Students come home from school after a long day of writing essays and solving for x. They’re looking forward to taking a nap, calling friends, or going out for froyo with the boy who asked them out during lunch. Of course, something makes that relatively difficult.
Studies show that homework does a number of damage to a student’s mental health, especially when they’ve already been stressed for whatever reason. Whether it be studying for a test or thinking about their outfit for the next day.
“The findings were troubling,” expresses an experiment done by CNN health. “Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives.”
“Homework is more practice! And practice makes perfect!” is your excuse every time you bombard students with an 18 page assignment. What you don’t seem to think about is the personal well being of the students. Not just the students, but people around them too.
According to Part of Us: A Data-Driven Look at Children of Immigrants, over 18 million children in the United States have immigrant parents. This means, if they can’t understand English and speak it or read it well, how are they supposed to help their child?
High school students are the most stressed of them all. They’re worried about fitting the standards of an average teenager, while worrying about good grades so they won’t be denied admission into their dream college. On top of that? Homework. You’re told from a young age you’ll be drowning in homework as a high schooler, and that’s the issue.
“I’ve been stressing out,” states Ariana Rodriguez*, an eleventh grader who attends Dobbs Ferry High School. “For some classes, homework is a big part of the grade and it’s taking a big toll on my mental health. It just causes a lot of stress and anxiety. Homework also stops me from focusing on myself. Even if I do have time to hang out with friends, the pressure of due dates lurks in my mind. It’s really annoying.”
We get it, everyone gets it. You want your students to do well in school. Prepare them for the future. However, how are they supposed to even make it to the future when they’re getting killed with 24 assignments a night?
So, before you assign a 4 page essay and a lab report about our solar system all due the same day, think about the mental health at stake here.
*Name has been changed.