Let’s say that you have soccer practice, math team, and karate after school, but both your English and math teacher assign a huge homework assignment. What do you do? Millions of schools around the world assign homework to their students for them to complete by the next days class. Some people say that not only does homework improve the students’ knowledge of the subject but it also encourages responsibility. Others say that the amount of stress homework can cause outweigh the benefits in the argument. Kids shouldn’t be overloaded with homework because it causes too much stress, it reduces free time, and grading homework doesn’t directly relate to academic achievement.
A strong point why students should not be given too much homework is it causes too much stress. A middle or high school can come across a lot of minor struggles throughout the day and sometimes kids just need a break from all of it. Studies show that an average kid spends from 35 to 40 hours of the week in school, which is about the same as a normal adult work day (Abeles 2018). Yet parents still fail to comprehend why their child is having trouble focusing on their homework after a long day of school (Abeles 2018). Also according to Clifden Parker from Standford University News “56 percent of the students homework was not a stressor.” Not enough sleep can also cause a lot of stress. Having a headache during first hour can set you up for a long difficult day at school adding even more to a kid’s stress and other negative feelings they may have during the day. These reasons show that homework really doesn’t help a kids stress level.
Another reason kids shouldn’t be given homework is because homework doesn’t usually even increase your knowledge on the subject, and it doesn’t improve test scores. Countries such as Denmark and Japan hardly give any homework at all, yet they usually outperform most other countries (Clifford 2012). According to ScienceLeadership.org a study in 2003 analyzed Dr. Harris Cooper’s speech. He spoke of education and tried to argue that homework was a very positive thing. Even Harris though did bring up the point that homework in the past has not necessarily made better test scores. He also spoke of a certain “rule” that can be a guideline for teachers. “The 10 minute rule” Cooper said “is a commonly accepted practice with teachers.” The 10 minute rule is where every year a child progresses in school they should get another 10 minutes of homework. So basically a 2nd grader would get about half hour of homework and a high schooler would get a couple of hours of homework. Not only is that a lot of homework and it would be stressful to know that more homework is coming, but also if even Dr. Harris admits that homework doesn’t really help academics and he is on the pro side then we can definitely conclude that all these things show that homework really doesn’t have a big impact on achievement and test scores.
The final reason kids should not get too much homework is that homework majorly reduces free time. Not only time that kids are bored but also time that they could be spending with their family or doing extracurricular activities. Also a lot of students have family obligations that can take a lot of time. Let’s say it’s Christmas and a student can’t relax because they are overloaded with work and studying. I’m not saying you should not study but there has to be a fine line with how much work a kids should have to do outside of school. To go home straight away and work on homework and not get done with it until 8:00 pm doesn’t set up a person with a very solid sleep schedule. The official amount of sleep a highschooler is supposed to get is 10 hours (Rose, 2018). Studies shown that only 8% of students get enough sleep on an average school night (Duval 2010). According to Raychelle Lohmann from Psychology Today, “High school teachers reported assigning an average of 3.5 hours’ worth of homework a week. Middle school, teachers reported 3.2 hours a week, and K-5 teachers reported giving 2.9 hours of homework a week.” Imagine how much valuable time that uses up, especially if you have other commitments like clubs or looking after siblings. These reasons all show why homework getting rid of free time can be harmful to your health and personal life.
A lot of teachers say that getting homework is good practice for responsibility. But the truth is, that was not the original purpose of giving homework. Also there are many other ways to learn responsibility. Many kids are perfectly responsible and quite grown up, they just genuinely don’t have the time to do it. As long as the students in a class are doing the work just have them work during the school day. If teachers are not willing to cooperate with not giving homework than I would suggest using a check off grade, because how fair is it to give a student a bad grade if they had a justified reason why they couldn’t do it.
Whether kids should have homework in school or not is a very detailed topic to look into. Many school boards and parents have argued that homework helps learn a subject and teaches responsibility. But simply because homework is such a long lived practice in schools doesn’t mean it is more helpful than not. Homework can result in a lot of stress, no free time, and no improvement on tests and other school achievements. So it makes you wonder if homework is necessary at all. The battle of homework will continue, so for now manage your time wisely, make smart decisions and pay attention in class.
Logan Magnuson, 7th Grade