Dear Future President,
Today I am going to inform you on a topic that probably all students in the United States think about at least once in their life during school: too much homework. I have strong feelings about this topic and I know I am not the only one.
Homework is something that teachers give to their students to help practice or to help with studying. And then there are some teachers who just give it because they couldn’t teach it in class. That leads me to my first argument. When the education system was created, we made the schools as a place that kids came to every weekday to learn. They didn’t come to school to learn and then to go home after a long day at school to just do more work. After school, most students are tired or bored and just want to do what they want after about 7 hours of learning. And because they are tired and/or bored, they don’t have the motivation to do their homework. Unless they really care about their grades, then they might try to do it. School is a place specifically to learn about writing, math, history, science, and other topics. At home is not the place to do that.
According to Jason Koebler, about 55% of students in high school played some kind of sport from 2010-2011. Anybody who plays a sport knows that there has to be practices, and then there are games or matches, depending on what the sport calls it. As a soccer player, I have practices every day of the week except most Fridays and the weekends, and our practices are after school for two hours. So that means I don’t get home most days until around 6:30 PM. By the time I get home, I still have to eat dinner and take a shower, etc. So by the time I’m done that, it’s close to 7:30 PM. After having school and practice, I am usually very tired and don’t feel like doing homework, and I know for sure that other people who play sports feel the same. But whenever we have games, those are usually after school too. For junior varsity, we warm up from 4:15 to 5:15 when the game starts, and the game lasts around an hour and 15 minutes. Then the varsity warms up and starts at 7:00. Junior varsity players usually have to stay and watch varsity play. Their game usually lasts until around 9:00, unless they have overtime. So by the time everybody gets done their game and goes home and eats and showers, it’s already close to 10:00. It’s funny because teachers in schools are always saying “make sure you get enough sleep!” and yell at the students when they are close to falling asleep in class, and it’s because of the teacher giving the student that two page worksheet the day before that they had to stay up until around 11:30 to get done. If the teachers want their students to not fall asleep in class, then they should really rethink what kind of work they are giving.
Then we come to the teacher who doesn’t really do their job of actually teaching their subject and just hands out homework and expects the students to learn mostly on their own. I have had my own experience with two different teachers who did this, and I had trouble in one of the classes because the work was actually time consuming and hard. Whenever teachers do this, there are the students who don’t have time to do the homework and study, and that leads to failing tests and failing grades. Teachers are in schools to teach students about subjects, not just assign work to do what they are too lazy to do. With the other teacher I had, she gave too much homework that she could grade, and that ended in grades not being put into the grade book. Most of the grades that didn’t get put in for me were good grades, mostly just for completion. So that means my grade probably could’ve been higher than it was. Which, again, affects us students and the teacher doesn’t really care.
Another main point about homework is that whenever it is assigned to us, if we can get it done, we bring it in the next class so the teacher can grade it. After the teacher grades it, we almost never use it again. So then it’s mainly just a waste of paper that did something that the teacher couldn’t, it was just practice. So schools are always trying to be more friendly to the environment by “saving paper” when the next day they give out seven page packets to do for notes. It just doesn’t make sense.
Having too much homework in one night can also lead to different health problems. In 2013, Stanford University did a study that showed high-achieving students who spent too much time on homework experienced more stress, physical health problems, lack of balance in their lives, and alienation from society. In the same article, a survey was done and 70 percent of students said they were often or always stressed over homework. 56 percent said homework was where their stress primarily came from. And only 1 percent of students surveyed said homework was not stressful. The fact that survey was only at 1 percent shows that homework is genuinely a problem for students. Also when students were asked what physical symptoms they had, they said they were stressed, had headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems. All of those aren’t good at all and could lead to other health problems, all because they had too much homework.
In the same Stanford study, most of the students said that the homework that they did was “pointless” or “mindless” and didn’t really do anything for them. Another study that was done by New York University showed that when high school students were stressed, they do things that aren’t good for them. More than ⅔ of the students in this study said they used drugs or had alcohol to cope with their stress.
The way that I propose to fix this should be that if there is any work given for after school, it should only be for the benefit of the student if they choose to use it and it shouldn’t affect their grade if they didn’t have time to do it or just didn’t feel they needed to do it. If teachers did give homework, it should be very limited and should only take less than 15-20 minutes for high school students. Back to my main argument; school is for learning and teachers are for teaching, and home is not for learning or teaching ourselves.