The Lost Cause of Homework


Nic Gulizia, Editor

Covid and distance learning have changed our everyday lives, including the way we spend most of our time in and away from school. What hasn’t changed is homework. The assignments have been piling up just as much as before, and in some cases even more. 

Teachers have been overwhelming students by assigning so much homework to the point where it can be hard to keep up with it all. Teachers and students have lives outside of school, and many students don’t enjoy spending their “free time” doing homework, just like teachers with grading. 

Limiting the amount of homework assigned to students in each class period would help with the overall well-being of each student. Studies have shown that mental and physical health problems can occur among teens as a result of too much homework.

According to the Stanford Graduate School of Education, a study showed that students doing an excessive amount of homework experienced “greater behavioral engagement in school, but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their life.”

With students spending most of their time off school completing busywork, it produces unmotivated, stressed out, and unbalanced teens who feel like homework is consuming their life.

Teachers assign homework with the intention of reviewing the information learned in class, basically giving students a chance to learn it over again. However, the expectation doesn’t equate to reality.

Natalie Wexler, a writer for Forbes, explains how studies have been unable to prove, and in some cases have actually disproved, the claim that homework actually helps students re-learn the in-class material. 

If homework doesn’t actually help students re-learn the material from class, then what is the point in assigning so much of it? Homework is just busywork, keeping students occupied with something that isn’t even going to help them understand the material.

Another serious issue among teens today is sleep deprivation, and it’s becoming more common than ever before. If students can’t get enough sleep to function properly for class, how can they be expected to get good grades?

A 2006 National Sleep Foundation poll found that more than 87% of high schoolers in the U.S don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, which is 8-10 hours. This certainly doesn’t help with the academic success, health, or even the safety of students.

Sleep deprivation among teens is so bad that it’s actually considered a public health epidemic by professionals. You may ask, what could be causing this serious lack of sleep? There are multiple factors that go into it, but one is certainly excessive amounts of homework. 

Student-athletes take one of the biggest hits from too much homework, not being able to manage their time between school and sports. With hours of practice and extracurriculars added on, it becomes almost impossible for athletes to get their homework done on time, get good grades, and still manage to get 8-10 hours of sleep.

A possible argument made against limiting homework is the claim that homework is necessary to review and comprehend the material learned in class and allow students to keep up with the curriculum. However, no studies have been able to prove that homework is actually beneficial to re-learning the lesson.

By limiting the amount of homework each teacher can assign in one class period, students will begin to see improvements in their grades, mental and physical health, free time, and overall well-being.