The Homework Debate: An Updated Look at Excessive Homework

Maci Weathers, Staff Writer

Highlighters, paper, books and flashcards surround students as they stay up late, pushing through just one last assignment.  In 2016, the Silver Streak posted a story about how homework was controlling students’ lives and not in a good way. However, looking back at the story now, the amount of homework teachers are currently assigning has stayed the same, if not increased.

Everyday, I go home with at least two hours of homework to complete. At least two nights per week, my homework will take me in an excess of four hours to finish.

According to U.S. News, on average, a student is assigned 17.5 hours of homework each week. The National Association of Educational Progress reported that 39 percent of students spend an hour or more on homework each night.

In addition to school and homework, many students are involved in extra curricular activities and/or have a part-time job. For these students, their daily schedule can be hours longer than the average American adult working a full-time job.

When assigning homework, teachers should be mindful of how much time the assigned homework will take a student to complete then times that by seven, the total amount of classes that may also be assigning homework. Then the teacher should also take extracurricular activities, jobs, family time, health and sleep into consideration.

Currently, I barely get any rest and some nights the debate is if I should do an assignment or sleep. However, teens at Randall are not alone when it comes to not getting enough sleep. According to Dr. Craig Canapari, a director for the Yale Pediatric Sleep Center, 90% of teenagers in the U.S suffer from sleep deprivation. This is in part due to excessive homework.

I asked a few Randall students what their schedule looked like for the day:

Student A– School until 3:50, work from 4:15-6:30, theater rehearsal 7-10:30, homework

Student B- School until 3:50, work from 4:15-6;30, babysit 7-9, homework

Student C- School until 3:50, bus ride home until 5, 5-6 chores, dinner, homework

Student D- School until 3:50, sports practice until 6, dinner, homework

Student E- School until 3 due to senior permit, work from 5-11, homework on weekends and at school since work ends late at night

Looking at these schedules, it is easy to understand why having hours of homework is a problem for many students. According to the National PTA, students should only be doing 10 minutes of homework per grade level, so that equals to around two hours per night for a high school senior. Homework should be limited to that amount to help reduce the stress, anxiety, poor eating habits and lack of sleep that is associated with an overly busy schedule.