Dear America: Homework is Killing Students

There are many debates on whether students should have homework, let’s dive deeper…



Stressed student doing homework

Ava Longo, Staff Writer

Dear America, our education systems (Elementary schools through High Schools) need to give less homework. Less homework would benefit kids in many aspects, including mental health and social life, which is pivotal before and during adolescence. Also it would lower stress levels and encourage a well rounded student.

Many students do many activities after school and need time to have a social life. They already have six hours or more in school where students are learning and taking in so much information. There is not a dire need to extend school work outside of school; it can affect the mental health of students. 

This is because the students are overwhelmed with work piling on and surveys suggest that high school students spend four to five hours a week, or one hour per day, doing homework. This puts the average time per year of school work at an astonishing 1,260 hours.

Research shows that homework is literally making children sick. Homework is correlated with high stress levels and even physical health problems including under or over eating. This stress can lead to stomach problems including ulcers, and more commonly exhaustion. In CNN’s article it reads that 56 percent of students conducted in a study say that homework is a primary source of stress.

Stress can also contribute to substance abuse, which is already an ongoing epidemic in the United States. Substance abuse in teens depicts that compared to teens that say their stress levels are low, teens with high stress levels are three times more likely to indulge in marijuana, two times more likely to consume alcohol. They are also twice as likely to smoke tobacco. 

Stats about students being stressed about homework (Westwood Horizon)

Schools are not taking into account the students that need to work to either support their families or themselves. depicts that in 2021 nearly twenty percent of kids ages 16-19 are employed in the United States. 

Also to take into account is are the students actually doing the homework themselves? In this generation access to internet and online cheating, and group chats where one person does the work and sends it to everyone else is a real issue.

Academic integrity polled a bunch of students from different schools and 95 percent of students admitted to some form of cheating. And even parents may feel empathy for the pile of work that students have and may complete work for them. Overall most students do not enjoy cheating but it seems that the stress that comes from the grade impact of not doing homework is a reason why students do it. 

Kids also need sleep, to feel well rested and able to learn the next day. Children usually go to school somewhere between 7:30-8:30 in United States public schools. Students may pull all-nighters or stay up very late to do assignments due the next day. This will impact sleeping time.

Many students are not getting this amount of sleep, which is essential to growing and learning. In fact seventy percent of teenagers are not getting that amount of sleep. Not getting sleep can lead to many problems including: falling asleep during the day, having trouble paying attention, having behavioral problems, and being irritable. This can definitely affect what education a child is getting. Homework is taking away this much needed time for students to be sleeping. 

Also the increasing wealth gap in America has drawbacks for students. Financially well families have resources that other kids do not. They have access to the internet, material for projects, and tutors. This can make at home projects and homework not fair and unequal. 

On the other hand, families with money may have higher expectations for their children and will stay up late at night to do homework whereas families at lower incomes children might be working earlier and unable to do homework, and not do it at all. 

Overall homework in America should at least be limited. There are a lot of drawbacks to it, and the pros outweigh the cons. There is more than enough time in the classroom to teach kids thoroughly. 

Mental health for students should be prioritized. And many studies back that homework causes stress for students. Kids are already juggling so many activities and extracurriculars. High levels of stress can cause problems like substance abuse and ulcers. Even though homework can benefit learning in some ways, mental health is more important.