Dear Future President,
Students all over are loaded with homework, but many students have several obligations after school, like sports, clubs or even a job. According to edweek.org, students in grades 6-12, are typically assigned around 3.5 hours of homework each night. Students don’t have enough time to finish the load of homework given each night. There should be a study hour in school, to lessen the load, and allow students to achieve their full academic potential.
Ever since the start of the public and private education systems, it’s been true that students of all ages are assigned homework. However this number has grown at a staggering rate in only the last decade. Students who once had a few math practice problems, or some studying after school now rack up hours of labor intensive writing prompts, test preparation and heavy reading. The Princeton Review states, “Studies of typical homework loads vary: In one, a Stanford researcher found that more than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive. The research, conducted among students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities, found that too much homework resulted in stress, physical health problems and a general lack of balance. “ This is concerning to students, teachers and parents alike. These issues are perpetuated when students are also involved in an after school or extracurricular activity.
Many athletes feel like they are getting too much homework and that they don’t have enough time to finish it. 18 out of 20 people surveyed, stated that they have a obligation to fulfill after school, whether it was band practice, a sport or a job. Many of these students explained that on any given night, they don’t have enough time to finish the work they’re assigned. There is the option of getting up earlier or staying up later to finish it. That option leads to a lack of sleep. According to The National Sleep Foundation, “Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best.” It is clear that most teens don’t get enough sleep to start out with, adding, “...one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8½ hours on school nights.” This evidence shows that only a small amount of teens get the amount of sleep they need, when homework is added the hours drop. Lack of sleep doesn’t help anything because it leads to more problems. The National Sleep Foundation added, “Not getting enough sleep or having sleep difficulties can: Limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework or a date with a special person in your life. Make you more prone to pimples. Lack of sleep can contribute to acne and other skin. Lead to aggressive or inappropriate behavior such as yelling at your friends or being impatient with your teachers or family members. Cause you to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods like sweets and fried foods that lead to weight gain. Heighten the effects of alcohol and possibly increase use of caffeine and nicotine. Contribute to illness, not using equipment safely or driving drowsy.” Sleep deprivation not only limits students, but athletes too. The National Sleep Foundation stated “...less sleep increases the possibility of fatigue, low energy, and poor focus at game time. It may also slow recovery post-game.” If sleep is affecting students learning and athletes playing, it is a must that we get enough of it. Therefore, staying up late or getting up early to finish it is a bad idea. We need to identify a solution that is not just a quick fix, but holds a lasting impact.
Despite the evidence and reasoning, many still believe that there shouldn’t be a problem and students should be able to finish their work no problem. They think that students should be able to manage their time wisely and have a flexible schedule. This reasoning, I believe, doesn’t apply to most.
The issue, is that student athletes don’t have enough time to finish their homework and study. There is little time with too much to be done. The solution to this issue is to add a study hour in school. This hour would be mandatory for all students. It would help them catch up on homework, studying, and concepts they don’t understand. This will be beneficial to students and athletes, letting them have good sleep, and not be stressed out about things they couldn’t do or finish. Therefore, yes there needs to be a study hour added into every school across the United States. It will give students enough sleep so they can function properly and boost students’ grades and learning.