Expectations vs. Reality: Homework

“The time necessary to complete homework should fall somewhere between 1 ½ and 3 hours per night. If assigned before a weekend, the homework should be a normal assignment for one night” states page 12 of the Pentucket High School Student Handbook.

This seemingly reasonable amount of time for homework however, is becoming more and more unrealistic for students who are in both honors and advanced placement classes. 

When asked how long they believe their students spend on homework, most teachers said between three and four and sometimes five hours a night. Mr. Goguen said that an hour of homework per class adds up to five hours of homework a night- this is just too much time to be spent on homework.

On the other hand, Mrs. Costello believes that we students spend one hour on homework a night, and we simply spent too much time procrastinating, therefore, we just think we take three to four hours to do homework. But how much time do students actually spend on their phones procrastinating?

Junior, Emmy Desjardins says that for every hour of homework she takes a 15 minute break. During this break she may be checking her phone, but she is also doing other things, such as: having a snack, going to the bathroom, laundry, or doing other small chores. Other students agree that they procrastinate from about 30 minutes to an hour. However, students do need a break between their seven hour school day and three to four hours of homework.

Students also say that the amount of weekend homework is getting to the point where they don’t even have a weekend anymore. Beebe Jackson says that on the weekend she does about seven hours of homework. Along with chores, sports, and hanging out with friends, time for homework dwindles over the weekend.

Teachers do acknowledge that each student learns differently and the time needed for homework will differ depending on the student. Either way however, homework is taking up far more time than expected.

Desjardins says, “School and homework are sort of like a sport. School is the practices- the place where we learn the skills. And homework is conditioning, and the tests and quizzes are the games and playoffs.”

But there is a point where too much training and conditioning becomes bad for the body; the same can be said about school and homework. Students who work too hard and long on homework become drained and tired and therefore their brains do not act as effective sponges.

Spending three to four and sometimes five hours on homework a night appears to be counterproductive. Students get into the vicious cycle of staying up late, being tired the next morning and day, just to stay up late again. Students do not even have time to recover over the weekend; there is no escaping the mountainous piles of homework.

Something needs to change and soon. If there is no change, we run the risk of being over tired, over worked, and stressed to the breaking point.

So, I leave you with this, what changes can be made to student’s homework load; whether it is less homework or less procrastination between school and homework.