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How Too Much Homework Affects Students For Life

For most teens, homework is part of high-school life, who spend an average of four hours each week doing homework -- on top of a 32 1/2-hour school week, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. All that homework adds up, and hitting the books at home can have an effect on your teenager and on the rest of your family, too. If your teen is experiencing negative effects from too much homework, it’s a smart idea to bring the issue up with your child’s teachers.

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A reasonable amount of homework is a good thing, since it tends to have a positive effect on a student’s academic success, according to Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and director of the Program in Education at Duke University. More than two hours of homework a night, though, did not improve a student’s future academic achievements, though, according to Cooper's 2006 study published in the "Review of Educational Research." Too much could prove counter-productive to academic success, especially if the homework isn’t appropriate for a teen, because it’s too challenging or not challenging enough.

Teens who have more homework than they can handle may become disillusioned with school and may lose the motivation to work hard, according to Gerald LeTendre, head of Penn State’s Education Policy Studies department. Students who find homework too challenging may be tempted to cheat on assignments, rather than ask for extra help, suggests the No Child Left Behind research done by the U.S. Department of Education.

Teens today engage in physical activity nearly two hours less a week than they did 20 years ago, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. Heavy homework loads -- in addition to increased computer and television time -- can make kids less physically active, which may contribute to obesity and related health problems. Too much homework may also contribute to increased sleep deprivation in teens.

Homework cuts into family time, which LeTendre said was one of the complaints frequently heard during his research. Homework can also cause unwanted friction between parents and children, especially for teens who are struggling learners, found Curt Dudley-Marling, a researcher at Boston College, who published his findings on homework and struggling learners in “Current Issues in Education” in 2003. Dudley-Marling found that when teens struggled with their homework assignments, it had a negative and disruptive effect on the whole family.

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School is a crucial aspect of children’s lives. If they are unable to go school each day to acquire the skills they require to be successful in life, then they will be at a disadvantage for their entire lives. While school is an important part of a child’s life, it’s also as important that the child takes a break from his education. Multiple studies have found that most students are getting too much extra assignments, leading to sleep deprivation, unhealthy levels of stress, as well as related health problems. Let’s now dive deep and look at why homework is bad for students.

Can stress the child

Extra assignments given to children, particularly younger school going children, can lead to unhealthy levels of stress, according to research. If bombarded with countless lessons at school and at home, students may feel stress and anxiety should they fail to complete the assignment on time. Students need to learn in a classroom setting, but they should also be able to spend some time exploring other things outside of the classroom.

Can be a burden

The second reason that student should not be given homework is that they require time to rest and take their minds off school work. With all the activities in school, students, particularly those in the kindergarten, are already weary when they get home. They have spent the day solving difficult math problems, reading several chapters and memorizing long lines in school. So bombarding them with homework will make them feel burnt out.

Counterproductive

Rather than improving educational achievement, heavy homework load can negatively affect the performance of students. The stress of having to complete homework every other night can affect the student’s performance is school. Students need to learn things in a classroom environment, but they also need to be able to spend time exploring other activities outside of school, spend time with friends, go on family vacation, to name a few.

Less important

While teachers do their best to give children homework that will engage their child, it’s hard to see the value in the work kids take home. This is because some parents or tutors are the ones doing these assignments. This means that the benefits of homework tasks as the learning tool are entirely lost. The excessive amount of homework may also mean that the child is not able to commit as much time to every task as he should.

Consume free time

As stated earlier, children need time to spend with their family, catch up with friends and attend extracurricular activities so they can refresh their minds and bodies. Sadly, homework eats up the time children have to do all these. For older students, school work might also compete with both part-time and casual work, making it difficult for them to strike a balance between school and work.

There you have it, five reasons why homework is bad for your child. A number of studies have found that homework negatively affect the life of school children in many ways. Free-time plays a major role in fostering creativity and emotional development — factors as important to long-term success as education itself.