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August 16, 2021

Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

by Sara M Moniuszko


The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial

'get organized' ahead of back-to-school.

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Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in.

why i hate doing homework

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework. 

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says, he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy workloads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold , says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace , says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression. 

And for all the distress homework  can cause, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. 

"Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends, from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no-homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely but to be more mindful of the type of work students take home, suggests Kang, who was a high school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial 

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the past two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic , making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized. ... Sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking up assignments can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

More: Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here's what mental health experts say.

More: Some parents are slipping young kids in for the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors discourage the move as 'risky'

Classroom Management Expert

10 Reasons Why Students Hate Homework

why i hate doing homework

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It’s no secret that students often hate homework. This hatred makes students benefit less from homework. But why do students hate homework?

There are a variety of reasons why students hate homework. First, completing assignments can often be a tedious and time-consuming process. Second, many students feel that they do not have enough time to complete their homework during the school day. Third, many students believe that their teachers assign too much homework. Fourth, some students find it difficult to focus on their homework when they are also trying to relax after a long day of school. Finally, some students simply do not enjoy doing homework.

These are just a few reasons. In this post, I have explored in detail some reasons why students hate homework to help you make it better for them.

Why is homework important?

The following are some reasons why homework assignments are important in your classroom.

1. Homework is an important tool for students to improve their grades.

Homework is an important tool for students to improve their grades. It can help them stay on track, learn new material, and build discipline. Getting a good grade on homework can help students build confidence, raise their self-esteem, and reduce frustration. They may also develop better study habits and set themselves up for success in college.

2. Homework can help students learn new material and improve their skills.

Homework can help students learn new material and improve their skills. Homework can also be used to motivate students and keep them on track. It is important for parents to set good examples for their children and help them with their homework.

However, parents should also remember that homework doesn’t have to be a burden. Homework can be fun and can help improve students’ time management skills and increase their ability to learn.

3. Homework can help students stay focused and motivated.

There are a few reasons why homework helps students stay focused and motivated in class. First, completing homework assignments can help students review and reinforce the concepts they learn in class. Also, completing homework assignments can help students stay motivated throughout the week. Completing homework assignments can help students take ownership of their own learning and improve their self-esteem. Therefore, homework assignments can give students a sense of accomplishment and boost their confidence. This further keeps students motivated.

4. Homework is an important aspect of education that helps students prepare for life in the real world.

Students have to stay on top of their studies in order to be ready for college, work, and other life experiences. Homework also gives students the opportunity to practice what they learn in class and allows them to prepare for tests. This prepares students for the real world.

5. Homework can help students learn how to study and stay organized.

Homework also helps students learn how to manage their time. Students who do homework can also get used to the amount of work they will have to do as a result of their studies. In other words, they get used to working hard. This can help them prepare for future life experiences.

Check out how to handle students who don’t do their homework here.

10 Reasons Students Hate Homework

Below are some reasons why your students may hate homework. Make sure to avoid them in order to help your students succeed.

1. It Assigns Too Much Work

It assigns too much work. Homework can be a huge burden for students and can often take up too much time. It can be difficult for students to get their work done, especially if they are struggling with it. This can lead to students feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, which can have negative consequences for their academic performance. Find out why you should give less homework here.

2. It Breaks Up the Family Dinner Schedule

One of the most common complaints from students is that their parents don’t have enough time for them. This can be caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most common culprits is homework.

Homework often takes up a lot of time in a day and interrupts the family dinner schedule. For many students, this means they are only able to see their parents during mealtime. This can be disruptive to the family dynamic and cause resentment.

There are also practical considerations to take into account when it comes to homework. Many students find that their schoolwork is easier if they have some uninterrupted time after school, which means that homework often gets in the way of getting some exercise or spending time with friends.

3. It Gets in the Way of Their Other Activities

One reason students may hate homework is that it gets in the way of their other activities. This can be frustrating, as many students want to spend their free time doing things they enjoy. Homework can also take up a lot of time, which could be better spent doing other things.

4. It Can Be Hard to Finish

One of the reasons many students hate doing their homework is that it can be hard to finish. This can be especially true when they have an assignment that requires a lot of research. In this case, students may not know where to begin or what they have to do. For example, if a student has to do research for an assignment, they may have no idea what to look for or where to begin.

5. They Don’t Understand the Instructions

Many students hate homework because it may be difficult to understand the instructions for the homework assignment. For example, unclear instructions on homework assignments can leave students struggling with how to tackle them. This can be frustrating and lead to negative feelings towards homework.

6. They’re afraid of failing if they don’t do their homework.

Students dread homework because they’re afraid of failing. For some, this is a legitimate fear. If you don’t do your homework, you could end up getting a low grade that will reflect poorly on your academic record and future prospects. For others, however, doing their homework is simply not something that comes naturally to them.

In these cases, it’s easy to give in to temptation and skip or ignore their homework altogether. This can have serious consequences, both academically and socially. Not only will students suffer from poor grades if they don’t do their homework, but they’ll also be less likely to get good jobs or admission into prestigious colleges if they’ve failed.

7. They Get Distracted by Social Media or Texting Friends.

One of the major reasons students hate homework is because they get distracted by social media or texting friends. Sites like Facebook and Instagram can be addicting, and it is hard for them to focus on anything else when they are constantly being pulled in different directions.

Some students even find themselves doing their homework in between classes or during class because they don’t have time to do it at home. This diversion from what should be a productive activity can really add up over the course of a semester.

8. They find it boring or dull.

They find homework boring or dull. Students often find homework to be a drag and a burden, rather than something that helps them learn. Homework can be difficult and time-consuming, making it difficult for students to get the most out of their education. Due to that, most students see homework as a boring activity. For example, some students may find it boring to write essays and other types of written assignments.

9. They Can’t Concentrate or Pay Attention to Details.

One of the main reasons students hate homework is because they can’t concentrate or pay attention to details. When they have to focus on a single task, it becomes incredibly difficult for them. Additionally, when details are important, students find it harder to pay attention. This can lead to mistakes and frustration.

10. The Penalties are too severe if they miss a deadline.

This is one of the main reasons students hate homework. If a student misses a deadline, they may have to suffer the consequences, such as having to do more work or having their grade reduced. This can be extremely frustrating for students who are trying to stay on top of their schoolwork, and it can lead them to dislike homework altogether.

In conclusion, homework is a source of frustration for many students. There are several reasons why students hate homework, including its negative impact on their mental and physical health, its negative impact on their grades, and its negative impact on their social lives. To make homework less frustrating for students, you should give students more time to complete it, allow them to work in groups, and provide feedback on their progress. In all, give less homework to your students if you want to help them benefit from it. Beware of the pros and cons of homework when using it.

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The Pros and Cons of Homework


Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

Photo by  from  Pexels

Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

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