Do Kids Get Too Much Homework These Days?

Do Kids Get Too Much Homework These Days?

too much homeworkIt used to be that kids didn’t have to start thinking about college until their junior year in high school. Nowadays, however, many students start mapping out what they will need to do in high school in order to get into their college of choice. Getting into college used to be all about grades and SAT scores. Today, though, kids have to have much more under their belts to make them look like well-rounded individuals, things like extracurricular activities, volunteer work, part time jobs, etc. Many of the most motivated, smart, and hardworking students run into one particular road block when it comes to doing everything they want to do: too much homework.

How much homework is too much? How many hours should students spend practicing the new skills they learned in class? If the average high school student has six classes per day, then how much homework would be reasonable every night for all six classes? These are questions that parents and students ask themselves and their teachers.

High stakes classes like math and English have teachers wanting to assign more and more homework to get ready for the state tests. Not only could students be prohibited from graduating unless they pass the state tests, but the teachers also have their jobs on the line if their students don’t pass, in some states at least. Plus, some schools require teachers to assign a certain amount of homework. So, even in fun elective classes such as art and P.E., teachers may be forced to assign something for homework, thus adding to the time spent each night completing it.

Let’s look at what typical high school students’ schedules might be like. The students attend class from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Afterward, the students go to their extracurricular activities, such as a sport or club for an hour or two. From there, the students report to their part time jobs. The students finally get home a little after 8 p.m. and just want to collapse. There is no collapsing, or even relaxing, because there is a mound of homework sitting in their heavy backpacks.

The pressure to get good grades, plus exceed in extracurricular activities, leaves students feeling overwhelmed. They find that there is not enough time in the day to get it all done. Many teenagers are overtired and can barely concentrate in class. They have very little time to have any kind of fun. Even on the weekends, students spend their time catching up on homework and still dealing with their part time jobs, as well as the demands their parents make on them.

This overwhelmed feeling that comes from too much stress can have serious effects. Some students start taking drugs to stay awake just to complete their assignments. Other students go the opposite route and just refuse to do any more work and they quit caring about school at all. A large amount of students resort to cheating on assignments and tests just to get by because they didn’t have a chance to get the homework completed. Sometimes even the parents start doing their child’s homework because they know how important grades are. Feeling overwhelmed can also make kids more inclined to contract illnesses, such as colds, the flu, bronchitis, and many others.

What is the solution then for a good school-life balance? One action that parents and students can take is to communicate with the teachers, administration, and counselors. Many times, teachers will allow students time in class to complete homework if the students get their regular classwork completed. Teachers also give free homework passes as extra credit on tests or if students do something extra in class. If homework gets to be too time consuming, then just talk to each teacher and see what sort of compromise the both of you can come up with.

Furthermore, analyze just how much the student is taking on after school. Is there one extracurricular activity that can be cut, or maybe the student can work a few hours less at his or her part time job. Also, maybe the parents would be willing to compromise on some chores in order for their child to get homework done.

It’s a hard world out there, and because so many students are going to college and testing has become paramount, students are required to do much more homework and activities outside of school. Communication with the school can really make a difference, so try that out if need be before your child becomes overwhelmed.