Why Homework Undermines Educational Goals Essay

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Finishing final homework assignments in the wee hours of the night after a full day of school, can be very draining for students and can undermine the entire process of learning. Many students sacrifice valuable sleep they need for their biophysical development, just so they can achieve the mere five points of their total homework grade. For many students who are busy with extracurricular activities, homework can make their day to day existence feel impossible: they get home from school late, and then start their homework even later. For so many teens, their Monday through Friday schedule is already grueling enough, the copious amounts of homework they are expected to complete is simply an unnecessary burden and doesn’t make a meaningful contribution to their overall education. Teachers should be forced to limit the amount of homework they can give to students each night. This amount should ideally be under 45 minutes total for all subjects of just concept checking exercises to make sure that students understood concepts presented earlier that day.

Part of the major reason that excess homework is such a profound superfluous burden to adolescents is because many students are already shouldering additional responsibilities, such as an afterschool job, making homework a difficult task to complete each night, while still getting a full eight hours of sleep. Research studies indicate that around 25% of high school students over the age of 16 have a part time job. Many students spend their afternoons running errands or doing chores for parents who work full-time or looking after younger siblings (Wilson & Rhodes). These responsibilities can undermine the student’s ability to complete their homework—until it’s far too late and the student’s young mind is fatigued. A study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior in 2013 tracked the sleep habits of just under a thousand adolescents from ages 12-15 and found that these youths were becoming increasingly more sleep deprived with each passing year (Sparks). During this period, the teenagers’ average sleep time decreased from around nine hours of night in the 6th grade to less than eight hours a night by age 15 (Sparks). The implications of this research are critical: this has a very debilitating impact on the overall health and wellness of a growing young person and will no doubt undermine all attempts to educate them.

Not every student has the privilege of going home to computers, Internet access, and educated parents to help them complete their schoolwork. Many students return from school to empty houses and apartments with no one there to help them if they have any questions about their homework (Gilford & Gilford). The students who don’t have computers or other forms of technology, or even parental assistance, have some of the more formidable challenges to completing their homework, and because of these challenges, it often takes them longer to finish. This can mean that students don’t even have time to interact with their families, decompress from school, or enjoy downtime with family members because of the stringent demands of homework. In order to foster total health and wellness, students need time to talk about their day with parents, discuss real or potential problems, and still get a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night, while still completing their home obligations. An excess of homework undermines these needs and causes unwanted stress to an already stressful period of the student’s life.

Participating in sports activities, extracurricular commitments and clubs is essential for an adolescent’s psychosocial development and to make them competitive applicants when it is time to apply to college. However, their participation in such endeavors becomes problematic when…

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Works Cited

Collier, L. C. \\"The overwhelmed child.\\" Good Housekeeping233.2 (2001): 79-82.

Kilimnick, Nili and Marwan Luay. “Do Kids Need Homework?” Scholastic News 23 March 2015 p. 7 Student Resources in Context

Lacina-Gifford, Lorna J., and Russell B. Gifford. \\"Putting an end to the battle over homework.\\" Education 125.2 (2004): 279-282.

Sparks, Sarah D. \\"Homework, Friends Help Shape Teenagers\\' Sleep Patterns.\\" Education Week, 10 Dec. 2013, www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/12/11/14sleep- social.h33.html. Accessed 15 Mar. 2018.

Stager, Gary. \\"Homework vs. the happy family.\\" District Administration. District Administration (2006).

Wilson, Jan, and John Rhodes. \\"Student perspectives on homework.\\" Education 131.2 (2010): 351-359.

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