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80% of school students agree that they’re often, if not always stressed by homework. Homework is work given out by teachers to complete at home after school hours, used to further the pupils knowledge. However, research suggests there are more disadvantages to assigning homework than advantages and in the grand scheme of things is just a waste of the pupils time. Not only does it put pupils at risk of many health issues. It takes away from their free time which could be spent with family and friends, as well as practicing sports or other extra curricular activities. Its highly important that young people find a healthy balance between their school lives and social life.
Homework is the greatest source of stress for majority of school pupils, with 60% of school pupils naming homework as their primary stressor. the workload teachers expect them to complete outside of school is profound. The amount of stress and pressure to finish an overwhelming amount of work can lead to sleep deprivation, as well as many other health issues such as headaches and exhaustion. This then results in pupils feeling too exhausted to complete their course work during class and aren’t capable of giving full concentration due to tiredness. Resulting in them then having to finish course work after school hours, which is only adding to their mass workload. They’re also at risk of developing unhealthy eating habits by either binge eating due to anxiety or not eating much and rapidly losing weight due to constant stress. Homework also takes away from children being involved in extracurricular activities, leaving less time for sports and other after school hobbies. It also decreases the amount of time children are spending with their family and socialising with their friends. Which are also important life skills that they’re being deprived from due to their free time being over ruled by homework. Children and adolescents struggle to find a healthy balance between their social life and school life as they’re constantly trying to meet the demands of their teachers. Research carried out at Stanford University discovered that pupils in high-achieving communities who spend a lot of time doing homework are experiencing more stress, a lack of balance in their lives, health problems, Both physically and mentally and severe alienation from society.
As well as homework triggering health and social issues, it also puts certain pupils at a disadvantage. 60% of UK children live in low-income families, meaning they’re less likely to have access to the resources needed to complete their homework tasks. Ranging from equipment as simple as pens and paper, to modern day essentials such as laptops for writing essays and internet access for researching and gathering information. Adolescents living in a low income household are already at a loss as they most likely have to work and have an income to help their family. This leaves less time to complete homework as they are busy at work. Resulting in slipping grades and possible lost knowledge. Excessive amounts of homework can also take up time that should be dedicated to studying for exams, therefore they’re not achieving the best possible results or showing their full potential, which could result in not having the right qualifications to secure a good job, damaging their future.
Furthermore, teachers giving out large amounts of homework can lead to the pupils cheating. 70% of secondary students admit to sharing answers with peers or even straight up copying each others work. This is down to not being able to cope with the amount of homework they are being issued as they are giving up before they have even started. Homework is completed in a place where the teacher can’t see it happening or rarely hear the process of how the pupils came to their answers. Making it impossible to assess its value, as they have no way of gauging how the pupils sourced their information, wether they completed the homework on their own or exchanged answers with classmates. This leaves teachers unaware of the pupils true progress or the level of work they can actually produce on their own. When teachers begin to limit the quantity of the work they can begin to expect good quality work off each pupil. The amount of homework that is issued should only be assigned due to necessity. The more time spent on doing homework, the less time learners spend studying concepts or doing work for other subjects. Resulting in a no-win situation.
The only effect of assigning purposeless busywork is that pupils could begin to resent that particular subject as they never have a break from it. They will lose interest very quickly and wont give full effort in the class due to not enjoying the subject. Having a break from the learning is essential as it reduces stress and increases productivity. In a series of recent studies, short breaks in the classroom helped improve the behaviour of the students, increased the effort they put into their activities as well as their ability to stay on task as they weren’t being bombarded with a excessive amount of work and do not view it as a burden. A substantial amount of homework has been proven to be counterproductive.
Not to mention that assigning less homework also helps benefit the teachers as they then have less tracking and marking to do. This means that they then have more time to themselves and can find the right balance between work life and their social lives.
There is no doubt that handing out too much homework does more bad for adolescents and children than it does good. Homework is only useful when used by the rule “less is more”, as an overwhelming quantity of work to complete at home will only make the pupils become bored of the class and lose interest in the subject. Homework takes away the small amount of time that children get to spend with their parents and siblings. It also takes away from physical and social activities which can have a huge negative impact on their future health and social relationships. It’s all about finding the right balance for each individual pupil.
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