Homework: What A Dumb Idea

Lauren Hanson, Lauren Vana, Kayleen Mourey, Connor Zumbrenne

Emotional Deficits

Homework has been a constant within our education for years, however, recently has been questioned for causing excessive stress within students lives. Excessive amounts of homework can lead to mental exhaustion and emotional distress amongst students. The substantial amounts of homework required within short durations of time can lead to frustration of children, causing them limited motivation in that class. Students are being placed under such high amounts of stress that they are becoming burned out too quickly causing lack of academic advancement (Suhay). Reducing amounts of homework could help students to avoid loss of interest in classes, and would help to control stress levels. Elevated stress levels can become problematic later in life and can affect self development and work ethics. If students are subjected to stress at such a young age it could carry on with them throughout their adult life ("Ban Homework"). A loss in motive to learn could act almost as a catalyst to a decline in academic success. When a vote was proposed to abolish homework, 56% were in favor as opposed to the 44% who were against the idea (Shapiro). Excessive amounts of homework can affect students emotionally by taking away from much needed family time and physically by influencing negative sleep habits causing exhaustion. The many hours spent doing homework eventually result in lack of interactions with family and friends, or participation in extracurriculars. Reduction of homework assigned would help prevent further emotional stress within student's lives.


In recent years, the United States has added more and more homework in order to compete with other countries around the world. The amount of homework has increased from an average of 3 hours and 58 minutes a week in 2004, to an average of 6.8 hours a week in 2012 (Greenfield). It is ironic because the very countries the US is trying to compete with are actually doing the opposite and dialing back on homework to promote deeper understanding, not broader coverage of material. Research shows that more homework actually undermines academic achievement on a national scale. America leads the world in assigning homework, but time and time again, American students put up lower scores on international tests (Learning). Rather than assigning more homework, American schools need to look at what type of homework they are assigning. Most teachers assign hours of worksheets and textbook exercises, which is not conducive to a student's engagement, something that is necessary to learn. This leads to apathy, frustration, and boredom (Learning). The amount and nature of the homework assigned at majority of the schools across America is helpful for short term memorization, but not long term learning and understanding. Though competing academically with foreign countries is important, the US must do this by letting their students work shorter and smarter, not harder and longer. They can do this by assigning less homework so that students have free time to pursue personal interests and learn on their own. The homework that is assigned should be engaging and help in deeper understanding and making connections.

Time Consumption and Extracurricular Activities

Homework gives children less time to spend with their families (Hays). Many busy families object homework the most because they already have limited time to spend together ( Ly, Phillips, McNeilage). In addition a lot of homework limits students from getting involved in their community. High school students involved in sports in or outside school also struggle with having a lot of homework because they get home late and have to spend hours doing homework rather than spending time with their families. Homework limits the activities kids can participate in and some high schoolers need jobs and do not have the time to keep up with their homework on top of work.

The Positives. What's So Bad

Homework has been an integral part of society for many decades. A study in education found that in the 17 year old age group, reading test scores were directly related to hours spent on homework. It should be noted, however, that there appeared to be no correlation at ages 9 and 13 (Average). homework is being questioned now because many experts actually see it doing more harm than good. Common values are being diminished due to a combination of homework and extracurricular activities. Family time, sleeping, and even eating are not emphasized enough, and many blame it on excessive homework (Caspari).

Homework has it's benefits, but w have determined too much can have serious negative effects on the human psychological and physical states. Homework, when used properly is a powerful tool, but where do we draw the line?

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