The Reform Homework Policy

Let’s get things straight, teachers expect students to make time for friends, family, homework, extracurricular activities, and get long, efficient hours of sleep. They even want us to eat healthy, and from my experience, eating healthy takes time. We as students, just don’t have enough time in the day to fit all of that in! Teachers are urged to follow the homework standard, a “10 minute rule,” forcing students to do a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. That means that a freshman in high school has 90 minutes of homework, and a fifth grader has 50 minutes of homework every day. That is insane!

Too many students, including myself, believe that teachers assign too much homework. In fact, a survey taken at a high school in California, stated 59% of students thought they had too much homework. The extreme amounts of homework can even cause stress to kids, including students in high-performing high schools. 56% of the students categorized homework as their primary source of stress. While, homework is a main source of stress for these students, they also state that demands of homework cause sleep deprivation and other health problems. It also caused them to have less time for family, friends, and other extracurricular activities.

Also, if teachers are assigning large amounts of homework, this could lead to other issues. For example, excessive amounts of homework has lead to cheating. A survey confirmed that 90% of middle school students admit to cheating; 67% of high school students admit to copying someone else’s homework; and 43% of parents surveyed admit to completing their child’s assignments. When teachers follow the homework standard, students don’t retain most of the information. Researchers found that students begin to decline during 90-100 minutes of homework. Even if teachers assign about 70-90 minutes of homework, students are retaining small amounts.

Now I admit, I don’t think we should totally abolish doing schoolwork at home. Especially if less fortunate families cannot afford it. According to the New York Times, a single mother said the “no-homework policy” created an unwelcome burden on her and other families who could not afford the extra workbooks and programs. That’s why schools should use the “reform homework policy.” This policy is when teachers do not assign homework, but they require students to finish unfinished classwork, and prepare for test, quizzes, and presentations. This will decrease the time spent doing school work and allow students more time for other activities.

If students are cheating, stressed out, and only retaining small amounts of information while doing homework, it is definitely counterproductive. I say homework should be gone, and the “reform homework policy” needs to take its place.

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