Excessive Homework | Teen Ink

Excessive Homework

December 8, 2013
By inthecorner919 BRONZE, OAK HILL, Virginia
inthecorner919 BRONZE, OAK HILL, Virginia
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Excessive amounts of homework impairs a student’s social relationships, harms the child’s well being and contributes to childhood obesity. Hours lost doing homework decreases important time used for exercise. The stress from large amounts of homework causes teens to resent school. A large amount of after school work takes away from a child’s social activities, creating emotional voids between peers, friends, and family.

Stress and anxiety are two very unhealthy emotions caused by too much afterschool work. If a student does not turn in their work then a punishment is issued. The punishment varies from disapproval from the guardians to lowering the student’s grade point average. Large amounts of homework rush children to finish all of it, creating a wave of stress. Another way that schools issue stress is by placing exaggerated emphasis on test scores. Symptoms of stress are depression, lack of sleep, fatigue, unhealthy eating habits, abnormal weight gain/loss and more. LAXdoubleK sates that “A teen should not have to face depression at such a young age”. Stress can also lead a student to “disengage” or loose interest in their work. Some students go so far as to completely shirk all assignments because they find it too stressful and countless other students are tempted daily to follow the same pattern. Obviously, the students’ grades suffer greatly by the lack of returned work.

Children spend all of the daylight hours indoors to complete the tasks assigned to them daily. Between 1980 and 2002, the percentage of sophomores spending more that ten hours per week has increased from 7% to over 37% (Time Spent on Homework) while sophomores spending less that five hours a week on homework decreased from 17% to 2%. On top of that the amount of sophomores taking less than an hour per day on homework decreased from 71% to 37% of the average student body. Twelfth and eighth graders were more likely to spend more that an hour working at home compared to fourth graders (Alan Vanneman). When young scholars do complete their assignments, it is usually after dark and their parents will not let them go outside to exercise. The time taken up by homework can also be used for extra curricular activities to promote student physical, mental, and emotional health. Extracurricular activities also better a student’s chances of getting into better high schools, middle schools, etc. Late night homework sessions also create a lack of sleep that causes fatigue, growth disorders, or eating irregularities. “No good sleep leads to no good grades” (LAXdoubleK).

Finally, the time that a large amount of homework uses takes away from family bonding time. The families try to keep the child’s work in order by either locking the child in one area until the work is finished, all focusing on the work instead of the child’s emotions, yelling at the child to finish the work or other harsh methods. This kind of behavior may lead children to become distant from their family and feel out of place when at home. In fact, the worse a student’s grades are, the less likely they are to talk about it to their parents (Alan Vanneman). Many assignments also take away time used to teach children how to deal with other people or “social time”. This can make a child lose current friends and make it harder for the child to thrive in new environments.

Despite all these hazards, “29% of thirteen year-olds in the US report that they spend more than two hours on homework per day.” (LAXdoubleK). Homework is meant to build good work habits, show students how to properly apply given information to an everyday situation and familiarize the material given during class hours. It is not meant to teach completely new ideas or to be given just because it can be. “Being taught how to do something by a piece of paper is not the same as being taught by an actual human being” (LAXdoubleK). “Grade specific and developmental factors need to be considered when determining the amount and kind of homework that should be given” (Alan Vannerman). Used properly, homework can be helpful by putting the lessons into practice and assisting the student in preparing for tests. Abuse of homework is dangerous and does not benefit the student in any way. There is a line between necessary and overbearing amounts of homework. When it comes to homework quantity never does as much good as quality.

The author's comments:
Originally this was, ironically, a homework assignment. I wanted to upload this to this website because I used it as a resource (thank you LAXdoubleK!!!! your article helped me achieve a good grade!!(irony happens to us all)) As a resource I also used:
http://nces.ed.gov/pub97/web/9731.asp also called "Good Study HAbits and Academic Performance: Findings From the NAEP U.S. History and Geography Assessments (I'm warning the whole human race now: THIS WILL MAKE YOUR HEAD SUFFER!!!)
"Time Spent on Homework" The Condition of Education 2007. Nces.ed.gov n.d. (THIS WILL ALSO HURT YOUR HEAD!!)

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