Students question the true effectiveness of homework

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Students question the true effectiveness of homework

Mac Stone, Feature Editor

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Homework.

Students have been doing homework since the time they were in elementary school, and some now question its effectiveness.

The questioning stems from what many students say is their teachers simply assigning busy work that doesn’t even relate to their class, but for many teachers, that isn’t their intent.

“It seems to me that in an ideal world, homework is something meaningful and would give students a chance to practice or master something they’re taught in class,” Head Counselor Leah Piekarz says. “For instance, being able to learn concepts and apply them to problems in math, also, it’s hard to learn a language without practicing it.”

Another reason students have come to question homework is because of the stress it brings and the simple amount of time it consumes, making it almost like a second school for them. According to The Washington Post, studies have shown that heavy homework loads can affect the mental and physical health of many students. It can also result in little to no time for other activities outside of school.

“I get stressed about homework all the time,” sophomore Maddy Aaronson says. “It can definitely keep me up later but if I manage my time well enough it won’t really get in the way of my activities.”

The intense schedule of a student’s day can end up resulting in nearly seven or eight different subjects of homework every night, and many students are challenging themselves with harder courses as they become upperclassmen.

“There are plenty of different situations when it comes to homework,” Piekarz says. “We have an intense schedule, it’s a nine period day, and it’s a lot of subjects in one day. There’s plenty of work involved, and I can definitely sympathize with how overwhelming it would seem, especially if you’re very active with a job or other responsibilities outside of school.”

There are plenty of students who do believe that homework can help them in the classroom. “The English homework I do really helps me lead discussions in class and it helps me break down reading sections,” sophomore Max Honzel says. “Homework helps in plenty of classes. When it comes to physics, if I didn’t do my homework I probably would have failed by now, but I can see where other students come from though when they say it’s stressful.”

The same Washington Post study mentioned earlier tracked the average amount of homework over 4,000 high school students from California had every night. It averaged out to around 3.1 hours of homework each night. Many students could argue that’s too much for them, their stress levels would be too high, and that there should be less.

However, many teachers and staff believe that there shouldn’t be a set amount of homework per night, and that it all depends on the class. “I think that an exact average amount of homework per night would make things too robotic, we would fall into the trap of every class having the same amount of homework,” Piekarz says. “The amount of homework has to be course and class specific, so that it’s meaningful.”

Homework can be stressful, every student knows that. While it may not seem meaningful at times, teachers are only doing their job and the homework they assign may be meaningful, you just don’t know it. In the end, the teachers make the decisions about what homework they give out, and it’s up to the students to question that homework so teachers can adjust and improve it for the classes to come.