“There’s never a break. Never.”
It “takes me away from everything I used to do,” says one.
(High School student comments on a Stanford study about homework)
I look forward to the day when the homework debate is no longer a debate. Ask any high school student or parent about homework and I’m sure you’ll hear comments about:
- Increased stress
- Lack of sleep
- Fear of falling behind
- Not meaningful
- Too hard/easy
- Less time for fun
- “Busy” work
- Piled on by all the teachers
- No breaks, even on weekends, holidays, vacations
My high school daughter was recently sick with that gnarly virus going around. For a week, it hurt for her to lift her head. She didn’t want to eat or drink anything. She was feverish. Finally, after a trip to Urgent Care and some intravenous fluids, she started to rebound. But then reality set in – a week of assignments to make up. Plus all the homework that would come from the normal week of being back to school. And the anxiety meltdown began.
A big one!
This is not okay.
On a 2015 study by the Princeton Review, over 50% of high school students reported feeling stressed. 25% said homework was their biggest source of stress, and on average students spend one-third of their study time feeling stressed or anxious. What a horrible way to spend their time!
What if we asked ourselves how much time we want to be mandated to do someone else’s work every night? (Not work we choose to do, like grade papers or write a blog post…work someone else decides we MUST do.) And then that is the amount of work we assign to students.
Seriously, we all need and deserve balance. Time to unwind. Time to explore our passions. Time to enjoy our families. Time to just be.
But if you must assign homework, consider this Spring Break homework approach from my teacher friend Toni Stout:
For more posts on this subject:
Holidays Are For Families, Not Homework
Finals = Lots of Homework = Stress = Sickness = Death, therefore Finals are Death
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