Is Homework Too Much?


Sami Farber

This photo was taken by Sami Farber in the Hall High School Library where students are seen working really hard on their homework.

 Do you like homework? Yeah, neither do we. Though we understand the importance of practicing material, homework can sometimes take up too much of students’ time. After a long day of school, coming home to hours of homework can be really stressful. With everything else students have going on such as sports, clubs, jobs, and other responsibilities, homework can become impossible to manage. When homework becomes too much, there are also negative health effects on students developing bodies and brains. 

Sami Farber
This photo was taken by Sami Farber in the Hall High School Library where students are seen working really hard on their homework.

In the article, “Infographic: How Does Homework Actually Affect Students,” the author includes an important statistic, “According to a study by Stanford University, 56 percent of students considered homework a primary source of stress.” This alarming number obviously means there is too much homework given. It can become difficult for students to balance homework because many are also involved in activities after school, or have responsibilities; sports, jobs, caring for siblings, and school clubs, all possibly affecting one’s homework schedule. Additionally, after these commitments are all done, homework must be completed leaving little to no time for oneself. 

The result of this stress on students’ growing and developing bodies can be harmful. The article continues to point out, “Too much homework can result in lack of sleep, headaches, exhaustion and weight loss. Excessive homework can also result in poor eating habits, with families choosing fast food as a faster alternative.” When students begin to feel these symptoms as a result of their busy schedules, it becomes even harder to complete their day to day activities, resulting in a constant pattern of struggle. Where is it appropriate to draw the line on how much homework is healthy to complete?

Homework can impact one’s social life by taking time away from being with friends and family. Students need interaction outside of school in order to have a healthy lifestyle. Managing time with sports and other extracurricular activities on top of hours of homework can lead many students to feel all types of pressures and anxiety.

In the article “Infographic, How Does Homework Actually Affect Students?” published by Oxford Learning, the authors elaborate on the many factors that contribute to the problems associated with homework overload. They mention how “students who have large amounts of homework have less time to spend with their families and friends. This can leave them feeling isolated and without a support system.” Students who do not spend time with their friends and family often can lose those bonds, leading them to feel lonely.  

Jenna Surowiec
This photo was taken by Jenna Surowiec and shows how students are taking time out of their lunch period, which is supposed to be a time for a break, to complete homework.

Doing too much work and not having any social interaction can actually cause students to become increasingly unmotivated. The article explains, “Homework can affect students’ health, social life, and grades. The hours logged in class, and the hours logged on schoolwork can lead to students feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated.” Those hours taken to do homework are hours that take away from students being active and playing sports, which affects their physical health as well. Homework can be helpful to a certain extent, but having busy work piled on by teachers does not actually help students. It is hard to tell where the line needs to be drawn and leads us to ask ourselves if it will ever be found.

We interviewed three students at Hall High School with diverse qualities. Marisa Ciafone is a female who is 18 years old and a senior. We also talked to another female named Abby Magendantz, who is a 14-year-old freshman student-athlete. Throughout the school year, she participates in three sports including soccer, basketball, and track. Kevin Tiernan also is a student-athlete at Hall. He plays football and lacrosse as a 17-year-old junior. 

The two female students we interviewed both expressed how they feel that homework can sometimes occur as useful, but usually exists as mostly just busywork. Although, Kevin Tiernan felt he benefits from homework, and stated how “It helps give students examples of the content they’re learning in school to help them obtain the knowledge for quizzes and tests.”

All of the students stated that they feel the workload can be too much and on multiple occasions, they have lost sleep because of the amount they received. Many times Marisa has had to stay awake until 2 am because of the work. She stated, “that means I got a total of 4 hours of sleep those nights, and that isn’t healthy.”

Most teachers would say homework has beneficial learning value, however, the evidence shows that it should be limited in some way to compensate for extra-curricular activities. In an article written by Lauren Farrar, she explains that “. . . the National Education Association recommends the ten-minute rule,” which essentially outlines a system in which students receive ten minutes of additional homework according to their grade level. For example, a freshman (ninth grade) would receive ninety minutes of work, a sophomore (tenth grade) would receive one hundred minutes of work, and so on. This format seems mostly fair, however, some may argue that one hundred twenty minutes for seniors is still excessive. Overall, although the available solutions may not be perfect, it is comforting to know that some thought is being put into how we can lower stress on students. Hopefully, future students will have more manageable schedules that allow them to enjoy their time outside of school.