Is it Helpful, or a Hurdle?


Photo by Jack Dalmolin

Could homework actually cause students to do worse in the classroom?

It has happened to everybody at some point in their lives: stacks of homework and notes piled up higher than Mt. Everest keep them awake until they hear the beeping of their dreaded alarm clock. Soda and energy drinks helped them survive the sleepless night, but promise a devastating crash during the school day. They wander the school halls like a zombie from the Walking Dead, devoid of all signs of life. These zombies/high-schoolers have become more abundant in our   society today. The reason? Many believe it is due to an overload of homework. The ongoing   debate about whether or not homework is hurtful or helpful to high-school students is a disputable topic with many pros and cons behind both sides.

The Pros of Homework:

Students hear it every day from their teachers: homework teaches students material that they cannot learn in class. It also serves as extra practice, so students can master the skills needed to exceed on the test,  but only if the homework focuses on important material and is not busy work. Homework teaches students how to work independently and use their resources (like the internet, dictionary, library, etc.) and can create good study habits that will be practiced for the rest of the student’s life. High school students can learn valuable lessons from homework, like responsibility and how to use their time wisely, as well as mastering  the material. There is not an argument that a little bit of homework can be extremely beneficial to kids, as long as it is assigned in moderation.

The Cons of Homework:

Unfortunately, most homework assignments that kids carry home every night are not given in moderation, and are mostly busy work. The daily after-school-busy-work will continue to pile upon students desks every night, causing students to lose sleep, stress out, and deplete their motivation for school. Excessive amounts of homework throws off the balance in the teenagers’ lives, and actually hinders their performance in the classroom. Schools always encourage their students to join clubs and play sports, but this is extremely difficult to juggle while having   to worry about completing homework assignments from multiple classes. After dedicating eight hours a day to school, students should have little to no homework. Instead, they should be encouraged to take advantage of their free time and try new activities, play sports, and join clubs.

After considering the pros and cons of having homework, the cons greatly outweigh the pros. Of course, when students are assigned little homework assignments that specifically focus on the material in class, it will usually be beneficial for everyone. However, an overload of homework, which is what most students deal with daily, can be counterproductive and cause students to struggle in school.