I’ve received several emails from teens in the past week, in which they write eloquently about how homework affects them. Here’s what Emily, a high schooler from a small town near Sault Ste. Marie, Canada writes:
I must have at least 3 to 4 hours of homework most nights not to mention with my part time job I even have a hard time getting all my homework done on the weekends. I wasn’t even able to join the basketball team this year because I have too much homework. Even then, my parents want to take me off the volleyball team because my grades aren’t that great. I don’t even go out anymore….
For my french class we are doing a debate and my subject is “against homework.” … My principal is even comming to watch our debate because he is really interested in the matter. I hope I am able to do it justice and fight for it as well as you do.”
A ninth grader posted a comment on this blog, writing:
As if I didn’t have enough demands on my time, what with my extracurriculars, the reading I do for pleasure, the many other things I enjoy doing, family, and the friends that are all-important to this age group, I also now have more homework than ever before. A little homework, I really don’t mind, but when you have a speech you have to give the day you return from a Thanksgiving break, a project for an honors course, and other assignments, it seems like a little much. Of course, homework’s not my favorite thing to do, but when most of your courses are honors classes it generally means that you do it anyway. In middle school, I used to enjoy school. Then I had school, but I also had time for myself. Now, I’m beginning to dislike it, which is scary for me because I want to do well. Always have. I don’t really mind school so much as I do what comes after. I already go to school for 8 hours a day. 3 more isn’t going to do that much good. There’s more that I have to say, but I have homework to do.
Margaretha, an eleventh-grader who goes to an International Baccalaureate School in Finland, but attended school through eighth grade in Texas, writes about her school:
…It is so intense. It is more intense than my schooling in Texas; that was hard but this is impossible. I get home at 4:30 and work till 10 or 10:30. The teachers just say it’s part of the IB program, but it gets to the point where it is absurd….
For instance, this week I have a chemistry test tomorrow, an English essay due Friday, a biology lab to work on for tomorrow, a biology test on Friday, and tons of math homework on top of that. Is this normal? And grades were just due, so there is no reason for this. My mom tells me I look very tired, and I am constantly wanting to take a nap. By the way, I am a good student and quite studious. But, that’s the thing, for kids who want to get good grades, we have to work so very hard.
On top of this, the IB program requires 150 hours of CAS (community, action and service hours) to be done inside and outside of school. The guidelines for what they accept are very strict and rigid; it is almost impossible to get any hours. It’s basically how well you can squeeze nothing into something. My friends go to high school in Texas, and they only need 15 compared to my 150 hours, it is maddening!! Plus, the teachers are terrible about it. They always are threatening that we need to get so and so many hours and it just makes me so nervous….
I am at the end of my rope here.