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Too Much Homework, Too Little Time

It's all over the news: kids are spending a lot of time on homework. And, according to some, it's way too much. With the current emphasis on high-stakes testing, educators are trying to do more with less, which can result in an overabundance of schoolwork outside of school. Some critics say there is no evidence to suggest that homework is helpful to student achievement; on the contrary, too much of it can overwhelm students and cause them to disengage. Others, however, claim that homework is necessary and helpful, designed so students can practice the concepts taught in class, build good study habits, and reflect on their own learning.

As an 8th grade student who is in advanced classes, I think that homework is the cause of my depleting grades. Now, you’re probably going to think that I’m like any other kid in middle school that hates homework and that to even spend another second reading this will be a complete waste of time, right? Even so, just hear me out because I have several reasons that might just change your mind.

I have thousands of assignments every week; most of them homework assignments. As a result, I’m cascaded with homework every day, causing me to stay up until 11 o’clock at night more often than not. Obviously, this is a threat to my health as a developing teenager. It could stunt my growth, and result in fatigue and stress because everyone knows that no good sleep leads to no good grades. Even if I were to go to bed at a decent time, my homework wouldn’t be finished. Either way is a couldesack at the end of a road.

Stress is very unhealthy for growing teens and statistics show that 29% of 13-year-old students report spending 2 hours or more on homework daily in the U.S. Isn’t that a bit much? More homework means more stress. Stress can cause many things including: lack of sleep, slipping grades, fatigue, unhealthy eating habits, depression, and many more other factors. A teen should not have to face depression at such a young age.

So why do teenagers still have so much homework?

One of the answers to that is that teachers often have children covering material at home by themselves that they do not discuss during school time at all. Of course, the teacher's reasoning for this is that there aren't enough hours in the day and he/she wants to cover more territory on a certain subject. But being taught how to do something by a piece of paper just isn’t the same as being taught by an actual human being. The teacher can explain things a different way if someone doesn’t grasp how to do something or they can respond to questions about the subject for better learning.

I couldn’t even count how many kids just take the easy way out and disengage from the homework given at my school. They refuse to do homework and it’s lowering their grades. But I can’t blame them because I ask myself on a daily basis why I don’t just quit already and join the rest of the crowd.

I could actually have a life then instead of doing homework all day. I could participate in extra curricular activities like I used to when I participated in lacrosse but now I can’t because my grades are slipping due to not finishing homework. I could do fun things instead of homework because it keeps me cooped up inside like a prisoner in a jail cell and I hate it!

Statistics even show that kids who participated in an extra curricular activity have less stress. The only thing is, is that they have less time for homework too. Homework takes away all of my free time to spend with friends and family; where I can just forget about all of my worries for an hour or two.

The amount of homework that teachers give sometimes is ridiculous and unnecessary. Homework can cause stress, depression, lower grades, and less time to do extra curricular activities or hang out with friends, so teachers, could you please not get so excited about homework next time?

Join the Discussion

This article has 168 comments. Post your own now!

