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 Sep. 12 2013 at 10:25 pm
I remember when I was able to go to sleep around midnight. Now, in 9th grade, I'm up to 2 or 3 sometimes. And who said "6 or more hours"? I get off the bus about 3:30, and I start at 4 taking only 2 half hour breaks (shower, dinner) That adds up to more like 9 or 10, to me.

on Jul. 26 2013 at 10:27 pm
justkiddinguniversity BRONZE, Palmdale, California
1 article 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Its not what it is, its what it can become."
-The Once-Ler

i TOTALLY agree with this because this was me and probably will be me this year in 9th grade. Great job.

on Jun. 2 2013 at 2:25 pm
inspiredpassion08 GOLD, Vienna, Virginia
15 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You change your life by changing your heart." -Max Luxado

I agree completely with your esaay. I think that teachers should give us homework in little amounts, each assignment taking about 15 minutes to do for each class. For instance, say you have 7 periods, you would only have about two hours of hw- rather than 6 or more. Teachers should be the ones teaching, not the homework itself.

summercn11 said...
on May. 30 2013 at 9:08 am
summercn11, Hong Kong, Other
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
It is a delight to hear from a teenager, who is in the same state of despair like me, expressing his misery in the well-written essay.  In our school, heaps of homework are assigned everyday, tests (of multiple subjects) are held weekly.  Frankly, I spend no less than 2 hours doing homework and 3 hours for revision on a daily basis.  Under the burden of having so much homework, I simply have no time to join extra-curricular activities, take up new hobbies, and needless to say, a "free day", when I can do whatever I want.  By the way, I see my fellow schoolmates gradually getting fed up to the back teeth of the monotonous schoolwork and daily classes that they just don't concentrate on studying anymore,  as a result, they flunk their exams and I can see their grades plummet quite drastically. Of course, as students, we hardly ever have a chance to air our grievances.

Shanna. said...
on May. 28 2013 at 12:25 am
Im going through this now.

I decided to go on this site because i'm literally crying while doing my homework at such a late time ( It's 12:19 here) Due to my loaction I have to wake up at 5am to get to school ( Already have less then 5 hours to sleep ) I always wonder.... Why not go to to bed...  and I'm not crying because I'm sad...

Oh no no no. I'm crying because thats my body's way to signal me to go to bed. I'm stressed out emotionally .. And now physically too. I have bags under my eyes and not to mention the dark circles that comes with it... 

Homework won't do much for me but put a negative toll on my body for the next day of school. Which will lead me to not getting a proper education  which also leads to teachingmyself the lesson taught in the day before then carrying out the 5 hours worth of homework the teachers give us. 

I think it is because teachers think they are the only ones assigning work... I have 7 different teachers... Life... As i used to know it is dead to me now...

( Former 8th Grade student... Struggling under exit projects and regular homework)

Dirty Dan said...
on May. 21 2013 at 11:02 am
Im in 8th grade and i get all A's and B's i hate homework. I play football, baseball, and basketball, that's year round and homework is very stressfull. After a late game i barely have anytime to do it. It stinks  

Emiduck said...
on Mar. 27 2013 at 10:06 pm
I understand completely! I'm a sophomore in high school in all honors classes and a college math class and I feel like I spend ALL of my time on homework. Once I got home from school at 3:30, immediately sat down and got to work, and didn't go to bed until 3 am. That's 12 hours! I have not time for anything else. When I do make time for my family, I spend it worrying about how much homework I'll have to do to make up for the time I'm spending with them. It's really unhealthy and ridiculous.

Jillzy123 said...
on Mar. 5 2013 at 1:41 am
The author of this article I agree with completely. I'm a 6th grader who stays up until 11:00 P.M.or 12:00 A.M. to write a 3 - page essay everyday. Why? My writing teacher believes it will "awaken our writing potential", well guess what I have to say to that? It's worthless, I still don't know why I bother for HW anymore, it's confusing. I look at my grades, and ever since I got my writing teacher, my grades have been falling. A's to B's. By the time I'm finished with my homework. My eyes are red, my hands are weak, and my mom is yelling at me to go to bed. As if I weren't already small. Now I'm getting 4-6 hours of sleep, and I'm only 11. My life is a crap hole now. And when I look back at the time I wasted on the computer instead of spending time with my family, I get angry at myself. Now, I'm just waiting for my trimester to end, so I can break out of the jail my writing teacher has put me in.

Anthony said...
on Mar. 4 2013 at 8:55 pm
I find it a little funny that around 6-9 hours of school isn't     enough. You are very right.

on Feb. 27 2013 at 10:58 pm
I mean, i had to quit baseball, football, fun, and freetime. They hold us captive untill 3:50!!! Its time we make a stand!!! It takes me an average of 4hr 30min just because of homework! It makes no cents.

