The Homework Pandemic


By Kristen Marshal, Staff Writer

As the number of COVID cases rise, so does the amount of homework that teachers provide to students. Is it truly necessary to bombard students with such an amount of homework that it completely drains an adolescent’s brain?

It is understandable that teachers are trying their best to support their students with office hours and such, but most students feel completely overwhelmed with the amount of homework given. 

“It’s extremely challenging to devote so much time, about 3 to 4 hours a day, to school work when so much more is happening in the world right now. I personally find it very tough to sit in front of a computer doing this work when it seems like there are more pressing issues in the world. It’s also especially harder virtually too, since you don’t sit in a classroom environment,” student Abby Valle (‘22) said. 

Students already spend at least six hours a day on zoom calls for classes and club activities. Then, they must spend more time finishing their homework online as well, causing students to feel utterly exhausted and unable to work. They begin to put in less effort into their classes and feel mentally and emotionally weakened, waiting for when they can finally put their head on a pillow and sleep. 

In a study conducted by a Stanford researcher, “56 percent of students consider homework a primary source of stress, and many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.”

Stress and anxiety that most students feel from homework further leads them away from desiring to learn and do well in school. The only factor that motivates students is to graduate high school and get over with it. Though school isn’t supposed to be a place to “have fun” it should at least be enjoyable enough for the students to not spend almost half of their life feeling unmotivated and exhausted from stress and schoolwork. 

Additionally, the sleep deprivation that students receive as a result of stress and homework further causes the student to do poorly in their classes. It is crucial for students, especially during the times of this pandemic to concentrate on improving their mental health rather than putting school work over themselves.

Taking into consideration that these times where virtual learning has become difficult for both students and teachers, homework should be essential but not a top priority for a student. Each individual has their own problems to deal with such as family issues, extracurriculars, or being affected by the deadly pandemic circulating. On top of all of the stress that students go through during these difficult times, they must work hard in all of their classes and complete the massive amount of homework given to them. 

I try to pick and choose what I believe are essential classwork activities and homework assignments because I know how much stress and screen time my students are dealing with,” history teacher, Jason Umansky said.

The pressure students experience eventually leads to many health problems. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, “Over time, continued strain on your body from stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, including mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.”

Students’ health should be the number one priority that schools and teachers take into consideration, and in this case most are not. Teachers must develop and create new ways for students to learn the material that isn’t just “busy work” that most give, however actually essential and helpful assignments that students will need to progress further in their courses.