The Truth About Homework

Photo By: Brittney Bush Bollay 

If teachers would not assign homework, it would positively decrease the amount of stress for students. Homework is defined as school work that is required by a student to do at home.  Research shows that homework causes stress on students, both physical and mental. Stress is very unhealthy for teenagers. On the contrary, some people believe homework is a good thing because homework can contribute to a student’s success in school. I believe that it can not possibly be a benefit for any student.

If high school students weren’t given homework, they would have less stress. As many teachers know high schoolers have a lot on their plates. Students often have multiple tests a week. Therefore when they get home from school, they like to study, not worry about completing Spanish worksheets, math problems, and assigned reading. When a teacher gives their students homework, most students just look at their assignments and wonder when they will have time to complete them. It is more of a “check the box” versus a learning experience.  Some of the students might have sports or extracurricular activities after school which causes them to get home very late. In fact 79% of high school students participate in an activity after school. So  when students have homework after they get home from a long day at school their homework causes extra stress that they definitely don’t need. What if they have an exam the next day? Students most likely would want to be studying for their exam. If students have extra homework that isn’t relevant and won’t really expand their knowledge, it only creates more stress and pressure that students just don’t need.  

After a long exhausting day of school, who wants to pull out their homework that their teacher assigned them and get back to work?  Definitely not me or most high school students. After school, homework would honestly be a waste time. The brain is most likely exhausted after seven hours of learning and the student probably just wants to relax. Any assignments that student were to complete would probably go in through their ears and right back out. Wait! The homework that the student was suppose to do would probably not even enter the student’s brain because of how exhausted they are from school. That’s why homework is just a waste of time.

Students should do something else productive like spending time with family or enjoying after school activities, not completing after school homework. Students usually get home around 3:00 PM and only have about six hours until they should go to bed. Not only that, but most students participate in an after school activity which usually concludes around 5:30 PM. Now they only have four hours to do something they enjoy and that’s not a lot of time each day.  On average, students spend about two hours on homework daily. So if teachers just stopped giving homework, not only would many students lives be less stressful, but many parents and friends could actually have time to enjoy the student. Additionally, teenagers could have time to do things they love such as going to the gym, reading a book for pleasure, skiing, swimming, or even horseback riding.  Such activities could decrease the amount of stress that the student is already experiencing from in-school work and testing.  

There are many benefits of teachers eliminating homework, however, there are also many benefits of homework. Homework can be the reason a student understands a topic more deeply.  It can also help to prepare a student for a test. Teachers may be assigning homework to prepare a student for an exam.  If the student completes regular homework assignments prior to the test, they may comprehend the material and score better on the exam.  Research also demonstrates that testing scores can be higher when a student engages in homework on a daily basis.  The student doesn’t typically have to cram for the the test.  They learn it gradually.  Some students have to do the work to understand the work.  Time is limited in a school day so this may be the only option teachers have to properly teach a subject.

There is research to show both sides of the spectrum.  Homework is not needed or homework is beneficial in high school. However, the research is stronger toward the stress that homework puts on students.  Student’s time is so limited during the school day.  If a student is already spending  seven hours at school, they need time to do other enjoyable activities outside of academics.  A student’s job should not be to complete assignments outside of school, especially because most assignments are just busy work.  The focus should be to have the student participate as much as possible during the school day and only have the responsibility of studying for tests in the evening hours.  Students would have less physical and mental stress if this could be applied to our school system.