The idea of homework amount has been questioned for awhile now, but as a student let me paint you a picture of what happens with the amount of homework given. Bleary eyed teenagers staring off into space, not hearing their teachers drone on about the day’s assignments, just walking down the halls mimicking zombies because they are just trying to get through their day to sleep again.
Now I’m not saying that homework in general makes us drowsy during the day; it is the amount of homework that impacts us. It is as if our mind becomes a dense, heavy fog where we can see nothing on our journey to a better education, and this is all because of the lack of sleep we get.
Without the required amount of sleep of 8 to 10 hours, it has been proven that as consequence our ability to learn will be limited. Now how can we finish homework on something we don’t know because we barely get any sleep. In fact a study by the National Sleep Foundation was conducted where only 15% reported that they actually got the required amount of sleep during a school week.
Sleep is not the only thing that is impacted though. Denise Pope, a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education conducted a study where too much homework was associated with greater stress and less time for family, friends, and extracurricular activities. In fact in this study 56% of students considered homework to be the cause of their stress and it turns out that less than 1% disagree with this claim and consider homework to not be stressful. As for the focus being on homework instead of anything else, it is pretty self explanatory as to why that could be a bad thing. In fact one student made a quote similar to this problem about her homework, “It’s plenty manageable... If I never try to do anything else!” Kids should have a balance in their life so they can experience everything around them whether it is playing football for the school to hanging out with your family at the park.
On a usual week day I would get home, around 3:15, from there I make myself something to eat and start homework right away. So I would say that I start homework around 3:45 and I would usually finish up homework somewhere near 7:00, and this is excluding clubs, sports, or a job.
A fellow student in Mountain Vista High School participates in such activities where she has to stay 3 hours after school and then comes home around 6. Afterwards she does homework from then until 8 to 9 and then proceeds to go to bed at 11:00 to get some sleep for a repeated cycle of a school day until the weekend comes.
Another student at Mountain Vista High School has a job which greatly impacts her time spent on homework. After she leaves school around 2:55 she needs to meet up with her dad for a ride home, so when she finally arrives home it is around 4:15 and she then has to prepare for work at 4:30. She works from 4:30 to 9:00 then and is able to get home at 10:00 p.m. where she then has no choice, but to work on whatever homework she can before school the next day.
This is not only affecting students though, teachers are the ones who also have to work on grading our homework and assignments. According to a group of teachers that work at Mountain Vista High School they have an average of about 150 students in all of their classes and they spend anywhere from 1-14 hrs. grading work. Out of the amount they spend grading they then just have the weekends off, just like their students. So the reduction of homework in this situation could really help everyone.
Homework is something that can help a student, that I can not argue and I can not speak for everyone, but personally homework is still a necessity to perhaps understand a topic discussed in class that day. It is just that all of this work can become overbearing to the point that we struggle with trying to finish that night’s homework just to get another load the next day.
The vision should be for kids and teachers going to school not looking like zombies and not zoning out when a teacher is talking. Imagine how much happier everyone could be with the right amount of sleep, little to no stress, and time to spend with family and friends, and more than just the occasional weekend where students have to worry about how long homework is going to take in between relaxing and weekend plans.