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Too Much Homework And Alienation From Society

When kids get home from school the last thing they want to do is start working on homework. They want to get outside, play with friends or have a snack and relax.

It’s normal for kids to complain about having to do homework, but could your child be overloaded with afterschool work?

A new study says yes.

The study from the Stanford School of Education, published in the Journal of Experimental Education, claims that children in high-performing schools in upper to middle class families suffer from high levels of stress. And these groups are at greater risk for health problems, including a lack of balance in their lives and can even feel alienated from society.

Children in these high-achieving schools often spend an average of more than three hours each night doing homework. Denise Pope, senior lecturer at Stanford and co-author of the study, and her team of researchers studied 4,317 students in 10 of these schools in California.

Researchers did find that students spending a lot of their time on homework had a better level of engagement in school. However, these students were adversely affected by high stress and physical health problems.

“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” Pope said in a statement.

Too much homework was found to be counterproductive. In a poll, 56 percent of students attributed any stress in their lives to too much homework. Less than 1 percent of students said that homework was not a stressor.

When asked how homework affects them, students reported lack of sleep, headaches, exhaustion and stomach problems. Students reported that due to the necessity of keeping their grades up, homework often came first before spending time with friends, attending after school activities or cultivating hobbies or talents outside of academic work.

Dr. Aaron Traeger, pediatrician with Advocate Medical Group in Normal, Ill., says  that with schoolwork kids have to do what they are told.

“Teachers typically do not work together to make certain days more ‘fair’  or an even workload,” he says. 

Dr. Traeger says if your kids are being overwhelmed with homework, the following are some things to consider:  

  1. Are outside school activities or sports taking up too much time? With too much going on outside of school it can put more stress on the things that ‘have to’ be done. 
  2. Is the student procrastinating too much? Usually larger projects have plenty of warning before being due.
  3. Talk with the teacher and see why there is so much homework. Is it because the work is not being completed during the class time?
  4. How are the study and working habits of the student? Working on study skills or working efficiency can make a big difference when the work load gets larger. 
  5. Medical reasons – Attention Deficit Disorder, depression, anxiety are all possibilities when a child starts to struggle. Especially if there is a very sudden deterioration of school performance. Speak with your school psychologist and pediatrician. 

Dear Donald Trump,

Students in middle school through high school are getting too much homework. Lots of students are getting too much homework, it can be a lot of pressure for them. Despite of all the issues students have, they are expected to finish their homework on time, which can cause a lot of stress. The amount of homework given to students should be less.

Too much homework causes stress to students in middle school through high school. First, “Stanford University found that students in high- achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance in their lives, and alienation from society.” (Sandra Levy) If students have too much homework to do, then they won’t have enough of their own life, which can also cause health problems. Also, “New research shows that some students are doing more than three hours of homework a night -- and that all that school work may be literally making them sick.” (Amanda Enayati, CNN Contributor) If students have so many hours of homework to do, this will just make them feel so sick. Finally, “And since many of the assignments are simply busywork, learning often becomes a chore rather than a positive, constructive experience.” (Kamala Nair)

One way to solve this issue would be to give less homework to students. An example would be, teachers could reduce the amount of homework by teaching more in class. If students would have time in class to do their homework and get help, then when they go home to do their homework, they won’t be as stressed. Another example would be, when the teacher gives you the homework five minutes before class. Maybe the teacher should give you the homework in the beginning of the class, so that way if anyone needs help on any question, then the teacher can help you. The final example would be, most of the time we have so much homework from other classes and most of the time the teachers don’t explain how to do it. Students don’t understand, they don’t do it, they fail, and they get bad grades. Lots of students are getting too much homework, it can be a lot of pressure for them. The amount of homework given to students should be less. The amount of homework given to students in middle school through high school is way too much which is affecting many things. First, your health, too much stress, lots of pressure, less time to sleep, less family time, and finally there’s barely time for ourselves. Donald Trump, I have hopes from you that you will help. I hope you understand that the amount of homework is way too much.


Kareena Jakhu