Too Much Homework, Too Little Time | Teen Ink

Too Much Homework, Too Little Time

January 15, 2009
By LAXdoubleK BRONZE, Aurora, Colorado
LAXdoubleK BRONZE, Aurora, Colorado
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure--which is:
Try to please everybody."
-Herbert Bayard Swope

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?

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This article has 214 comments.

on Dec. 25 2014 at 5:59 pm
I am in 7th grade in high school level reading. For her class I have 6-8 pages a day a weekly leater a mandatory 2hours of reading a day. I am also in after school band wich takes up 1 and half hours a day. Along with that I am in coir taking up 1 hour of my day. I half to practice for band/ coir3-4 hours a day all of that plus an 8 hour school day makes for an 15-16 hour day and I am expected to have perfect grads and family time I don't get to bed till 2am if I am lucky. I am 12 which means that I should be getting 8 hours of sleep min I get 5 hours max

toby478 said...
on Dec. 23 2014 at 1:52 pm
I completely agree with you. I am in 9th grade and I take all honors classes. I spend about 5-6 hours on homework a night. I get almost all A's and I do not consider myself to be a lazy person, but I still struggle with homework. I understand why some homework is important, but the amount that I have to do a night is ridiculous. I feel so tired all of the time. It is now Christmas break, and I do not feel like I am on a break at all. I have multiple projects, speeches, and online quizzes to do before I even get to studying for finals. I don't think my school believes in celebrating the holidays!

Liz S. said...
on Dec. 7 2014 at 5:18 pm
yes, i feel the exact same way. i've lost passion in anything that i once loved to do. my day consists of getting up at 6 and going to school until 3. i even go the library at lunch to start my homework. i come home and i eat quickly so i can start my homework right away, and i do it until like 1 2 each night. i feel like its leading me to depression :(

on Nov. 21 2014 at 1:04 pm
morganmarlene, Eagle River, Alaska
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I think there are better ways to substitute homework. Studying can be homework. Or if every student had study hall as class each year it would help students be able to do their schoolwork plus do the things they like at home. Some people say the government wants you to have a lot of homwork for control but 6-7 classes plus homework in almost each class takes up your whole day. Homework is a big reason why kids fail or drop-out, I agree big time. Students can have perfect attendance and still have failing grades just because they don't do their homework. I really agree with this article. I think we are the generation to have more drop-outs because we are more aware that the school system keeps adding and adding more things we need to do do graduate.  School is 10 times different than what our parents experienced.

on Nov. 17 2014 at 10:40 pm
EleniAneziris DIAMOND, East Setuaket, New York
57 articles 0 photos 7 comments
Yeah, I'm high school junior in the US and I've been sleeping consistently past 2 AM since ninth grade solely because of how busy my schedule is and how much homework and studying I have to get done. Oftentimes, I simply don't possess the time or the motivation to do some assingments, so I'll end up doing homework in class the period before it's due. I've pulled more all-nighters than I can count by this point, and my grades suffer tremendously because of how sleep-deprived I am. And I do not by any means believe that this is uncommon. So many kids taking advanced classes go through the same stress, and sleep similarly late every night and I despise how terrible the education system has become. And I haven't even mentioned the cuthroat competitiveness that plagues schools globally. I feel like school has drained my energy so much that I no longer have any left to do the things I am passionate about, and it's absolutely terrifying to feel, every single evening, that my life has no meaning. I am contributing nothing to society. All this work I am forced to do is meant only to train me to become an emotionless robot of the future. They are strangling the human beings in us in order to better prepare us for the future. Yet, we are the future. We should be able to decide for ourselves how it will be, how we will be. In conclusion, testing culture is an absolute trainwreck and must be stopped.

Lucas said...
on Nov. 17 2014 at 5:49 pm
I was reading recently for my work on a perswasive essay for school and I saw that Germany dosent have homework... I wasnt sure if that was true or not.

Sophie said...
on Nov. 11 2014 at 2:55 pm
I´m 14 years old and from Germany, and when I get home at 14.00 I always have to work till 21.30 circa, because we have too much homework, I know it is necessary, to learn better, but why so much homework? I don´t know, if only I need so much time to do my homework and for studying or if the others of my class need so much time for this too. :/

Koen said...
on Nov. 6 2014 at 9:23 am
I think the same, and strangely enough I am also doing a project and using this article :) I feel that we need to do way too much home work and that this is the way that people might become aware that this is not healthy.

jayjay said...
on Nov. 5 2014 at 8:10 pm
OMG! i'm in the eleventh grade and i have to write. An essay on this topic and it due tomorrow. I love this article                            

Nicole said...
on Oct. 15 2014 at 7:57 pm
I know that homework is exausting but I know it's good for me and my future. I also know that I can be doind anything else than doing my homework but I think that if you do it fast and well (obviously) then you will have more time than left if you stay all day arguing about why do you have to do it. I always think it's hard to propose yourself to do it intead of having fun but then I think about my grades and how this can affect to my future and I react. Finally you just have to think in a possitive way and then you gotta take it as part of your routine.

