Why Homework Is the Enemy of Teenage Mental Health

What can we do to find a cure?

In the current state of the education system, students are stressed on a nightly basis because of the tons of homework they must complete in the span of one night, week, etc. 

Students are being given an unhealthy amount of homework on a nightly, or weekly basis. They are constantly feeling depressed and lack confidence as their teachers from all around the world are throwing homework assignments to the left and right.

The education system should be more considerate of what students’ lives are like at home so they can help out the students mentally, rather than focus on giving them work to do every night.

On average, high school students are assigned 3.5 hours of homework per week, middle school students are assigned 3.2 hours of homework per week, and elementary school students are assigned 2.9 hours of homework per week. This data represents how the homework amount increases significantly once students enter middle school, which is when students begin to feel stressed about the pressure they have on their shoulders. Students here at SHA spend 1-2 hours of homework per night, which would make the weekly average much higher than 3.5.

“I’m getting homework for most or all of my classes and that’s stressful.” –Anthony Santiago

As a student, Santiago feels like he is expected to do so much in what seems to be a small amount of time, which leads to him becoming stressed with it and other duties he must handle at home.

“They’re under pressure to succeed, to win, to be the best and to get into the top colleges,”  says professional school counselor, Dr. Raychelle Cassada Lohmann. “With so much pressure, is it any wonder today’s youth report being under as much stress as their parents?” Coming from a professional counselor for teens, this issue is a lot more serious than it seems. Dr. Lohmann also stated “In fact, during the school year, teens say they experience stress levels higher than those reported by adults, according to a previous American Psychological Association “Stress in America” survey.

There needs to be a solution to this excessive homework issue. What needs to be done is teachers need to give a smaller amount of homework per week. The current state of the homework issue is too much for the students. Considering how students like Santiago are reacting to the amount of homework and how students seem to lose their minds because of it, teachers need to think more about that and take action on it. Students’ mental health matters just as much as their future.

Even though students are receiving a lot of homework on a weekly/nightly basis, it still has its benefits. One of those benefits being improved test scores. While being given homework, students can understand the material better and get to show that on their tests. They receive good test scores, but they decline after not being given homework. “There have been studies that show that doing homework in moderation improves test performance,” says Dr. Lohmann. This is saying that homework is very useful when it comes to tests based on what the homework assignments covered. Homework does help improve important test scores, but it still causes students to become overly stressed out and lack confidence in their ability as students. The issue of students stressing about homework is more important than their grades.

As a student, I have had many times where I blamed the school and teachers for giving a lot of homework to complete. I have been infuriated by the fact that I wasn’t able to complete all my homework in the time I had to complete it. At the end of the day, it was my fault for not managing my time right. This is an example of how students feel when given too much homework; they blame everyone except for themselves, and that is not at all a good thing.

With that said, all students must take action on this issue. They must think more about the present than the future. Teachers are completely ignoring the issues students have at home and giving out tons of homework and expecting it to all be turned in at the exact due date. This has to end; teachers need to be more concerned about the students they supposedly “care” a lot for.