Let's stop hw!!! said...
Feb. 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm
I mean, i had to quit baseball, football, fun, and freetime. They hold us captive untill 3:50!!! Its time we make a stand!!! It takes me an average of 4hr 30min just because of homework! It makes no cents.
Maryn said...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm
I couldn't agree more. I'm in ninth grade, and I'm in the exact same situation. Last year I loved school and got a normal amount of school, but this year I stupidly decided to go to a fancy, overachiever high school, and it is utter and absolute hell. The cycle of school-homework-sleep never ends, and I'm trying to find a school to transfer to because if these are supposed to be the best years of my life, I want out. I wish I could give you advice, but I'm seeking some myself... (more »)
Mamonde This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:14 am
As a high school student living in Korea... we study practically at least 10 to 14 hours a day. Now I've got a LOT to say about too much studying... ;)
sallysunshine said...
Jan. 16, 2013 at 7:08 am
these are wonderful essays and introductions!!!
Häashia.EXE said...
Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm
It's quite frustrating yes, specially when it comes to proyects and special homeworks. I may not be going to school anymore, but one of the reasons that made me quit academically and that made me fail was the homework issue [despite the fact that I as well failed 7th due to the same caus and to an emotional disbalance which instead of being referred to a specialist I was sent to court in the state of Ohio] . It's very sad that this is being done to us. And.... according to other friend... (more »)
Piper Rain said...
Nov. 30, 2012 at 12:16 am
I'm also an 8th grader taking advanced classes, and let me tell you, I'm living a complete hell right now. I used to be the girl who would 24/7 be like, "YES! SCHOOL!!! I'm so excited, I want to learn, see my friends, talk to me teacher, YAY!" I used to love every teacher, every class and subject, and just love school so much. Now? I'm almost at the point where I'm just gonna stop and wing everything. I'm almost at the point where I don't care about gettin... (more »)
kimkim said...
Nov. 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm
this article , is right on some things but you missed something , email me?  
El0ise123 said...
Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:17 am
I get 3-6 hours of homework a night and feel depressed constantly... The quality of my work is slipping and my teacher wants me to attend extra classes which I dont have time for... Please help me, I never get any spare time and all I want is to forget about my homework...
kobe replied...
Jan. 17, 2013 at 8:22 am
i got same situation with u too. i recommend u to quit school and live a better life, like i am now.
nadya223 said...
Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm
I'm a girl and just started 6th grade. It's awful to think how my school work had changed due to the lack of rest and time I have. Usually I have TONS of schoolwork and finish at about 1 or 2 AM in the morning and I have to wake 5 hours later. Now, kids have to have 8 hours of sleep while mines is reduced to 3 or 4 hours. I'm so vexed! 
Nexxera said...
Sept. 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm
I have to agree with this article. In school, I have 8 teachers all together. Each teacher gives me at least 2-4 pages in my textbooks. FRONT and BACK. I get home at 2:30 P.M and start doing my homework once I get home. I end up finishing my homework around 8:00 P.M. My classmates and I also get an essay to write EVERYDAY. Sometimes I think it is a waste of time. 
Yukimura Miyako said...
Sept. 4, 2012 at 6:07 am
Homework should basically just go into non-existence. then we'll have less global warming. I give this author a standing ovation & 3000 virtual bottles of Nutella.
bigdog said...
May 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm
Seriously guys. according to the essay 71% of students spend less than 2 hours on homework. If there are about 6 hours in the afternoon/evening before tv and going to bed then you should finish homework just fine with plenty of spare time. The main problems that causes stress, depression, and lots of homework is the internet. You guys say you are doing homework while reading this blog. I know countless people who are also on facebook while doing homework. This causes them to spend and think they... (more »)
Yukimura Miyako replied...
Sept. 4, 2012 at 6:44 am
This may be true. However, your last sentence is very ridiculous and I think you ought to put yourselves in the shoes of those who truly have too much homework and do not go on those sites that you speak of.
mike101 replied...
Sept. 24, 2012 at 10:23 am
I agree about what you said that we have about 6 or more hours to do it.
Maryn replied...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm
Congratulations if you get strait As in school and spend less than 2 hours on homework, but quite obviously you don't have the same problem. Try telling this to someone who had ADHD or ADD or any other disease that causes you to become easily distracted. Are they fooling themselves? Use of the internet is a choice. Homework is not. In fact, the internet is often a required tool to complete homework so, again, what about those kids who are easily distracted and need to use the internet for ho... (more »)
annabanana replied...
Feb. 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm
I agree, being in eighth grade the workload should be little, and middle schoolers have enough time to do this work, if this is too much now well just wait until youre a junior in high school
noble143 said...
May 8, 2012 at 11:39 pm
i find this site and its essays very useful so i would like to join this site for various purposes
Xtreme788 said...
Apr. 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm
I am in 9th grade with many honors classes. I am currently doing hw, and almost done. Been doing it since 7:30 after i got back from boxing. I am so mad, i had to quit basketball, favorite sport sinvce the first grade and now hw is killing it all.
Some Girl said...
Mar. 24, 2012 at 12:31 am
I think the trouble comes from teachers not talking to each other and assigning things that are all due on or around the same time. That puts a lot of stress on the student. Some kid might have a huge English book report to write that's due on April 2, and it's March 25th. Then they go to History class and get a six page essay on the Spanish Inquisition also due on April 2. Then they go to Science class and have to write a biology report that's due on, you guessed it, April 2. Add in the classes... (more »)
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