Striking the balance: homework and fun


Yusuf Husain

Sophomore Kaidi Hu needs a moment as he sees how much reading there is in his English II Honors course with Ms. Saunders.

With the sharp increase in homework and other outside-of-school assignments, students are completely stressed out and overwhelmed by the amount of homework their teachers are assigning each night. However, most students don’t realize that there’s a reason behind the influx of work—teachers claim there are significant benefits to homework, and that they’re not trying to stress or overwhelm their students.

For some students, like Anisha Garodia, sophomore, the amount of homework is not bothersome, though she says she takes all honors and one AP class.

“I  spend about two hours a night on homework,” Garodia said. “The amount of work teachers give out is OK.”

Unlike Garodia, most students would agree that the amount of homework given on a daily basis is demanding too much from students. They argue that students are forced to limit activities and sports so that they can make time for homework.

“I’m stressed out, and I don’t have time to do things I enjoy,” said Victoria Merchantz, sophomore. “I don’t even have time to study for other classes if there’s multiple tests in a row. It’s not like I can add time to the day, either.”

This sentiment of feeling overwhelmed carries across each grade level.

“I think the homework load is ridiculous at Central and so it’s difficult to do other activities, even leisurely things like watching TV doesn’t happen,” said Faith Michal, senior.

Many students accuse teachers of being unaware of the pressure they’re faced daily. However, teachers have walked in the same shoes that their students have, and despite what they think, teachers are very understanding.

“Students don’t realize that we were students once,” said Ms. Katie Walker, a math teacher. “We’ve experienced what they’ve been through. I get how they can get stressed out.”

While homework seems to be a burden to some students, there are significant benefits that come from homework. The first is that it disciplines students to manage their time wisely. It can also extend the students’ understanding of the lesson, as many teachers feel they simply cannot teach all the students all they need to know during the school day.

“I assign homework based on what’s necessary to enhance the curriculum,” said Mr. Andrew Laux, an AP European History and World History Honors teacher. “Teachers can’t cover everything they need to in the 50 short minutes they have in class with their students. Homework helps them further the lesson at home.”

Instructors agree that homework balance is a good skill to master since it continues in college. And with many students eager to take their first AP class by sophomore year, it’s beneficial to see how AP work load resembles college pressure.

“Students mostly understand that [AP Euro] requires a lot of work,” Laux said. “Students should know what they’re getting into. They need to think their schedule through beforehand because a large workload is simply the nature of the course.”

Therefore, the verdict is in: students need to be responsible about their scheduling and their choice of classes. If a student participates in a lot of after-school activities, then they need to manage their schedule so that they will have enough time after school to complete all of their homework.