Students and parents are stressed by too much homework

Enterprise file photo — Marcello Iaia

Special guests at school can make learning fun. Here, author Natalie Kinsey-Warnock helps a student with his writing. Julianne Kim stresses the importance of keeping programs for gifted students despite budget cutbacks. Amanda Thottam writes that students should learn and practice skills during class hours rather than being burdened with homework. And, Noah Cohen-Greenberg points out flaws in the new requirements to judge teachers by their students’ standardized test scores.

To the Editor:                 

Piles and piles of homework you see on your child’s desk.   You see the strain on your child’s face.

Students shouldn’t get a lot of homework on a daily basis.  Too much homework could stress out students and stress could affect their schoolwork badly.  Teachers are giving out more assignments nowadays, and students are getting stressed from it. 

Students often get stressed from studying for important tests and trying to get good grades.  An annual “Stress in America” survey showed that 44 percent of young people say doing well in school is a source of stress.

Students hear stories about colleges, that you have to get good grades in school to get into good colleges with scholarships.  This also can cause lots of stress in students.  Homework grades can affect students’ overall grades and it can impact which school they get in and how much it will cost them.  This clearly shows that too much homework can create unnecessary stress in students.

Even parents are getting stressed from homework because students often rely on them for help.  Parents’ wanting their children to do well in school are another stressful factor.  Parents usually compare their children to their friends’ achievements, which also can cause stress in children.  

People usually say that students should get more homework to practice what they learn at school and it would help them to remember it forever.  It is true that practice through homework will help the student to be prepared for important tests —New York State’s English language arts and math tests — that are coming up.  But they don’t realize that many students often get stressed from all of the homework.  Sometimes homework is taking time out of a good healthy childhood like playing outside, doing exercise, and spending time with friends and family.

I say this from my own experience because this homework — my commentary — has given me lots of stress.  I was not sure what to write about and I had to do several Google searches to make sure that my thinking about homework is true.  This is the reason why I selected “Homework Stress” as the subject of my commentary. 

Several studies are out there that say homework in primary schools is not helping the students.  Maybe this is the reason why in France homework has been banned in primary schools since 1956.

I am not saying that extra work and practice is not important.  If the teachers give more work during the class hours, it will reduce the need of having homework.  In order to help the students from having too much stress about homework, teachers should consider assisting students to do their homework in the classrooms.  School hours may have to be extended for an hour so homework can be completed during class hours.  

The way it is now, parents have to help their children with their homework.  Some parents have the knowledge and time while others are not available or may not have the knowledge to help their children.   This is a disadvantage to children of parents who are not able to help their children.

If children do their homework at school with the help of their teachers, all children will have the same opportunity.  This way, students will get the benefit of doing homework without being stressed about it.  Having the presence of teachers while they do their homework will help them reduce their stress.

Amanda Thottam

Farnsworth Middle School