Homework: Help or Hurt

Homework: Help or Hurt

There is a belief that if students are given too much homework, this could cause more harm than good. Why do teachers make homework seem so important? Where is the line drawn between homework being useful and being pointless busy work?

Homework is supposed to be given as extra practice of what was learned in class that day. However, some students, especially those with after school activities, come to find that it can be too much.

“I usually stay up late because I get home from dance late, and then I have an unreasonable amount of homework.” junior Jade Hennessy said.

Being deprived of sleep can have an impact on how much information is actually being absorbed. If students do not acquire the necessary eight hours of sleep, their ability to focus is reduced. This prevents them from being able to understand the information that the homework was meant to reinforce.

Lack of sleep can also hinder the student’s memory of information that was taught to them that day. While you are sleeping, your brain goes through sleep cycles. Throughout the duration of these sleep cycles, information that you learned that day is processed. Staying up late to finish homework does not effectively help you understand it. Doing this only deprives you of sleep and prevents you from getting a zero on an assignment.

“I feel like [homework] benefits me to an extent,” senior Mikaela Kozel said, “but when there’s too much of it I rush through it and don’t pay attention to what I’m learning because I just want to get it done.”

With an overwhelming amount of homework, it seems as though we are being taught in order to memorize, pass tests and get good grades and then move on to something new, forgetting what was previously learned.  Consequently, the idea of actually understanding, comprehending and learning information is slowly fading.

Don’t get me wrong; I recognize that homework is a key aspect of the learning process. So what is the best solution?

“I think homework is necessary as long as it’s being used to reinforce what [students are] learning in the classroom,” guidance counselor Mrs. Tamme Westbrooks said.  “It has to be meaningful for there to be benefits.”

Many times teachers give busy work that begins to pile up and results in an unreasonable amount of homework for the student.

“For certain subjects I think the homework is beneficial,” Hennessy said, “but for other subjects, the homework is clearly just busy work that I rush to get done because I know that it is pointless.”

Unless the homework requires the students to use their brains, allowing them to comprehend the information, homework is pointless and provides no benefits.