The start of the new school year is so close that you can already smell the whiteboard markers and freshly printed syllabus handouts. Each new school year brings with it some anticipation. It is a new beginning, a chance to learn something new and it marks being one-year closer to the end of your academic career. While you may or may not be looking forward to your classes, most students would agree that it isn’t what happens in class that takes up the bulk of their time, but rather what happens after…in the form of homework.
It is a generally accepted advice that for every hour you spend in class, you should devote three hours to outside study and homework. Breaking this down, a student spending fifteen hours a week in class is going to need to spend an extra forty-five hours in additional study. If you think this number is alarming, then you are not the only one. In fact, there has been a large movement lately to lessen the amount of homework given to students.
Homework comes in many forms, including studying, researching, essay writing and daily skills practice. In an ideal situation, the primary work is done in the class, while outside work is considered to complimentary and reinforces concepts. The problem is that the opposite seems to be true and it is having a serious effect on the mental and emotional health of students everywhere. For example:
- 56% of students asked said that homework is a primary cause of stress in their lives.
- Excessive time spent on homework often leads to poor sleep and other lifestyle habits as ways of coping with the overload.
- Time spent on mandatory homework is time that is taken away from other activities, such as sports, hobbies, family time and social interaction, all of which are important for overall health and wellbeing.
- Many students go without eating or other necessities because they must prioritize homework over working a job or otherwise taking care of themselves.
Before we get on the bandwagon that all homework is bad, let’s step back and look at some facts regarding the homework machine.
When Is Homework Harmful?
First, homework is in fact beneficial. It gives you the chance to review and soak up all that information that is best suited to your individual learning style. The problem is that the average student is simply spending too much time doing it.
According to this article, there have been multiple studies involving the optimal amount of homework. One study showed it to be about an hour a day, while the Department of Education was a bit more liberal with their two-three hour a day stance. Other studies indicate that anything over two hours is essentially a waste of time because you simply stop paying attention and effectively absorbing information. According to Stanford, students who put in more than three and a half hours a day are at a higher risk of poor mental and physical health.
Other research tells us that, while it feels that as a student, you are burdened with an excessive nightly workload, the truth is that your parents didn’t have it much easier because the amount of homework given to the average student hasn’t changed that much in the last thirty years. Since even most parents would agree that it seems like students have more homework now, we need to look at why we are perceiving the workload as being so much heavier.
One answer that many would agree upon can be bundled up into one word “stress”. The stress and pressure to achieve, perform with honors and have a respectable extracurricular and social life is intense. How can you possibly have the time for all of it? The answer is that you can’t. What is the solution? Many think that it involves making homework more about quality rather than quantity.
An article from Indiana University highlights that students in the United States do not fare as well in mathematics when compared to other students all over the world. Why is this? These students are definitely putting in the time, so much time in fact that homework along can be considered a part- or even full-time job. The issue seems to be that homework is being given for the sake of busy work, to every student regardless of the individual students’ needs or skill level.
Any Way You Can Deal with Essay Stress?
As a student, how do you cope with the homework overload and still maintain your sanity?
- First, start out by knowing how much of your grade is wrapped up in the homework component, and what does “homework” include.
- Speak with your teacher, professor or TA about the homework requirements if you find them concerning or problematic. Ask if there is an alternate solution.
- Approach the school itself about its homework policies.
- Prioritize, plan ahead and don’t procrastinate.
Homework is meant to be a necessary compliment to your education. It should be a tool that you can use to learn from, rather than an evil that competes for all your free time. As a student, the best thing you can do is prioritize, plan ahead and make use of the best online facilities to delegate the essay homework to experienced freelance writers who can save you a great deal of health and teach you effective writing.