If you’re a student, whether it be an elementary, middle, or high school, there’s one thing you have in common with every other student, and that’s the fact that you have homework, the grueling, time consuming, sometimes frustrating work that you have to do outside of school. Although most of us students despise it or at least have a negative opinion towards it, there is a common consensus that it is a necessary evil. However, students at CHS are increasingly feeling that they are getting too much homework and it is becoming a source of both stress and lost sleep, both things that can be detrimental to the health of still-developing teenage students.
Very recently, I was curious about students’ opinions on homework, so I decided to release a survey to determine CHS students’ opinions on Homework. The survey generated forty-one responses, slightly over 10 percent of the school’s student population. What I found in the responses was very concerning, with over one-third of those who responded saying they typically spend three or more hours a night on homework and 4.9 percent of those responding saying they spend a frightening five or more hours on homework a night. Some teachers, parents, and students could argue that three hours of homework a night is reasonable, but how often do you hear about adults coming home from work, just to do three or more hours of work relating to their job when they get home? Additionally, many students at CHS participate in sports and extracurricular activities that can often limit time students have available outside of school.
Keeping in mind that many students have limited free time and around 70 percent of them spend more than two hours a night on homework, it is no surprise that an overwhelming majority of them, 82.9 percent to be specific, believe that students are assigned too much homework. This large amount of homework is also a source of chronic stress for students, with 87.8 percent of those who responded to the survey saying that they felt stressed from the amount of homework they were assigned either “often” or “always”. The survey suggests that this issue also affects students’ sleep schedules, with 87.8 percent of students saying that homework reduces the amount of sleep they get on school nights. Of the students who responded only 4.9 percent of them said that they get the 9+ hours of sleep a night, which is recommended by both the CDC and the UK’s National Health Service. Most students surveyed (73.2 percent to be exact) said that they only get 5-6 hours of sleep a night, which can cause depression, difficulty concentrating, shortened attention spans, reduced sports performance, aggression, irritability, and more. Some students attempt to cope with these symptoms through excessive caffeine consumption, which is an unhealthy habit that can have its own adverse effects and can lead to caffeine addiction.
Some may ask, if students are being assigned too much homework, what can be done considering that homework is generally considered something that is a necessary part of the education process? Well, the idea that homework is necessary may be incorrect, as students in Finland have little to no homework, even though Finland has one of the best education systems in the world according to the NCEE. Another factor to be considered is that 63.4 percent of students surveyed at CHS supported a longer school day if it meant that there was no homework outside of studying and occasional projects. Only 22 percent of those surveyed opposed the idea, with the rest either having no opinion or not being sure about the idea. Even if the school day is not extended, it’s not much to ask that teachers simply assign less homework – we already spend over 32 hours a week in school, which should be plenty enough time to teach students most of what they need to know for tests, projects, quizzes, and more. What happens next is only up the school administration and teachers at CHS. Now go get your 5 hours of sleep – you need it.
Link to survey results: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1I3ul1WNbeCnK8T-8UKMWhCY8dNTQvyNqYPP_LZlbgO0/viewanalytics