Since Roberto Nevilis introduced it to the world as a punishment in 1905, there have been many arguments to whether or not homework should be required. What initially started as punishment for kids who messed around in class has become a mandatory task that all students are required to do daily. I’m here to end that, I intend to show you that students should not be required to complete homework for a grade. Homework consumes too much time and leaves no space for extracurricular activities and causes health problems.
On top of that, many students don’t even have the resources required to complete the homework. Despite these things, homework is still a graded assignment that if failed to complete, can drastically bring down a student’s grade. Consider the fact that the American standards for homework is much lower than anywhere else in the world. CNN conducted a study that showed that on average, in America students receive three times more homework than the recommended amount. 56% of students said that homework is a primary source of stress and frustration. Stress causes a vicious cycle.
It can lead to heart diseases, depression, exhaustion, and pain, which in turn lead to more stress. A study conducted by Netscape from AOL and confirmed by Jawbone (ABC) found that because of school and homework, most students went to bed at around 11:50 pm and wake up at 6:00 am, getting only a little more than six hours of sleep. The human body needs at least seven hours and eighteen minutes of sleep, which means that the average student is sleep deprived. This is a major problem, because sleep deprivation can increase risk of chronic diseases like strokes and heart attacks.
In addition, lack of sleep can impair memory and brain functions. Extracurricular activities are important, as they can improve students’ behaviour, give them new perspectives, release energy, learn new things, and improve their communication skills. Many students do extracurricular activities, and they devote a lot of time to these activities. However, as shown by both Alfie Kohn, a school principal, the current amount of homework assigned is enough so that the average student without extracurricular activities complain about being sleep deprived.
Homework doesn’t leave any time for extracurricular activities. Kids who do extracurricular activities often devote more effort to those activities than homework. Of course, many adults will argue that if the kids can’t handle the work, they should quit the sport or class; school is more important. But this isn’t the case. The kids are right to take their sports more seriously than homework. In senior year of high school, when they apply for colleges, these activities will do more for them than a perfect track record with homework.
Their special skills in sports will draw attention from recruiters after college. In the end, extracurricular activities will bring you farther than doing homework, but doing homework takes up the time needed for extracurricular activities. Many schools in America are incorporating teaching styles that require the students to have computer access. This is a great thing, as learning is getting more and more interactive. However great this may seem, there’s a catch. It leaves kids in families with limited computer access at a disadvantage.
In a study by Edward Graham, it was found that in America, between 65% and 75% of the student body are people who qualify for reduced price school lunch plans simply because their families can’t afford full priced school lunches. These students, if you haven’t guessed also have limited access to technology and the school know that. Despite that, they still get assignments that require computers, and they get graded, even though they didn’t have the resources to complete the assignment. Many adults will argue that homework is an important part of school because it provides extra practice for students and can serve as a form of studying.
This, however, is simply a myth. Many experiments have shown the same results; there is absolutely no correlation between the completion of homework and test scores. Homework should not be a graded assignment, as it can cause health problems and many students have neither the time nor resources to complete it. However, I believe that homework should be assigned, just not as a mandatory assignment that goes in the grade book. Instead, homework should be more like extra credit; it’s the student’s whether or not they complete it, and it won’t hurt their grade if they can’t complete it.