Homework epidemic | Teen Ink

Homework epidemic

October 10, 2007
By Anonymous

When children get home from their long day of school filled with working, stress, and anxiety, they’re forced to sit inside and finish all their homework. As time has progressed, more and more homework has been given. Is this really necessary? Of course not! Being a child myself, I understand how stressful it is to come home and know that you still have a night’s worth of homework to finish. Because of this homework epidemic, kids are no longer able to exercise or play outside when they get home, rather, stay indoors and strain themselves over work. This can cause problems concerning staying fit and eating right.
Homework doesn’t only affect children, but it also affects their relationships with other people around them, especially their own families. As a survey from Nancy Kalish shows, “Homework polls and surveys routinely demonstrate that between 20 and 30 percent of parents believe their children get too much homework.” Parents are affected as well. Because students become frustrated from their nightly work, it separates them from family time and cooperating at home. Kids, having their mind set on their work for the whole night, lock themselves up in their room, isolating them from family discussions and quality time.
Homework can also separate kids from their friends. Children are forced to be competitive these days with their schoolwork in order to get into the college they’re interested in. Because of this competition, children must participate in plenty of clubs and after school activities to keep up. This does not allow them to spend time just relaxing with friends, which every kid needs every once in a while. According to a recent study done by BBC News, homework also causes “anxiety and emotional exhaustion”. When kids spend time with their friends, any stress they had previously can easily be diminished. When work robs them of free time though, the ability to relieve stress this easily becomes impossible. As stated by Sara Bennett in her book, The Case Against Homework, “It [homework] robs children of the sleep, play, and exercise time they need for proper physical, emotional, and neurological development. And it is a hidden cause of the childhood obesity epidemic, creating a nation of "homework potatoes.””. Homework may be useful at times, but the amount given every night is unhealthy to children everywhere.
Although homework may seem necessary, especially to teachers, there are alternatives. Homework for the most part is given in class and expected to be completed by the next day. Because there are many periods in one day, homework adds up and the fact that it’s due the next day is stressful. Instead of making homework due the next day, homework can be due a few days later, giving kids a period of time to complete their work. Also, schools can give children “homework groups”. “Homework groups” would be an easy way to complete homework while interacting with other kids around them. The school can give kids an extra hour after school to complete their work in a quiet environment. This allows kids to focus on their work without distractions such as television, food, video games, etc. Homework may be helpful, but it can be just as hurtful too. If we can find a way to give homework in a way that we could alleviate some of the stress it brings, it would help education everywhere.

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