurricular activities. But when they have four or more hours of homework every night, some of those things can’t be included. Also, they don’t want to disappoint their parents or teachers. It might not seem like they have that much homework when you look at individual subjects, but when you have multiple classes per day, it starts to pile up. The stress starts to build up, too. If each class could only give a certain amount of homework to students each night, students’ lives would be easier.
Presumably, homework is supposed to help students retain the information that they learned in class. It should not be something that they stress out over, and it should not prevent them from doing things outside of school because they have too much. According to Gerald K. LeTendre, “Empirical studies have linked excessive homework to sleep disruption, indicating a negative relationship between the amount of homework, perceived stress and physical health.” So the more homework a student has, the more stressed they are, and the worse it is for their health. If only a certain amount of homework could be given each night, the negative effects on students would go down.
Furthermore, many students have extracurricular or other activities that they do after school, such as clubs or sports. If they have too much homework, they may have to start choosing what is more important to them: their grades or their hobbies. “I believe that children have many outside activities now and they also need to live fully as children.” (Garfield). Students need to able to do what they want, so they can still be kids. Having less homework would give them more time to focus on other things, such as those activities.
Another result of too much homework is that kids end up spending less time with family. This can cause tension between family members, and cause trouble at home. It is important for kids to able able to spend time with their family, especially when they are growing up. Most parents want to be involved in their children’s lives or be able to do things with them, and that can be hard when their child has so much homework that they don’t have time to do anything else. LeTendre said, “Also, when parents and children conflict over homework, and strong negative emotions are created, homework can actually have a negative association with academic achievement. When students have too much homework, it can cause them to spend less time with their family, which can cause more problems. Not having so much homework would enable them to have more family time, which would be better for everyone.
However, for some teachers, giving students homework allows them to be able to keep ahead in their classes. Without it, they might need to spend more class time covering a certain topic, which would lead to them teaching less throughout the year. Also, some topics might not be thoroughly covered (Linder). Although this is true, alternatives can be made to giving out too much homework. For example, “The 10-Minute Rule” states that students should do around 10 minutes of homework per night for their grade level. So that would mean that first-graders would have 10 minutes of homework, second-graders would have 20 minutes, etc (Cooper). Another alternative is to let students choose what they want to do for homework, for instance things such as Quizlet, Kahoot!, Blendspace, or something else, so that way they can do something that would be the most helpful for them to learn (Poth). There are many alternatives to a lot of homework, even if it is just assigning less homework. Just because students have less homework, that does not mean that teachers have to lose out on class time.
The effects of having too much homework outweigh the benefits by far. It just causes too many problems, and creates immense stress for students. However, not only students feel the effects. Parents, and even teachers, can, too. If they had less homework, that would benefit students, parents, and teachers alike. Using alternatives to so much homework would be better. Things like games or flash cards would most likely be more helpful as well. Teachers should take feedback from students on what would benefit them the most, and what they think the best alternative would be. This way, the students would be positively affected, and teachers would not sacrifice essential class time. Also, this would let students have more free time, and reduce stress. Less homework should become the norm, especially since it would benefit everyone.