After school, kids want to fling their backpacks down in exhaustion, dive onto the couch and click on the TV. But the reality is, they have homework. Students are very busy these days and they don’t get much free time outside of school. There is sports, art, music and many other activities that take place in their daily lives. Along with that, students have to juggle homework. Sometimes homework will be brief, but other times, students will be up late into the night working on a project. Homework is causing stress for students and keeping them up late. Reading, on the other hand, has been proven to be more beneficial than doing homework if done daily and for pleasure.
Homework is not always beneficial for students and should be replaced with something more productive and light.
First of all, afterschool, students want to relax after six hours of learning. Most kids have sports and other activities after school too. Homework is sometimes hard to squeeze in. Students are most likely already stressed, and homework is just building on to that stress. According to HealthLine, high schoolers are getting so stressed it’s taking a toll on their health. Also, it says, more than two hours of homework is counterproductive. Students are losing balance in their lives and having physical health issues. According to National Public Radio (NPR), students are getting headaches, stomach aches and feeling irritated around certain people because of academic stress. NPR interviewed a few teens with academic stress, “At the time of writing this, my weekend assignments include two papers, a PowerPoint to go with a 10-minute presentation, studying for a test and two quizzes, and an entire chapter (approximately 40 pages) of notes in a college textbook,” said Connor West from New Jersey. “It's a problem that's basically brushed off by most people," Kelly Farrell in Delaware told NPR. "There's this mentality of, 'You're doing well, so why are you complaining?' " She says she started experiencing symptoms of stress in middle school and was diagnosed with panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in high school.
Secondly, some districts are getting rid of homework and replacing it with more beneficial and less stressful work: reading. Reading allows students to look at other places, people, cultures, and experiences. Reading gives kids a chance to expand their learning rather than what could be on a sheet of homework. “Reading is a more powerful alternative to homework.” Said Richard Allington, an expert on reading to the Washington Post. The Washington Post reported on a school in Florida that got rid of homework and replaced it with 30 minutes of reading per night. Superintendent Heidi Maier says, “Homework does not boost academic performance but reading aloud and reading does.” Maier is having the students in her district read aloud to someone for 20-30 minutes a night. It increases fluency and allows kids to hear their reading and story out loud.
Thirdly, schools in Finland, are some of the highest ranked schools in the world, they have very little homework and teacher instruction. Teachers in Finland like to let the students have control and be hands-on with their learning. The teachers also like to get to know the students at a personal level and understand how they learn as an individual. Also, the school day is shorter in Finland compared to the US. “Education in the United States is too much defined by testing and data,” says Pasi Sahlberg who worked in a Finnish school district and is a visiting professor at Harvard University here in the US. This proves, that homework should be replaced with something lighter and more beneficial like reading.
Of course, there are some students and teachers who believe homework is the most productive way to practice and learn outside of school. But really, kids are stressed and ending up in tears if they can’t get their homework done. Homework should be replaced with reading, easy studying games, and writing. These activities expand the mind, create strong memory and allow students to be creative.
In conclusion, homework is not always beneficial for students and should be replaced with lighter and more productive ways to increase students’ learning. Students are stressed with heavy loads of homework every night. Schools are replacing the heavy homework with reading. Schools in Finland are some of the top-ranked and have very little homework. So, homework should be replaced with something lighter, more productive and less stressful.