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Homework: harmful or helpful Essay

Homework is a way of life for many students in public or private schools, from kindergarten to graduation. Often students are overwhelmed with the pressures of school, each night students are required to do homework after completing school each day. Is there a reason or need for students to come home from 7 hours of school and then have hours of homework . Is it essential that students have homework, are they gaining anything by practicing the skills they learned at school. Or are students harmed by the negative effects that homework often comes with. Should homework be restricted or should it continue to be unmonitored and exceed the limits of students in school. Homework’s negative effects far outweigh any of the positive aspects because homework often is busy work that does not seem to improve students learning, an extra unneeded stress which leads students to have little free time. Since the late 19th century homework has been a subject of debate. Although at the time students were only asked to do small memorization tasks such as memorizing vocabulary and math equations, it was still a topic of debate.

By the end of the 19th century the progressive education movement began. In the early 20th century many influential individuals and parents group reached out against homework. With the pressure of opposing views from organizations such as the Parent-Teacher Association ( PTA) forced some U.S school districts to limit or even ban homework assignments. For instance, in 1901 California lawmakers abolished homework in elementary and middle schools. With progressive education movement peaking during the 1920s and 30s, there were even move people branching out against homework. Even the American Child Health Association joined the campaign against homework, saying that homework was a leading cause of tuberculosis and heart disease for U.S children. However, in the 1940s homework gradually returned to U.S schools with many supporters. Causing high school students on average in 1948 to have three to four hours of homework a night. Even to present day in 2006 a study in a public high school in Needham, Massachusetts shows that one out of five students spend four hours or more a night on homework.

For most students homework is consider to be a little more than busy work, often students feel the work that they are doing is unnecessary. Students receive so much homework that they are not getting anything out of it. This causes students to focus more on getting the work done, then learning anything from the activity. It is unfair to expect students to do their best when they have more homework than the time they need to complete the work. Homework assignments tend to lack academic value leading students to simply get the homework done as soon as they can. With the burden of homework every night, reading and writing becomes a chore just as cleaning the dishes would be. Large amounts of homework stifle motivation, holt creatively and diminish a child’s love for discovering and learning new things. By the time graduation time comes students will have had 13 years of doing homework, not including if the student goes on to pursue college. Given if the average elementary student spends one to two hours of homework a night, the average middle school student sends two to three hours of homework a night and the average high school student spends three to four hours on homework a night. Students spend an average of 1,080 to 1,620 hours on homework before graduation if the student only completed homework Monday thru Friday.

Causing homework to take up most of students free-time. Students have virtually no time to pursue outside interests, activities such as eating dinner with family, talking with friends and family and developing interests is what can ensure children are happy. Students are trapped with homework that they often cannot do other activities because they often feel pressure to get everything done. This leads students to feel stressed to complete everything they need to. It is actually unhealthy for students to have several hours of homework after coming home from hours of school. In 2007 the American Academy of Pediatrics said that obesity and depression from stress was on the rise due to too much work. What is the point of all this stress from work if there is no known correlation between time spent on homework and academic performance.

Research conducted by two professors at Penn State University found that students in countries in which schools assign little to no homework such as Japan, tend to do better on standardized tests. Students receive too much homework to be able to take any real value away from learning. Advocates of homework say that students need to continue their education outside the classroom and to do this homework should be given. This teaches the student the only way you can learn is if you are given a activity to do for homework. What about adults and people who do not have “homework” does this mean that they can not learn. Students will learn new things everyday even if they do not have homework. Students will be able to explore and learn in a new creative way off a paper and pencil. Although, homework does teach time management, it stresses students too much. While trying to juggle lots of activities,school and homework students learn time management but it is not effective or helpful because students are too stressed.

Plus, there are many less stress ways that can teach students time management. Proponents also state that the U.S is falling behind other countries in academics therefore students need more homework to catch u. Which is true American 15 year olds ranked 23rd out of 40 countries in science and 29th in math comprehension. All this is completely true, but many countries academically ahead of the U.S assign less homework than the U.S does know so how does adding more homework make sense. Should students continue to receive homework that is hurting them in more ways than one. The debate for homework will never end, there is always two sides of any story. While it is unlikely any legislative acts will be placed on homework small changes starting in schools could likely happen.

What is the real need for homework, what is the benefits to homework? Does it really matter if students continue to feel no benefits and have stress from homework. Should we, without changing, continue down the path of hours of homework a night even if there are clearly negative effects. What if we never changed anything would there be lights, cars, computers, cell phones or anything. People do not want to lessen homework for students which can lead to bad health, but would people not want to lessen the number cars or lights even though can be bad for the environment.


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