Down with homework


Riley Laurence, Staff Reporter

Recently, I missed a couple of days of school because I was sick. When I got back to school on Wednesday, having missed both Monday and Tuesday, I had a decent amount of make-up work to do– around four quizzes to make up and a few chapters of notes to take.

This was not a big deal to me at all. I mean, I do that much homework in two normal nights, so I can do that much make-up work in two days right? It seems logical when the assignments are isolated, but as I went through my schedule that day collecting the work I had missed from each of my eight classes, the work kept piling up.

Having a lot to make up still did not bother me, though it seemed like too much at first. I still felt as though I would be able to accomplish it. However, when I got home that Wednesday night and sat down at my dining room table to do all of this make-up work, I realized the fault in my logic. I had only planned on doing the make-up work and had completely forgotten about the fact that I still had to complete the work that the rest of the class was on in addition to the work from the Monday and Tuesday that I missed. I immediately started stressing out trying to plan when exactly I would be able to complete each assignment and how I was going to explain the fact that I hadn’t done everything to my teachers. I did as much homework as I could before my eyelids got too heavy for me to lift and I was forced by my own physiological needs to go to sleep.

The next day, I went to school prepared to show my teachers my progress and explain to them that while I was trying to complete their assignments, I just needed some more time. Most of my teachers were understanding, but a few of them could not quite understand why I was unable to complete the work. One teacher even said to me, “the assignments only take 30 minutes apiece.” Right then and there, I understood why teachers are okay with assigning a half hour of homework per night. Some of them forgot to take into consideration that there are other classes we have to take as well.

Let’s put it mathematically. If we have 30 minutes of homework for each class we take (that’s eight in Lovejoy), that’s 240 minutes – or four hours per night. If we get out of school at 4:15 p.m., with some sports and extracurriculars getting out even later, that puts most of us getting home at 4:30 p.m. at the earliest. Taking out the four hours of homework, that leaves us two and a half hours to eat dinner, shower, and do everyday activities like laundry or actually spending time with your family. There is just not enough time in the day to have homework.

A study at Stanford University proved the detrimental effects of assigning more than two hours of homework a night. Students who get assigned more than two hours of homework have a significantly harder time balancing school, sports, extracurriculars, a job, etc.  Students are expected to do all of these things and get at least eight hours of sleep, which is just not reasonable. We don’t have enough time.

A toll is being taken on students because of the extreme amount of pressure brought on by the rigor of AP classes and the struggle to balance everything going on in their lives. This study on high school stress just shows how much school can affect students’ mental health, leading to self-injury and even suicidal behavior. In this race to get the highest GPA and class rank, 75 percent students reported to CNN that they participate or have participated in serious cheating– defined as plagiarism of work found on the internet for major grades.

Our teachers need to at least make an effort to be a little more understanding towards how stressful it can be to work, be a student, and deal with the extra circumstances that life throws at us. I say we eliminate the need for the “my printer ran out of ink” and the “I left it at home” excuse altogether and stop assigning homework. We’re at school for seven and a half hours a day, five days a week. We should have more than enough time to complete all work in school, rather than at home.