By: Kaitlyn Mackin
Over the past few years, homework in schools has become a very controversial topic. There are several sides, each with their own valid arguments. Some say homework is the most efficient way to integrate classwork into student’s lives and is a structured way for them to prove their knowledge independently. Teachers tend to say that it is the easiest way for them to teach students and finish class discussions without wasting precious class time. Although these beliefs might be correct, homework causes students several struggles, such as sleep deprivation and stress, which can lead to further health issues.
Yes, it can be difficult to believe, but some high school students take on the role of an adult at an early age. Many of these students must work, in order to support their families. In addition to a 7 ½ hour school day, these kids work anywhere from 1-8 hours. If you add on the time it takes to complete homework, which can vary from 5 minutes to 3 ½ hours, those particular students might be engaged in working for 19 hours. As a result, these “kids” are getting less than 5 hours of sleep.
A teacher at Frontier Regional, who has chosen to remain anonymous, believes others in our district are very unaware of how busy some students’ lives are. This teacher said that some of their colleagues assume that students have more free time in their day than they do, which leads to them piling excessive amounts of homework on students.
Without any other factors in the time equation, homework is a very efficient way of broadcasting learning into a student’s life, without taking away class time. Students may say a 90-minute class is extremely long, but from a teacher’s perspective, it is not nearly enough time for them to educate us in the proper ways. So, they make up for it by assigning homework. In general, students do not mind homework, but when it begins taking away from sleep, time to eat, relax, and spend time with family/friends, it amounts to being too much for a student to handle. This can lead to a lack of effort because when we are assigned a piece of work, that later on ends up taking 3 hours, we begin to hate it. This tends to carry over to the actual class rather than just the homework, which can then carry over to school as a whole. Homework has slowly become a student’s worst enemy because the expectation is not balanced.
This article is the first of a three-part series I will be continuing throughout the semester.