Hectic Homework Hour – OPINION

Balancing homework and activities is becoming a huge problem in my life.

Mounds of homework pile up each night.

Molly McFadden

Mounds of homework pile up each night.

Molly McFadden, Editor

I have decided there are not enough hours in the day. Each day I wake up in order to go to school, cheerleading, and fall play practice. I also usually have one other random activity going on. For example, city council, speech and debate, journalism, dance, NHS, and class officer meetings are dispersed throughout the week and month. This means I arrive at school around 7:40 a.m. (even earlier if there is morning practice or a meeting) and I don’t get home until nine or 10 p.m. 

My schedule, although it doesn’t sound too crazy, gets to feeling pretty busy. I don’t get very much sleep, usually around seven hours at most. Seven hours is not that bad, but it happens every night and it is 2 ¼ hours less than the recommended amount. 

Some might wonder, “Molly, what keeps you up so late? Is it all the time you spend with your friends? What about binge-watching Netflix? Is that what keeps you up?” Let me tell you sis. I don’t know the last time I watched Netflix because when I get home, it is not fun and games. In fact it is an intense, grueling (not to be dramatic) process I go through each night called completing my homework while maintaining my sanity. 

My main source of homework comes from math. If you thought pre-calculus was fun, calculus is a hoot! An average math assignment takes me one to two hours. On top of this I need to complete chemistry assignments, write for public speaking, and study Spanish, among other things. 

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy staying busy as much as I enjoy getting the opportunity to take challenging college courses in high school, but there has to be a point where people are able to say enough is enough. If I complete two problems from each section of every lesson I learn and I understand what I am doing, why is it necessary for me to complete 50 other problems comprised of the same thing that I just mastered?

While I was considering this topic, I decided to look into the AHS handbook to see what it has to say on homework. The handbook states, “As a rule, students will receive various homework assignments each school day, and the amount of time required to complete such homework will typically be no less than 30 minutes per day.”

This sentence from the handbook really confused me. It was so vague, I could not decipher what it meant. 

Is every teacher supposed to assign 30 minutes of homework each day, or is the student supposed to have no less than 30 minutes total? If each teacher is supposed to assign 30 minutes and the average student has six classes, then each student would be expected to complete no less than three hours of homework each night. If the handbook means no less than 30 minutes total, one class has that tripled for me, let alone all of the worksheets or studying that I need to do for my other classes.

The handbook does not cover homework well and the expectations for teachers and students are unclear. I also wish the handbook addressed more about homework in college classes.

I really love high school. I love my teachers, friends, classes, and every activity I participate in, but my schedule leaves me feeling exhausted. I feel pressure to be involved and participate in what I love so I do, but I also feel it is necessary for me to take challenging courses to get as much out of my high school classes as possible. 

Adults tell students every day they need to join extra curricular activities and stay involved, but how can we be expected to complete mounds of homework with so little time? The lack of sleep students are handed can lead to many problems. Exhaustion can affect a students mental and physical health. For this reason, I am thankful for the teachers who understand students’ intense schedule and only assign the necessary homework.

All of this being said, do I think we should have homework? Yes, homework is important and essential in learning new concepts, as well as time-management. My only hope is that teachers, while deciding what to assign, take their students’ schedule and health into consideration when doing so.