Homework: How much is too much? Students express concerns regarding workloads


Casey Stavenhagen

Casey Stavenhagen, Staff Writer

Having an eight hour day of traveling class to class and subject to subject, seeing hundreds of people, learning new material in about seven unique classes, while trying to be involved in extracurricular activities to appear as a good candidate to colleges, can make some students feel exhausted. The day doesn’t end after school for many students, especially those enrolled in many Dual Credit (DC) and Advanced Placement (AP) classes, as they often times spend hours working on classwork to perform well in their classes.

Senior Leslie Omeire said the work students do outside of school can often be “counterproductive.” It is recommended that DC and AP students dedicate three to four hours per week to homework and study time. When students take anywhere from three to five AP and/or DC classes, the recommended time spent outside of school working on school material can range from nine to 20 hours a week, or even possibly more.

“I spend anywhere from 18-22  hours of week on school work, and the majority of those hours are spent studying the material,” Omeire said. “As an AP student, studying is the majority of the workload because it’s my responsibility to keep up with the material.”

Omeire said that can be challenging because it feels like there’s no time for anything else.

“We go to school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., then continue with extracurriculars and athletics until 6 p.m. or so,” Omeire said. “By the time you go home, eat dinner and take a shower it’s late. Now, you’ve got crazy studying to do in so little time.”

As a result, Omeire said she finds it difficult to get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night.

“The workload becomes a burden and it’s just not healthy,” Omeire said. “Don’t even get me started on how it would be possible to add ACT/SAT prep, college and scholarship applications, and outside reading to the workload.

For many DC and AP students, the constant struggle to stay on top of all their responsibilities is draining on their motivation.

¨It’s sad to say but your grades in high school will determine your future for college.¨ Omeire said. “You’ve got to stay motivated if you want a way out. And your way out is college. For some, financial stability is a struggle; so, money becomes the motive.”

AP student senior Collin Blackwell said procrastination is the biggest issue for students when facing a workload, and it can be managed effectively by getting stuff done early.

“If given the opportunity, students will pursue education on their own,” Blackwell said. “Personally, I prioritize (my work) over what is due the soonest, but it can be rough to balance it when classes give out a lot of work, and it can really stress me out. I usually just ‘precrastinate’ and get my work done really early, and only focus on that one assignment until I finish it.”

Often times, a student has to handle their motivation and decide whether or not to procrastinate on their own. Many teachers recognize the struggles students can face, so they implement guidelines designed to ease them, but students have varying opinions about the helpfulness of these guidelines.

¨I feel like guidelines can help instruct a student in the direction they should go with their studying methods and habits,¨ Omeire said. ¨Guidelines can become too generic for the individuality of each student, though. You cannot simply conform a student to a specific set of guidelines, but we can teach students different techniques. We don’t all learn the same way; therefore, we should not all study alike. At the end of the day, it’s more effective for the student when they can find the best way to study on their own as opposed to guidelines because through trying different approaches they are learning what works and what doesn’t work.¨