Overload by Anna Gorman

Students around the world complete homework every night, and many do so along with extracurricular activities, but the benefits of homework are being questioned now more than ever. Reading Rockets is an online source of literature that researches the time and effectiveness of learning methods for children. According to the organization, there is no conclusive evidence to support that homework has either positive or negative effects. The question arises, how much homework is too much, and what are the true benefits of homework? 

Only in the twentieth century did homework begin to exist in the form that it does today. Currently, students have multiple hours of homework each night. According to research performed by Reading Rockets, the average high school student spends about 17.5 hours on homework each week. As stated in the government-issued article, “Let’s Do Homework!”, homework can lead to an improvement in test scores. Homework can also help parents become involved in their child’s education. Tammi Minke, a major in curriculum and development from the University of Saint Cloud, summarized the impacts of homework in her article, Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement. She wrote that homework provides a helpful opportunity for parents to see what their children are learning in school and possibly help them. 

While many teachers and schools support the assigning of homework, other studies show that homework leads to higher chances of cheating and less time for sleep. The average teenager should get nine hours of sleep; however, with an average of 17.5 hours of homework each week, in addition to daily extracurricular activities, teenagers seldom get enough sleep. This can bring poor performance during the school week. One survey conducted at Mira Costa High School, a public high school in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, indicates that just less than forty-five percent of students say that homework is their main cause of stress. Having significant amounts of homework can also lead to copying and plagiarism. Indeed, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, a website featuring academia-focused articles, more than forty percent of college students say that they have cheated on homework. The fact that the assigning of homework can lead students to copy others’ work evidently contradicts what is arguably homework’s main purpose: to advance learning. 

Homework may enhance a course’s curriculum by allowing students to complete some work at home. Nevertheless, many students see homework as a time-consuming exercise that has more disadvantages than advantages. Today, many schools have decided to eliminate completely or lessen the amount of homework assigned. However, while the benefits of homework are still widely debated, this practice remains, in most of America, a substantial and important part of learning in schools.

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