Less homework does not translate to worse academics or a decline in challenge. Students are still stimulated during an entirety of eight hours daily, while in school; can still absorb all of the required information without working an extra three to five hours at home on the same information learned that day. I could enjoy school if I did not have homework: I like to learn new information, especially if the topic intrigues me. However, after an exhausting day at school and track practice, I come home at seven and the mere idea of sitting at my desk for another four hours to complete my nightly homework wears me out. I would rather take a shower, eat dinner, maybe watch some television or read an enjoyable book, and then go to sleep. This way I get enough sleep and am excited to go to school the next day and learn. Could you imagine a day full of engaged learning that ends with a restful night? I would prefer an extended school day, even, instead of homework. Many employed adults work at a specific workplace -- not at home. There is no time to be a kid when free time is consumed by homework and projects.
"54 percent of students showed moderate to severe symptoms of depression[, and] 80 percent suffered moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety:" the results from an anonymous survey of two-thirds of Irvington high school by Dr. Slavin, a pediatrician and professor. The level of homework students receive, ranging from kindergarten to college, is absurd, causing even “5-, 6-, 7-year-olds” to come in “with these [depression, anxiety, stress] conditions” (Lawrence Rosen). Students are forced to go to school for eight or more hours a day, take tests, turn in assignments, and learn new material-- all of this only to be assigned five or more hours of additional work due before the next day. The rest of students’ days are filled with extracurricular activities, which most of the time are activities that just chosen as resume polishers, not for stress-relief purposes. The stress levels of students are sky high. Most students are pressured to pack their school schedule with many AP and honor level classes so they can get into a good college, which leads to a good job, which leads to a good life. The high levels of homework, starting at an age as young as five, causes a child to become stressed, suffer from anxiety, and struggle with “ at least two hours less sleep each night than recommended” (Is School Making Our Children Ill?). The stress levels of students leads me to believe that schoolwork should be done at school, while extracurriculars, family time, and resting should be done at home.
“Homework is all pain and no gain,” says Alfie Kohn, who has spent the last few years researching this subject. Homework worksheets, assignments, and projects can be tedious and repetitive. Students do not want to come home to sit at their desk and learn, after a whole day of doing just that. Contrary to popular belief, “most of what homework is doing is driving kids away from learning,” explains the literacy expert, Harvey Daniels. Parents have to become the enforcer, always asking their child about homework and school, instead of playing games, riding bikes, or baking. The joy of being young and carefree is stripped from students after loads of homework. Students need a break from learning: going home from school should be drawing the line between the two.
Valerie Strauss explains how her five-year-old kindergartener has homework and projects nearly every night. After her son gets home from a busy day at school, all he wants to do is play with his sisters, run around, and sleep. However, Strauss is forced to sit him down in front of his work and make sure he finishes it. Some nights her son will go to his room and fall asleep right after getting home from school; even before eating dinner, doing homework, or taking a shower. Her son is exhausted after a day of learning at school; he should be able to come home and relax, maybe even play with his siblings. On other occasions, her son has had to “to learn new concepts” at home, which really means that she will be doing all the work, and it is nearly impossible to teach a five year old new concepts and ideas, especially after 8 hours at school (Strauss) . The whole night is filled with attempting to get her son to finish the worksheets he has for homework, instead of being a kid. Strauss finally states, “let the teachers teach at school and the parents parent at home,” which should be happening, but unfortunately, it is not. Strauss and her husband are not the teachers, and do not want their job of a parent becoming having to make sure her son, exhausted and tired, does his homework or finishes his project. Her idea plainly states that school and work should be done at school, and family time should be done at home.
The amount of homework does not correlate with less rigor or easier academics. Students still learn, grow, and mature without spending their whole day working. Gaithersburg Elementary School in Rockville, Maryland eliminated homework all together in 2012 (Pawlowski). Students, parents, and teachers: all still say the policy is working fine and all the material is still getting covered (Pawlowski). Students can learn at school and then come home to have a few hours of free time before forced to repeat the same cycle over again. Children are stripped of their childhoods, prohibiting from acting carefree and adventurous. “There are many ways to succeed in life and many paths to a sufficient and satisfying livelihood” besides sitting in front of a computer all day, cramming information into our children's’ tiny brains (Workaholic Students). When children do not appreciate learning, school becomes a hardship and burden. The rigor of an average student’s day in this era will lead to children getting burned out and losing all motivation.
Abeles, Vicki. "Is School Making Our Children Ill?." New York Times. 03 Jan. 2016: SR.2. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
---. "Workaholic Students." Los Angeles Times. 29 Jan. 2016: A.19. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Kohn, Alfie. "The Case Against Homework." U.S. Catholic. Feb. 2016: 24-25. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Pawlowski, A. "How a "no-homework" Policy Is Working for These Schools."
TODAY.com. 8 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
Strauss, Valerie. "Parent: No, My Kindergartner Won't Be Doing That Homework Assignment."
Washington Post - Blogs. 24 Jan. 2016: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.