Should the concept of homework still exist?


Staff Graphic by Yusha Ahsan

The debate over whether homework should still exist or not continues.

The debate over whether homework should be distributed in the classroom or not is still present among numerous students, parents and teachers. Some feel as though homework helps with bettering one’s understanding of what was taught in class, while others, including myself, feel it promotes excess stress and negative health effects. 

When it comes to school, there can be various stressors, such as feeling pressured to do well on tests and quizzes, and keeping up with assignment deadlines from each class and friends; just to name a few. It seems that adding homework to the mix simply generates unneeded stress. 

Several researchers gathered together in California and surveyed 4,300 high school students regarding their views on homework. The research revealed that more than 70 percent of students were consistently stressed over schoolwork, with 56 percent listing homework as the main stressor. 

Homework can also play a significant role in deteriorating the well-being of students both mentally and physically as it can cause exhaustion, sleep deprivation and headaches from staring at a computer screen for a prolonged period of time. Students already spend approximately six and a half hours sitting at a desk in school, they should not be expected to do the same at home with a load of homework. 

Certain teachers have a rule of “if it’s not completed in class, it’s homework”, which is ideal because most of the time classwork is given out during the school day and it is taken home only if the student did not finish it during the time in class. However, no extra work should be assigned specifically as homework. 

Moreover, students may have extracurricular activities or a job following the school day, which can make it quite difficult to find time for homework afterward. For instance, someone may have hours of lacrosse practice or rehearsal for an upcoming show. 

Students already spend approximately six and a half hours sitting at a desk in school, they should not be expected to do the same at home with a load of homework. 

Students often need to stay up later to finish their homework due to participating in after-school activities; this can then disrupt their sleep schedule, hence feeling drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day. 

Spending an excessive amount of time on homework also takes students away from other significant activities including outdoor time, being with family and friends or just time to themselves to do what they enjoy. 

Additionally, what exactly to do for a homework assignment can be made unclear at times during the class period, so students become confused attempting to complete it at home. There can be a lack of support for some people doing homework since there is no teacher present to help with particular questions; this can be anything such as, how to work through a math problem. 

While it is understandable for a teacher to want to provide extra practice for their students outside the classroom with homework, the negative consequences thoroughly outweigh the positives. In the long run, students will be more motivated to complete their assigned tasks and feel more accomplished if there is no additional homework.