Maryn said...
on Feb. 26 2013 at 11:13 pm
I couldn't agree more. I'm in ninth grade, and I'm in the exact same situation. Last year I loved school and got a normal amount of school, but this year I stupidly decided to go to a fancy, overachiever high school, and it is utter and absolute hell. The cycle of school-homework-sleep never ends, and I'm trying to find a school to transfer to because if these are supposed to be the best years of my life, I want out. I wish I could give you advice, but I'm seeking some myself. I'm depressed and anti-social mainly because of homework, too, and I'm going to get therapedic help soon. I hope ninth grade will come easier to you, and good luck. You're not alone. :)

Maryn said...
on Feb. 26 2013 at 10:55 pm
Congratulations if you get strait As in school and spend less than 2 hours on homework, but quite obviously you don't have the same problem. Try telling this to someone who had ADHD or ADD or any other disease that causes you to become easily distracted. Are they fooling themselves? Use of the internet is a choice. Homework is not. In fact, the internet is often a required tool to complete homework so, again, what about those kids who are easily distracted and need to use the internet for homework? This essay is far from a joke, and happens to be extremely well written. It frustrates me to no end that people think homework is no big deal. I'm in ninth grade, and homework takes me my whole afternoon. You say we have six hours to do homework in the afternoon, but we also have six hours during the school day as well. Shouldn't that be enough? Do we honestly need to waste twelve hours a day working and trying to learn things we won't rememer in a year from now? Of course we should have homework, but the usual amount of homework given is sickeningly much and needs to be limited. 

on Feb. 26 2013 at 11:14 am
Mamonde PLATINUM, Seoul, Other
20 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Oh, I'm crazy to the bone."

As a high school student living in Korea... we study practically at least 10 to 14 hours a day. Now I've got a LOT to say about too much studying... ;)

kobe said...
on Jan. 17 2013 at 8:22 am
i got same situation with u too. i recommend u to quit school and live a better life, like i am now.

on Jan. 16 2013 at 7:08 am
these are wonderful essays and introductions!!!

Häashia.EXE said...
on Jan. 3 2013 at 9:40 pm
It's quite frustrating yes, specially when it comes to proyects and special homeworks. I may not be going to school anymore, but one of the reasons that made me quit academically and that made me fail was the homework issue [despite the fact that I as well failed 7th due to the same caus and to an emotional disbalance which instead of being referred to a specialist I was sent to court in the state of Ohio] . It's very sad that this is being done to us. And.... according to other friends I have met around the globe have way worse conditions, for example, in Japan there is only one free day from school and winter/summer homework, which is quite stressing and unhealthy. The USA government is trying it's best to compete with the educational standards of the World, and they don't care of the outcome of this act. If perhaps schools were made friendlier it would be quite a win. Because, one of the reasons why gangs remain strongly is because the school isn't making it any easier for them to stay in, and yet again we can blame the homework in the combo.
I am aware as well that there isnt enough motivation with that. As well we can consider many things which do involve the decay of society, the meaningless and violent cartoons being placed in the eyes of our youngr brothers and sisters, the media, the homework abuse........ It can all lead to one quite sad conclution, the end of freedom. But other than that weird rant there... It is not a very good thing to overwhelm our young minds, remember, you may have the best Intellectual Quality, but you're nothing without your Emotional Quality, which is adquired through experiences in life which we are missing due to this error being done, we would be defenceless against many things......... Just........... I wish I could talk to the Secretary of Education and peacefully try to bring this issue to a happy medium. Thanks for your read XD  -Häashia.ExE --------------------------------------------------- Official Music Portal:

Piper Rain said...
on Nov. 30 2012 at 12:16 am
I'm also an 8th grader taking advanced classes, and let me tell you, I'm living a complete hell right now. I used to be the girl who would 24/7 be like, "YES! SCHOOL!!! I'm so excited, I want to learn, see my friends, talk to me teacher, YAY!" I used to love every teacher, every class and subject, and just love school so much. Now? I'm almost at the point where I'm just gonna stop and wing everything. I'm almost at the point where I don't care about getting decent grades, only caring about getting more than 2 hours of sleep. I want to be able to actually live a life filled with average sleeping hours and a purpose of doing something. My whole purpose this year? Just surviving until freshman year and doing homework to get grades higher than an F. Teachers seriously need to lay it off. The only class and teacher that I'm actually able to like 24/7 is L.A., because she realizes we have lives and doesn't want us to push it so far. She actually told me and my one friend today that we might not have to do the homework tonight, just for the fact that today was our musical's opening night, which we were in. My life has cycled so much since 8th grade started. Too much homework = no sleep, no sleep = tired 24/7, tired 24/7 = no energy to do homework, all of this = depression. The weekend is not a time for me to enjoy myself, it's a time for sleep and homework. I don't really socialize anymore, because 1) I'm depressed and 2) I'm spending my socializing time for homework in school. So school... call me whenever I'm allowed to be happy again.

kimkim said...
on Nov. 1 2012 at 12:01 pm
this article , is right on some things but you missed something , email me?  

El0ise123 said...
on Oct. 12 2012 at 11:17 am
I get 3-6 hours of homework a night and feel depressed constantly... The quality of my work is slipping and my teacher wants me to attend extra classes which I dont have time for... Please help me, I never get any spare time and all I want is to forget about my homework...

nadya223 said...
on Oct. 1 2012 at 1:50 pm
I'm a girl and just started 6th grade. It's awful to think how my school work had changed due to the lack of rest and time I have. Usually I have TONS of schoolwork and finish at about 1 or 2 AM in the morning and I have to wake 5 hours later. Now, kids have to have 8 hours of sleep while mines is reduced to 3 or 4 hours. I'm so vexed!