New research out of places like Stanford indicates that students today are spending far too much time with homework. Meant to reinstate concepts taught during the day, homework requirements have become nothing more than memory tricks and hours wasted. In exchange for this students are giving up health, happiness, and socialization.
Negative Impacts of Homework
Researchers have found that even in high-achieving areas, students are spending far too much time on homework. Hours upon hours for each class mean that students are literally burning the midnight oil. But at what cost? Well, for starters, anything over 2 hours is not going to be productive. More than two hours per night and the benefits reaped by homework plateau. Students face many negative ramifications including:
- Additional stress. 56% of students claim homework is their main source of stress. Beyond that, students are stressed about tests relating to the homework and getting good grades out of that class. It all boils down to homework. In fact, less than 1% of students in a recent Stanford survey did not find homework a serious stressor.
- Poor health. While stress can be a good thing (after all, stress is what motivates you to get up in the morning and go to school or work so that you don’t lose your home or get kicked out of school), it is no longer a good thing when it is physically harmful. That is just the case here, with students facing sleep deprivation, exhaustion, weight loss, stomach problems, headaches, and other health issues related to too much homework.
- Reduced socialization. Socialization is important, and it needs to come in many forms: friends, family, and extracurricular. With too much homework, however, all of those things suffer. Students do not get to see their family as often, hang out with friends, pursue hobbies, and in some cases, they have to drop activities that are school related simply because there is no time.
So, what is the solution to all this? Achieving balance. Students need to find a balance between social time, extracurricular activities, and their homework. It is mentally and physically unhealthy for students to feel obligated to choose homework over the development of other skillsets. Students should not do mindless rote memory homework in exchange for family bonding. This type of busy work discourages learning regardless of age and is busy work by nature.
Many parents and teachers alike are now calling for schools to ban homework entirely, at least for younger kids. Other places around the world like Finland, have the highest performance scores and yet assign little to no homework for any aged students.
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