Emilyn Lai / Edge columnist
Being given an overload of homework when a student may not fully understand the lesson can be incredibly straining on one’s both mental and physical health. The school community and anyone who is involved with education should be taking another look at if giving homework really is for the better.
The first issue with homework is the amount of time it takes out of a student’s day. Students will spend 5-6 hours every weekday attending school, which is already almost half of the hours that one spends awake. It is fair to allow the student to have the rest of the day to pursue their own interests and to spend time with their friends and family.
Extracurricular activities like learning an instrument or sports are vital to develop a student’s social and communication skills, and they give them opportunities to experience more and refresh their minds. But instead, students are being given take-home assignments to do on their own time.
High school students are also often given a “recommended amount of time to do homework”, such as 30 minutes per class. However this time limit is exceeded most of the time. Teens have to put extra hours into their work which makes maintaining a good grade and having good class performance difficult for students that may have other responsibilities.
One of the arguments against giving up homework is that being given afterschool work helps students develop their discipline and time management skills. But this is not always the case as students can often put off their schoolwork to do it at home, which often leads to procrastination and poor, rushed work that has to be quickly completed for the next school day. Encouraging students to finish their work before the bell rings can better motivate them to work on their use of class time.
Instead of constantly sending students home with homework, teachers should provide time for them to complete their assignments and aim for all work to be completed in class. Students can also have the opportunity to ask for help. Work that is not completed within the working time may be sent home, but at least students are given time to complete it.
In short, teachers and educators should be careful with the amount of work that is being assigned to their pupils. A balance between school and outside life is necessary to maintain both a healthy lifestyle and good work habits. Students should have the freedom of the rest of the day to spend it according to how they would like to. It is time for a change in the way people view their education.