The stress of homework can be overwhelming

Is the work we get beneficial or useless?


Teachers give us homework to help study a topic, but does it really help students? Art by Britney Nguyen

Alexandria Buchanan, editor

The phrase, “Okay, class, homework tonight will be…” is a phrase heard in almost every class daily.

The Hawaii Board of Education’s homework policy 2270 states, “The Board of Education supports and encourages homework that strengthens and reinforces learning. Homework is an integral part of a student’s education. Homework reinforces student learning in school, builds responsibility, and develops essential study habits.”

Do the assignments given really “strengthen and reinforce learning” or should this policy be changed?

Freshman Ashley Nguyen said she spends on average four hours a week doing homework for all her classes, most of which comes from her language arts and history classes.

“Yeah, I believe it’s good because it helps us remember what we learned in class, but too much homework isn’t good because students have lives they want to live,” said Nguyen.

Freshman Brithanie Martinez said she spends about 23 hours a week (three hours a school day and eight hours total on the weekends) on average doing homework, almost six times more than Nguyen. She gets most of her work from her language arts, history and math classes.

“As a freshman,” said Martinez, “it probably is a very small amount compared to other grades, but I’d still say it’s somewhere in between too much and the ‘perfect’ amount. I think it’s pretty essential to the student’s education no matter how tedious and annoying homework can get. Students would forget the material if they don’t practice it, but too much homework, enough to keep a student up until 4 a.m., is bad because it tends to stress us out.”

Besides the daily homework, students also get projects and other assignments worth a higher percentage of their grade. These assignments take longer to complete than daily homework.

Martinez said, “I think that projects in particular help us understand a topic for a good few days. Then we forget about it since it’s over with. So basically it’s unnecessary stress.”

Stress is a word used many times to describe homework and projects. Perhaps  if students did not have homework and projects, they would spend that free time on something productive. Many students say they “don’t have the time” to join extracurriculars like clubs and sports because they are busy trying to keep up with schoolwork and personal commitments.

Nguyen and Martinez said if they had less homework they would spend their time volunteering, playing video games, catching up on sleep and hanging out with family.

Nguyen said, “I would be more active in school and hang out with my family more because homework takes a lot of my time. Even when I’m at home I can’t really be with my family because I’m stuck in my room trying to finish homework.”

Freshmen may think that their workload is a good amount, but as they get older, the amount may get harder to keep up with because of the choices to take advanced/honor classes, different electives, etc.

Junior Kaipo Davis said the workload has increased since his freshman year. He spends an average of three hours a week and he gets the most work from his math class. The amount of homework he gets is the “perfect amount” for him to keep up.

“Homework is good to give students so it will be easier to know the work and have an easier time taking the tests. They can help students with topics, but sometimes it gives us stress and we decide to just give up on the assignment,” Davis said.

Administrators and teachers tell students to try and join a sport or club, but that extra commitment may cause grades to drop.

“I believe that I can balance my football and schoolwork better by getting my work done in school,” Davis said, “but sometimes I forget homework and I start falling behind in class. I know I can focus better in school and make time for sports, too.”