Is Homework Necessary, or Is It Just A Waste Of Time?
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“Homework, as I understand, is a practice and review of lessons learned as part of your studies, not an instrument that forces students to relearn an entire lesson,” comments Dr. George Roberts, a renowned psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Roberts does not believe in assigning students enormous amounts of homework because he considers it unnecessary and a waste of time. However, not all school boards concur with Dr. Roberts, since they perceive homework as an essential part of education and learning. Most people will agree that homework is an essential part of education, but the question is, how much homework should be assigned on a daily basis? Everyone may have different opinions on how much homework should be assigned, but here is my stance on the situation. I believe that the homework load that teachers can assign should be limited so that students will not accumulate too much stress, get enough sleep, and have more free time to enjoy their hobbies and spend with their family and friends.
First of all, extremely exorbitant amounts of homework have been causing stress in many teenagers. What comes to mind when you think about stress? Competitions, performances, or homework? Amazingly, homework is one of the top stress providers for students. 13 out of 100 teenage suicides are related to stress buildup at school, specifically from the large amounts of homework. Excess homework has even been proven to cause an increased maturing rate of hair, also known as the graying of hair. I’ve had my own experiences of stress caused by homework, and they weren’t too pleasant. One day, my social studies teacher assigned me to a group. Unfortunately, most members of my group were uncooperative. Thus, I had to bring the entire project home to finish, along with the usual homework load. This stressed me out considerably, since I was persistent in getting a good grade. Stress is a part of daily life, but you may realize that having too much of it is not healthy for your mind or body.
Secondly, the colossal homework load has been forcing students to stay up late during the night, losing time on valuable sleep. Remember the times when you fell asleep in class? These incidents are not caused by lack of interest in a subject, rather, more correctly associated with the lack of sleep that the student acquired during the previous night. 6 out of 10 students surveyed by local school board admitted that their lack of focus was due to the minimal amount of sleep the students received after a night of completing their homework assignments. I am able to relate to these students, as I have had nights where I was unable to complete my homework. On some days, I am assigned a group project in addition to the already large homework load. On even worse days, I take private instrumental lessons for 2.5 hours. By the time I complete my homework assignments, it is 1:00 AM!
The amount of sleep I lose on those nights does not allow me to use all of my effort and concentration on school the next day. This is how Dr. Payne, a doctor at The New England Hospital, puts it:”Rest is an essential part of life. Homework is an essential part of education. When one has too much homework, he or she is deprived of rest and energy, thus causing them to do poorly in their studies of education. It is an interchangeable and connected process.”Finally, the extensive homework assignments have divested free time for relaxation and rest. Would you rather spend the day at a sandy beach at Long Island Sound, or, would you rather spend your day completing monotonous homework assignments? Most of you would choose a day at the beach, I assume. However, the second option has been starting to become a possibility. The average teenage child spends about 3 hours a day on homework, 7.5 hours at school, and 2-3 hours on extracurricular activities. That leaves less than an hour of free time for the child to enjoy his or her activities.
Because these situations do arise, children become more negligent of their own families and personal interests. Here is an example of a situation that might take place at our local school: 18 extremely upset parents of middle school students complain to a flustered principal that their children have been staying up later and later doing their homework. The children of the parents have become unreasonably impolite and moody. The parents forcefully demand a cutback on the homework assignments in hope that their child will return to their normal lifestyles as a loving family member. Sound familiar? This is one of the many common actions that have been taken all throughout many public schools. Robert Calvin, a senior at the local High School, voices his opinion:”Everyone should complete and be responsible for their homework.
However, I also believe that people should have a break afterward to help them relax and refresh themselves.”As you can see, humungous homework loads have been producing stress, purging the amount of sleep students receive, and divesting students’ free time for hobbies. Therefore, the amount of homework that may be assigned by a teacher should be limited so that these consequences can be eliminated. According to Dr. Roberts, excess homework is a waste of time. The teenage years are the most important years for social development. It is a time where many changes occur, both physically and mentally. These valuable years should not be wasted, for it may affect a teenager for the rest of his or her life.
As for most of the teachers, I do not believe that they feel joyous in giving out homework detentions, as they must waste their own free time to accompany an “irresponsible” student. If modifications are not made to limit the homework load, a frightening incident may occur, likewise as an angry mob of parents. We must try to prevent this from happening by controlling the work load. Enough is enough; there is no need to overdo something if there is no good reason. Thank you for considering my opinion on this matter. I look forward to a bright future for all young people and adults alike as we turn over a new leaf in conducts of education.
Biography:Penn State, “Too Much Homework Can Be Counterproductive.” Physorg.com. .