The Ubiquity

Homework Overload!

Picture by Melissa Canales

By Melissa Canales, News Editor

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It is two o’clock in the morning. The night is pitch black, but the darkness is interrupted by a singular light emitting from the room of a high school student struggling to finish the homework assigned for the night. Tired, the student pushes to concentrate on the paper in front of them. By now, sleep deprivation is nothing new, but that does not make it any easier to go another night without resting. Despite their best attempts, they never seem to have enough time to stay on top of their work, so they carry on well into the morning to finish their assignments.

The scenario depicted above is relatable to an overwhelming majority of high schoolers. Most of them know the feeling of doom that sinks in as they retreat home after a long day of school with mountains of papers due in the next few days. The problem is not just here at Quartz Hill High School, though. It is a problem faced by millions of high schoolers across the country.

The National Education System, NEA, states that the recommended amount of homework for a student is ten minutes per grade level, meaning that a high schooler should never exceed more than two hours of work a night. Yet, a plethora of teenagers have double, or even triple of this amount!
The issues of too much homework spill over into various aspects of a child’s life, both academically and socially. A study conducted by Mollie Galloway of Lewis and Clark College; Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education; and Jerusha Conner, an assistant professor of education at Villanova University, concluded that the correlation between the amount of homework assigned and academic performance was weak at best. Additionally, the students interviewed for the study reported feeling that their homework was “pointless,” “mindless,” and “useless.” Several high schoolers at QHHS coincide with these exact emotions as they complete their own assignments. An anonymous student shared her belief that some of the work she received did not help her learn a concept and were better described as “mini art projects” that served no purpose when studying for an exam.

However, the problems do not end there. William Crain, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at City College of New York, noted that students are “experiencing more school-related stomach aches, headaches, sleep problems, and depression than ever before.” This, unfortunately, is not surprising as it is common to see fellow peers mention their homework-related stress on social media from time to time. This feeling of anxiety comes from many sources, such as parents failing to understand why their student cannot stay on top of their work, constant reminders of the high expectations high schoolers are held up to, and the simple truth that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the assignments for the next day.

Though high schoolers turn to teachers as the ones to blame for the destructive homework system, it is not always their fault. Teachers too are put under a lot of pressure to prepare their students for AP/IB exams and the SAT/ACT. Without the proper training available, teachers are improvising their own methods on how to teach. The homework dilemma needs to be addressed by schools across the U.S. so that both students and teachers have an easier time dealing with assignments. After all, grading a lot of homework is not much fun either.

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Homework Overload!