The Effects of Homework

June 13, 2011
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A long-awaited spring day finally beams on earth. The sun shines, bees buzz, bushes bloom, and the meadow murmurs in a pleasant breeze. The smell of air clearing after a spring drizzle floods people’s nostrils. On days like this, who would not want to escape outside? Pleasant weather provides numerous opportunities for taking walks with family members or relaxing in sunshine. Unfortunately for students, these wishes drown under heaps of homework. Excessive homework causes many issues for American youth. Primarily, homework takes away important social time children could spend with their family, causes stress and limits creativity, and reduces time for exercise. With these limits on children’s lives, it becomes imperative for schools to require decreased homework amounts.

Social hours with family members are important times in children’s lives; unfortunately, with the amount of after school homework and extracurricular activities, children receive less time with their family. A national poll in 2000 by the YMCA revealed kids’ “main concern was not spending enough time with their parents.” Studies show spending time with parents and siblings help children. Kids need time with their family where they could be walking, talking, or playing games with each other. Also, kids who have time to sit down for an enjoyable family dinner were less likely to become involved in alcohol and illegal drugs in a study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. But growing homework amounts threaten family time even more throughout the years. Between 1981 and 1997, a study at the University of Michigan discovered kids have 12 hours less of free time a week, and that number increases. Additionally, even when children do decide to accept just a short joyous time with family, all the impatient homework, angry at having been neglected, bombards them later. Students should be able to complete their homework and spend time with their family without rushing through their work or chugging through math problems late into the night.

Homework also takes away from the needed amount of sleep and gives children less time to develop a creative side. In Margie Markarian’s 2009 article “Sounder Snoozing: Wake-up Call: More Z’s Equal Better Health,” she states that the recommended sleep amount for teenagers is eight and a half to nine and a half hours a night. However, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 62 percent of high school students did not get even eight hours of sleep. Clinic chief of the Children’s Sleep Center at Texas Children’s Hospital, Dr. Daniel G. Glaze, claims, “Continually skimping on sleep can harm your health, mood, schoolwork, sports performance, and driving ability.” Plus, sleep researcher Mary Carskadon says getting a goodnight’s sleep improves learning abilities. Nevertheless, even with this information, students must stay up late finishing their homework. Even if they do opt to sleep early, they lay awake thinking about their stressful homework still waiting in their backpack. Moreover, children get no time for creativity. Every student comes home from school with the same worksheet, despite different learning habits and interests. Gary S. Stager, editor for “The Pulse: Education’s Place for Debate,” states there is simply “no time for reading, playing, exercising, or practicing a musical instrument.”
Furthermore, homework takes away important hours where children can learn health issues or exercise. Nowadays, many kids face busy lives when they leave school. They have band practice, student council, sports, after school jobs, chores, volunteer work. Throw in a heap of homework and student’s time after school evaporates into work around the clock. This demanding lifestyle leaves little time for proper nutritious food preparation, and many kids turn to feared fast food. In the magazine USA Today, registered dietician Colleen Thompson admits, “In the midst of the daily whirlwind that is the typical teenager's life, a fast-food snack after the game or a quick combo eaten with friends is sometimes the only realistic option.” Thus, with fast-food being the easiest choice in children’s lives because of a full schedule, one can only dream for exercise time. Kids cannot always be cooped up inside! In addition, children develop a bad habit of learning food to be an “escape.” Their fast-food “dinner” becomes the only time students receive a break in the action and can spend time with family. This tiny break causes children to look forward to eating and gives them reason to eat more in an effort for additional time away from their hectic labor.

However, homework is important for the learning process. Homework does not have to be completely suspended, but the superfluous amounts must be decreased. When kids arrive home from a busy day at school, they want nothing more than relaxation. Instead, they must dive straight into their homework pool that takes them late into the night or risk not finishing it. Their desire for relaxation causes kids to rush through their work in an effort to complete it and get that one desired hour of free time. If students received less homework, their work would be better because they would have more time to complete it with integrity. Too much homework results in cheating as well. Leftover homework becomes a desperate plea to friends to copy and book reports fall to notorious Spark Notes.

The call for homework reduction must now be fulfilled. It is vital that children receive more social time with their family, get more sleep, have room for creativity and exercise, eat healthy dinners, and have enough time to complete homework with veracity. Email your school and ask for the amount of homework to be lessened so students can enjoy the beautiful spring weather on a walk with their family.





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viviJR said...
Jul. 5, 2011 at 1:39 am

haha so true..especially " too much homework results in cheating..."

nice!i enjoyed your writing

 
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