Selena said...
on Oct. 12 2014 at 9:01 am
It is very bad for kids to stay up late. I agree.way too much homework, or not enough time. Kids need physical activity in order to have healthy habits and health. Depression is terrible disease and, no, kids should not have it. It should be on teachers, covering more materials at school. Im from Europe, teacher cover more material at school and kids have time to do their activity. Kids are overwhelmed, and panic at times.they say "too much homework" it is like self study.

Semimajor said...
on Sep. 22 2014 at 9:34 pm
Hey,   Just wanted to let you know - I was in your position a few years back. I was in 9th grade at age 12, so I was also advanced. I would be up late completing all my assignments. I want you to know this - down the road, it gets better. Today, I am 15 and I started college 2 weeks ago, and I am at the top of my class. Keep with it. I know it is hard. If it were easy, then anyone could do it. Then what would make you different? You are different. It is hard to be different - an 8th grader in advanced classes. Understand you aren't alone. Understand that people like you make a difference in the world. Now, will you let the world shape you, or will you shape the world? (I am completely aware that is about the cheesiest cliche ever, but you get what I am saying.)

urNewItGirl said...
on Sep. 21 2014 at 8:58 pm
urNewItGirl, Maplewood, Minnesota
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"My dad used to say don't raise your voice, improve your argument"

OMG!!! I am ALSO writing an essay about too much homework given at school. I'm in 11th grade and we have to write a 3 page essay by next week and I was in the middle of doing this stupid homework when I ran into the kid who wrote the essay.  I totally agree with you when you say kids get too much homework. It's ridiculous! I remember last year I had to write an 8-9 page paper concerning history day. I worked on it for 6 hours just on one day!!!! And that was only the rough draft which needed only 5 pages. It's only the beginning of the school year and I'm already regretting my choice of Honors Language Arts 11

Emily said...
on Sep. 19 2014 at 3:49 pm
I love this article alot. I have had experience of this when I had 8 test, one for each subject, but i found it really hard to revise as I had so many other bits of homework that I had to do. I am actually using this article for my homework right now. I have to write a review on an opinion article. i think homework is very stressful but is helpful. Teachers should make sure everyone is 100% sure on how to do it so they are not confused at home. I also think teachers cannot have the exscuse of 'i was really busy at the weekend' or 'i had so much other homework to mark' or 'your homework comes last as its not the most important work i have to be marking' as alot of the time these are the reasons we cant do homework so its not fair if they get away with this. Teachers should be setting a good example.

OreoDuck said...
on Sep. 14 2014 at 8:44 pm
Hey i am doing am essay on that too! I'm only in middle school but my brother is in high school and barely has time to do anything other than homework.

lia.mjohnson said...
on Aug. 18 2014 at 9:03 am
omgosh yes! school really stinks esp when we get tons of work, and we hardly have much time..zzzz

Me too! said...
on Jul. 25 2014 at 12:07 pm
I am too studying in India and I totally agree with you! I have 10 subs to work with and the amount of home work  my teacher give me is uncountable , and guess what ? they are due on the same freaking day! And yes , holiday homework sucks!

Coolpixie47 said...
on Jul. 6 2014 at 11:42 am
You said two hours in America right? But in India, they say self study 4 hours and homework 2 hours plus tution and don't get me started on HOLIDAY HOMEWORK!
It's no holiday! It's school like without no teacher or friends( atleast me) I have nine subjects and about two projects of Ten marks of each of them! i hate school now it stinks and will always stink!!!

on May. 19 2014 at 12:21 am
bebeflow07 BRONZE, Tigard, Oregon
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be your own role model."

This is a great atricle here, I am happy to hear your opinion. I also think that the amount of homework, little time to sleep and participate in out-of-school activities contribute to the high stress levels in students in the US. I personally wish that schools weren't so test-based and grade focused. I wish I could spend my time focusing on all of my problem areas in the curriculum I'm learning instead of being forced to repeat the application of things that I really don't need practice with.

yummy gummy! said...
on May. 6 2014 at 9:18 pm
I enjoyed the article. I am going through the same things. 2 hours isn't rilly too much time for homework stuff. I had to be considerd sick because of homework, it's taking me all day. As a matter of fact i am doing one right now to reserch about argumentative essay about HOMEWORK! >_<