Excess homework stresses more than it assesses

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Photo by Buthaina Asamarai

Although some may expect for there to be less homework when students are battling a deadly disease, teachers have shown this year that at- home struggles are not a big enough excuse for a rollback on work.

Finally! School’s out! It is the time of day to unwind, relax and take a break. Sadly, though, the pandemic has made school life, home life, social life and work life unbearable, with too many responsibilities for students at the end of the school today from teachers.

These uncertain times have proven to be difficult for everyone, especially for students. Some have been struggling to catch up with school work and a lack of motivation may be a big factor. It’s been hard, to say the least, for students due to the change in environment. Simply put, Heights at Home is just not the same as being in an actual school building.

Currently, at Columbia Heights High School, students have been doing online assignments with the help of their teachers through an application called Zoom which allows them to see and hear teachers from a screen. Each teacher has their own personal amount of assignments that they give to their students.

It may seem like teachers always give assignments and homework each class, but that’s because they want their students to gain a better understanding of the lesson being taught. Getting assigned and doing homework can benefit students to get a good grade on a test or other form of assessment, but that also depends on if they study and really absorb the material.

Despite these efforts, most students can agree about these struggles of getting too much homework. Nowadays, some students may lack motivation because of the lack of the ability to concentrate. Since everyone has a different type of home environment, students who have younger siblings oftentimes take care of them. When we were in person, everyone had relatively the same in-school routine, giving many opportunities throughout the day for some homework to get done and even a homework center after school that gave students the chance to meet with teachers in the subject they most needed help. Although after school office hours help to replace Homework Center, learning through a screen may never be as effective as working in person, side by side.

“School has been so difficult because I have a teenage sister that I take care of since my mom works,” Jaida Burton (12) said. “I also have a part-time job after school.”

Some students also struggle with their mental health, which understandably could lead them to not have the energy and motivation to show up to school, even when it comes to doing assignments.

Oftentimes, students may feel drained and unmotivated with school, and that leads to them not getting anything related to school done even though they may have some free time. It is easy to feel hopeless and tired of having to endure through school when it is difficult to get the help you need through a screen. 

Many parents can agree that they see their children struggling to catch up and stay on track in school. They also notice that their child looks tired and hopeless or that their behavior is off by being stressed or upset and never around besides in their room.

“My oldest daughter is always drained from going to school then to work,” Jaida Burton’s mother, Theresa Burton, said. “She’s always trying her best to make school her top priority by getting her overload of assignments done.”

An abundance of homework can affect students negatively since they may also have other things to do outside of school, which makes it hard to find free time if there are a couple of new assignments each day. Classwork time isn’t always the best since there are a lot of distractions at home and students can’t ask for help since it’s not the same as if the students and teachers were in the same building. Teachers can’t really help students as much as they want to because they don’t know which students are having the most difficult time focusing or having other problems in their life.

As a student who is having a hard time trying to catch up on school work, I urge teachers to consider giving less homework since students already have a plethora of responsibilities, not to mention outside-of-school activities that bring a lot of meaning and joy to students’ lives. It has been difficult for everyone to get used to the new virtual learning routine, but hopefully with increased communication between students and teachers, third quarter can run more smoothly for students.