Why Too Much Homework Is Bad: Professional Opinion

Homework is a good thing, right? It leads to higher test scores and doing better in school, doesn’t it? Well, that depends on the kind and amount of work assigned. At a certain point, it does not correlate to higher student achievement. Essentially, too much homework is bad and the wrong kind of work is bad.

Habitually assigning work that takes up too much of students’ time is not beneficial for several reasons. First, it decreases the likelihood that students will actually complete their tasks. If a student is overwhelmed with work, she or he may be less likely to attempt or finish it. Second, it decreases the amount of time students have to develop other skills. If a student is solely focused on schoolwork, both inside and out of the classroom, there is less time for creativity, extracurricular activities, work experience, and family.

The type of homework assigned is also of concern. Empty tasks or unnecessary busywork do nothing to advance or reinforce the concepts that are learned in the classroom. Students recognize this type of assignment as meaningless and a waste of their time, meaning they are not likely to complete this work or to spend quality time on more meaningful work because they must also devote time and effort to unnecessary and pointless exercises.

Aside from busywork and excessively time-consuming assignments, homework itself is not bad. From high school through college, homework is a valuable way for students to gain the skills and knowledge they need to excel in each subject area. In college especially, students do not spend as much time in the classroom as they do in high school—three hours per week per class as opposed to five hours per week. Additionally, college students generally take fewer classes than they do in high school—four to six versus seven to eight. Therefore, they need to devote more time outside of class to their studies to make up for this disparity.

Ultimately, there needs to be a balance between school and home life. Education is important, but there is more than one kind of education. Students must be given the opportunity to become well-rounded and valuable members of society with a range of experiences, skills, and educational proficiencies. The most obvious learning happens through schoolwork, but the classroom isn’t the only place that knowledge is gained.

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