How Too Much Homework Causes Too Much Stress

Have you ever felt the insatiable desire for ripping apart an endless stream of words on a piece of paper? Homework is the name for this torture. Many students have asked themselves “how do you study when it isn’t your thing” at least once and searched for lots of information about how to make this easier. Students leave school feeling accomplished due to the power and knowledge they have gained, but in reality, homework is a burden that leaves them with a sore back. While homework has many benefits, the primary goal is to bridge the learning gap at school and home. However, research shows that homework can have negative consequences. Students’ lives are negatively affected by homework. Schools and teachers must take steps to reduce the amount of homework.

Students of all levels are subject to stress from homework, which can have a significant impact on their physical and mental health. A Stanford University study in 2013 found that 56% of students identified homework as their main source for stress. Students were asked if stress symptoms like sleep deprivation or headaches, low energy, nausea, or sleep deprivation occurred. The majority of students experienced at most one of these symptoms. Only 44% reported experiencing three or more. Imagine being awakened at 6 AM, sitting in class for seven hours and being bombarded with information from all sides. Each person is assigned assignments, quizzes, and has to complete tests. It is easy to collapse when one returns from work. You may want to go to sleep, but the reality that you have a million tasks to do and additional commitments every day keeps you awake to the realities of life. As a 16-year old student, I know that this is all true. It is impossible to balance homework, extracurricular activities, and social life. Unnecessary anxiety can lead to poor academic performance and, contrary what popular opinion may suggest, it can also cause unnecessary stress. As a result, homework is the leading cause of stress among high school students. Although it is possible for children to be motivated by a little stress, too much stress can cause a lot of problems in their lives. Additionally, homework can be a source for stress and a main reason why there is so little time. To recharge the mind, students need their personal time. It is like being locked up in prison if you are unable to exercise your right to personal time. Fire Stream’s students believed that homework took time away from other activities, as 84% said so in a survey at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy. Imagine how demoralizing and difficult it would be to sacrifice their passions in order to get marks. According to Dr. Updale of Queen Mary University of London, children need to be able to do their own thing without being compelled to do so. High school students are at an important time in their lives. They need to have the space to explore and discover new interests. If they don’t have the resources to pursue their career choices, how can society expect an 18 year old person to make that choice? Not only does homework take away your family’s time, but it also gives you more time. A mother writes about the impact homework has had on her family in a New York Times article. “The stress homework causes for families is evident from a young age. My children are not yet in high school, and I don’t look forward to that. They don’t need to stop doing what they loved. Already, homework problems dominate many of our evenings.” Let’s suppose one is a high school senior who completes at least 2.5 hours each day of homework. Two hours per day of extracurricular activities and part-time work are the norm. Imagine how stressed, exhausted and frustrated it would be to try to balance all of these responsibilities. It is difficult to comprehend the struggles that students face in order to manage homework. Children should be allowed to be kids.

Students should not be denied the precious memories they have made during childhood.

Schools should not allow homework to be done. It is counterproductive. The findings of Gerald LeTendre and David Baker’s research on data from The International Study of Mathematics and Sciences show this. This study examined 41 countries’ schools and collected data about student performance between Grade 4 and Grade 12. These results showed that homework was not related to test scores. It was discovered that students in high-scoring countries like Japan, Denmark, and the Czech Republic receive very little homework. The opposite is true for countries like Iran, Vietnam or Greece, where students with low average scores receive lots of homework. Dr. Harris Cooper of Duke University’s education department, made similar findings. Dr. Cooper stated that. Dr. Cooper said that even high school students are not better off if they have too much homework. Additionally, homework has the potential to help students learn and make them more interested in specific topics. Research has shown that this is not always true. Denise Pope, Stanford Education Scholar, did a study to determine the effects homework has on students’ learning. The results showed that homework enjoyment was not related to how many students do it. Pope noted that this type of busy work discourages learning, and instead encourages students to do homework in order to score points. Imagine how bored one would feel if they spent hours upon hours doing something that doesn’t interest them. The repetitive memorization and repetitions that homework usually consists of would make it difficult for them to find any interest. It is not a task that students have to perform, but they aren’t robots. They have the right to explore new knowledge and make an impact on their grades. As such, homework can often be inefficient and the purpose of it is seldom achieved.

While there are some drawbacks to homework, others might still consider it beneficial because it helps children learn to work independently and to think for themselves. These skills are vital in life. While homework is a good way to encourage independence, it’s not as effective as you might think. Students who are home often get help from their siblings and parents. Technology is also improving at an unprecedented rate. All the information that students need to do their homework is available at their fingertips. These information are not available to students in the classroom so they have to learn how to think. In the end, homework doesn’t teach independence like one might expect. Instead, it teaches dependence on the internet and sometimes relatives.

Homework has negative effects on student lives because it creates stress, deprives them of valuable time, and is counterproductive. It is therefore essential that education reforms be implemented to ensure that homework is reduced. Albert Einstein famously said that education was not just about learning facts, it is also about training the mind to think. This is possible only if children approach learning with passion. It cannot happen if one is constantly stressed or deprived of rest. It is essential that every child has a good night’s sleep, is healthy, and engages in learning. The key to the future is held by students, who must not be robbed of their childhood. Monica Pellerin summed it perfectly. “Give the children a break… Let their lives be easy before they get too stressed.”


  • reubenyoung

    Reuben Young is a 39-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been teaching in the United States for over 10 years, and has written extensively on educational topics. He is also a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and has been honored with several awards.



Reuben Young is a 39-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been teaching in the United States for over 10 years, and has written extensively on educational topics. He is also a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and has been honored with several awards.

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