HOMEWORK: Hurting Over Helping?

    For years, students have been complaining about too much homework. However, it’s been instilled in our school system for years, and is assumed to be effective. Yet while homework has both positive and negative effects on students- homework might actually hurt students more than it helps them. 


   Against the popular complaint, studies show that grades, or general academic achievement, improves amongst students who make an effort to do and complete homework. The Institute of Labor Economics depicts research showing that specifically in boys, more time spent doing homework leads to a higher college acceptance rate, and a higher GPA. Many others believe that homework has more importance than just raising GPA, however. The City University of New York claims that “students who engage in self regulatory behavior processes while completing homework are generally more motivated and higher achievers than those who [don’t].” It’s seen to reinforce good study habits, self-discipline and management, time management skills, the ability to stay focused, self-direction and critical thinking. 


    Despite all of this, too much homework can do much more harm than good. Multiple studies have reported that the average teen student’s stress levels majorly surpass that of an adult. In fact, student’s in the 1980s reported more anxiety than psych ward patients in the 1950s; with things only worsening since then. 


   Homework, lack of free time, and deadlines have affected the student body so much that mental disorders and poor mental health rates are growing. Between burnout and general lack of sleep, excessive work can harm learning more than it helps. According to the Washington Post, the average high school student spends 3 hours on homework each weekday, with even more time spent for advanced students. With already 7 or 8 hours spent at school, homework, and any extracurricular activities, it leaves little to no room for leisure time.


       A CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” surveyed over 4,300 students from different public and private high schools. According to the study, 56% of students found homework to be the cause of imbalance in their lives, stress, and anxiety. On top of all of that, the effects of schoolwork can have a physical manifestation on a student. The pressure from can lead to less sleep, which alone leads to a number of problems. The effects of not getting enough sleep can be anything between high blood pressure and diabetes, to heart failure and death. Even if a student gets enough sleep, the strain of completing homework can lead to headaches, stomach problems, weight loss, and more. 

    All these things: mental burnout and illness, anxiety, major sleep deprivation and its effects, and with hardly any time for themselves, homework can lead to even worse grades for students. Plus, if they’re so tired, they might not even stay awake for class.