The Effects of Homework On Students’ Health

Each day as I hear the familiar ring of the last bell, I shoot out of my chair, ready to finally leave school. After a long and tiring 8 hours of cramming facts into my brain, I am excited to hang out with my friends and relax for the rest of the day. But as I sit down and open my computer, I remember that my work for the day is nowhere near done. I begin the painful process of doing the ever-growing pile of homework, which usually takes around 2-3 hours. But with all the stress and exhaustion it causes, is homework really all that beneficial?

The National Education Association (NEA) recommends that time spent on homework each night should start at about 10 minutes in first grade, increasing by 10 minutes each year and ending with 120 minutes in the Senior year of high school, with no homework given in Kindergarten. Anymore does more harm than good for students and causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. Yet many students needlessly receive triple that amount. The Journal of Experimental Education surveyed over 4,000 students in 10 different high schools to see the average amount of homework they have and how that affects them. “Results indicated that students in these schools average more than 3 hours of homework per night. Students who did more hours of homework experienced greater behavioral engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives.” Also, according to Healthline, many students have experienced physical signs of stress, such as headaches, stomach aches, exhaustion, weight loss, and sleep deprivation. Teachers and school administrators need to reduce the amount of homework they give to ensure that their students stay physically and mentally healthy.

In Finland, students get less homework, usually around only 30 minutes per night. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Finnish students get the least amount of outside work and homework than any other country in the world, and yet is the highest performing. Removing, or at least significantly decreasing homework, would undoubtedly benefit students in an abundance of ways.

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