Homework causes unnecessary stress in students

Homework causes unnecessary stress in students

Ethan Golish, Guest Writer

Imagine a teacher standing up and declaring, “No more homework!” Students all over the world from all ages and backgrounds would go crazy to hear this. Unfortunately, that excitement is not something to cheer about. Students should not  fear homework or worry about the stress involved in getting it and everything else on their busy schedules done.

Some might say that homework must be done with a near militant focus. They would agree that assignments should be given every night to keep students’ skills sharp and focused. Others would totally disagree and suggest that homework should not be done at all. They would say that assignments done at home do nothing for educational growth and simply cause children more stress and impede their young imaginations. Members in this party would say that homework makes young children grow up too fast and robs them of their childhood.

Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between. But, how can the school change to find a balance between these two extremes? If we can sell students on less homework and less adultlike responsibility, they will be on board very quickly. The school can change simply by providing a learning environment that is more student friendly and helps fight against the constant stresses of educational life. This might include small breaks for students or a longer lunch time. It may also include more class time for completing homework during school time.

Between early mornings of waking up for school and late nights of doing homework it’s impossible for kids to be fully prepared for the day ahead of them. A recent study done by Stanford found that students from high performing high schools were doing about 3.1 hours worth of homework a night. In a society that mandates school and teaches young people that good grades are important to eventually become successful as adults, this is a lot of pressure for a young person. To believe that doing three or more hours worth of homework a night on top of the seven hours students have already been in class for the day is totally unreasonable. 

School can be more helpful and less intimidating and truly mold kids into the best version of themselves. But instead, to many, it feels school adds unneeded stress.  In this same study by Stanford, researchers found that there is a direct correlation between too much homework and high stress levels, reduction in health, and reduced time for family and friends . 

Many are quick to blame the whole school for added stress on students, but individual teachers could help ease the burden too. How? Teachers could help in a couple of simple ways such as giving class time to do assignments and stay ahead. If there isn’t class time to do this, teachers and administrators could work together to create a study time or study hall for all the students in the school to complete work and get help if it is needed. In an article written by EnrichingStudents.com, the claim is made that study periods can be very helpful to student success if they are done correctly. They are especially helpful if the noise is controlled and there is a time for collaboration amongst the students and communication between the teachers.

It may not be overstepping to say that too much stress in a teen’s life is not only bad, it can become dangerous. An article from the American Psychological Association names stress and anxiety as one of the markers for an increased rate of suicide attempts. Students have taken their own lives and schools seem to look past it and say it was probably due to events outside of school. However, according to an article written by ChildTrends.org, about 17.7% of highschoolers contemplate suicide at any given time during high school. That number is very high and worth taking a closer look at from all angles. When students spend nearly seven hours a day at school and over 180 days there out of the year, it makes one wonder if there could be a connection between the two. 

Students are overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and scared all from school. We need to make a change. And no longer ignore the dangerous signs and research. This is not a problem that’s going to change overnight. It will take time and dedication. But it’s a change that has to happen. Students should not be overstressed, suffering or dying over school. It’s time for a change and has been for a long time. So let’s take a stand against the wrong and make it right.