March 3, 2013
Negative Effects of Homework
Homework has historically been given to students to reinforce what they learn at school, and ultimately to help them learn the material better. However, too much homework is not helpful, and can be counterproductive. Excessive amounts of time spent on completing homework can take away from a student's social life, family time, and limits participation in sports or other activities. The amount of homework a teacher can give to a student should be restricted, and only assigned due to necessity.
Critically acclaimed author Tamim Ansary reports that since 1981, the amount of homework given to the average sixth grader has increased by more than fifty percent. Many people claim that the increase in homework dates as far back as 1957, when the Russians launched Sputnik into outer space. The new competition that resulted served as incentive for schools to try to increase the difficulty of the curriculum. With harder classes came more homework (Ansary).
Many teachers defend large amounts of homework, claiming that it helps prepare students for a world that is becoming increasingly competitive. However, Dr. Kralovec, author of The End of Homework argues that doing homework during high school has little or no effect on successful study skills of students in college. College students have only a few hours of class a week and lots of daytime hours in which to study. She says the college schedule is nowhere as grueling as in high school. In addition, the average adult does not return home from the office with three or more hours of work to complete (Kralovec).
Excessive amounts of homework can be harmful to kids both physically and mentally. A lot of homework usually means a lot of books to carry. Fifty-five percent of the Massachusetts children surveyed by researchers at Simmons College carry loads heavier than fifteen percent of their body weight, the suggested limit. Carrying large...