Homework, a Cruel Punishment?

Was homework actually created as a punishment? Or is that just a common misconception? For decades, students have been tortured with homework that can take them anywhere between five minutes to two hours to complete. Students are becoming more and more stressed, and spend an average of seven hours a week on homework.  

Roberto Nevilis is considered the first real “inventor” of homework. According to college-homework-help.org, Nevilis is said to have created it as a punishment for students who were underachieving in his class, but those who were succeeding were exempt from completing these tasks. But the truth is, the earliest signs of education dated back to the Sumerian civilization. There are said to be houses of clay tablets with student exercises of reading and writing scratched onto them. 

Everyone knows students get stressed out from the amount of homework they are assigned, but does everyone know the physical struggle students go through? “In 2013, research conducted at Stanford University found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance in their lives, and alienation from society.” This study proves that homework has more of an effect on students than teachers realize. Students have an average of more than three hours of homework each night, adding up to an average of seven hours per week. 

The stress that comes from loads of homework can cause students to become sleep-deprived, which can cause a decrease in their performance in school. “When it came to stress, more than 70 percent of students said they were “often or always stressed over schoolwork,” with 56 percent listing homework as a primary stressor. Less than one percent of the students said homework was not a stressor,” says Sandra Levy from healthline.com.  

Every day students come home after hours of learning, to sit and again force themselves to learn some more. With an average of three hours on homework a night plus seven hours of school, students nowadays are involved with extracurriculars more than ever, which adds even more stress on students, giving them more work than the average student has. According to the United States Census Bureau, 57 percent of students between the ages of six to 17 participate in extracurricular activities. With all of this, students are being deprived of their social lives and instead stuck with the stress/anxiety levels of an adult. As the stress levels rise and the hours of sleep drop, students are receiving less and less sleep every night. Instead of getting a healthy 8-10 hours of sleep, which only 15 percent of teens receive, they are instead getting a maximum of six hours, which only 85 percent of teens currently receive. If teachers were less strict on students with homework, grades would be higher and students’ stress levels would be lower. 

Homework is an unneeded stressor that could be decreased by the amounts given. When the stress levels of kids get the best of them and restrict them from being a teenager and living their life, it has gone too far. The student should feel comfortable with their work and not have to stay up for hours finishing obsessive homework assignments. 

Sophomore Gia Figueroa is a staff writer for the 2019-2020 Colonel. She dances three days a week at a dance studio in Mystic taking four different classes. In her free time, you can usually find her hanging out with friends, painting, or just watching Netflix.

Sophomore Erin Buller is a staff writer for the 2019-2020 Colonel. She focuses mainly on cheerleading but also participates in volleyball in her free time. When she is not on the court or on the sidelines, she is at home watching a football game or the same YouTube channel for the 7th time.

Author: thecolonel306

The Colonel is Ledyard High School's award-winning news magazine, serving as the student voice of LHS for almost 50 years.

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