A High School Student Speaks Out–I Love School, But It’s Killing Me

Today’s letter is from high school student, Sophia Warren, a 10th grader in Brooklyn, New York.

I Love School, But It’s Killing Me
by Sophia Warren

Dear Sara,

My name’s Sophia Warren (we’ve met before a few times now). I’m a sophomore currently at Packer in Brooklyn Heights, NY. Packer is a school that prides itself on the gifted children that attend it and the rigorous academics that they offer. For years I have spent hours on homework. Beginning in the second grade, I sat through standarized tests, I worked on handwriting, and filled out math work book after math work book.

When I was in the fourth grade, each student was assigned an “independent study project.” Most kids were told that they would be working on spelling, logic problems, etc. I was told that I would be writing a novel, working at least a half an hour on it every night plus completing my other homework. At first I was in love with the idea, happy to be exempt from spelling, but it soon took a turn and I found myself miserable and with writer’s block. I was just nine years old and I came home everyday, sat down, stared at my paper, and spent the next hour crying out of frustration. My mom had no idea what to do with me. She finally spoke to my teacher and said that although I had not been writing anything, I had in fact been thinking about the story. He said that my think was not work and that I would not be allowed to go outside the next day during recess and that I would have to work while everyone else had “free time” in the classroom. I spent four months of fourth grade sitting in the classroom at a desk and working while everyone else was permitted to have fun and run around. It did not seem fair to me and it still doesn’t. The finished product kept me up until almost five in the morning. The story was over 160 pages at completion.

I have always wanted to be a writer, but that assignment killed my love of writing for over a year. I figured that if it was that painful to write, I did not want to.

At the present, I spend over six hours on homework a night. It is only just

the beginning of the year and I have already realized that my social life will have to wait until the summer. Almost all of my friends are outside of my school and having six hours of homework a night gives me absolutely no time to see them whatsoever. I go out Saturday nights and work continuously all day on Sunday. I never get more than six hours of sleep a night. I have accepted already that this year I will have little fun, see my family rarely, never spend time with them, not see my friends as much as I would like, and not have nearly enough time to do the things I like. I love music. I’ve played the cello for years now and I’ve recently quit orchestra because I just didn’t have time for it. It was taking up free periods that I needed to complete assignments in. I also love to go the concerts, I love live music, I love booking shows, and I love being part of a community that revolves around excellent music. I find that internships I once had and loved now need to be discarded. I hate that things I enjoyed doing in the summer need to be shoved to the back of my closet until a year from now.

The saddest thing about all of this is that I truly love school. I really love it, but it’s killing me. I’m actually physically uncomfortable right now, my coloring is off, and I’ve already gotten the cold that I will have for the rest of the year. My immune system is already falling apart and I find myself drinking Emergen-C every morning just to keep me alive through the week.

Today I auditioned for the play. Rehearsals run for about four hours a day. I would get home at around seven-thirty every evening and then sit down to do all of my homework. Even the director doesn’t understand. She’s planned a tech rehearsal on Halloween! It’s a holiday! It’s a time to have fun! I put on my schedule that I cannot go to that and that I will not go to rehearsal on Fridays.

It’s healthy to have fun, is it not? It’s not fair that I don’t have time to read, draw, play the cello, see my friends, have dinner with my little brother, or go to the movies with my mom. I live in New York City. I want to submerge myself in its culture and learn from that and instead I spend everyday sitting in my room, slaving away.

A perfect example of the toll homework is taking on my life (and it’s only the second week of school!): Last night I sat down to do my French homework. French is one of my favorite subjects and I assumed the work would pass quickly. Turns out that I had to look up twenty-five vocabulary words, write sentences for each of them, and then write twelve sentences about the girl who sits next to me. I quickly realized that the work was going to take me a very long time. I begin to work and along comes my brother. He’s in the eighth grade, also at Packer. He’s also working on French homework. He’s struggling through his work as well and he keeps asking me questions. This is the saddest thing; we end up fighting! He gets upset because I tell him that I don’t have time to help him and to please stop talking to me and I get angry because he’s upset. I start to feel bad and five minutes later we’re both yelling at each other. My mom comes upstairs and we’re yelling and she starts yelling and my dad comes home from work and everyone’s upset. It puts him in a bad mood and the next thing you know, everyone is angry at one another all because of frustration about homework. I really wish this wasn’t the case.

I’m reading your book right now (there’s no telling how long it will take me though with this much work to do). I hope that I can just explain to my teachers. My teachers are always pretending that they’re conscious of the homework problems but they have the nerve to blame it on time management skills. They blame it on me! I am a fast worker and it takes me six hours. A boy told me just today that his history homework alone took him almost three hours last night.

I don’t want to hate school or learning, but everytime I say anything it is dismissed as irrational and an exaggeration. My teachers just don’t get it. I really wish they did because I find myself counting down the days until winter break already. I don’t have time to do anything I want to do. It makes me cringe to think about junior year and college pressure and the SATs. I have enough on my plate right now. My English teacher just gave us a list of TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY vocabulary words. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY. That’s insane. We’ll be tested on it at the end of the year to help us for the SATs. High school has been a horror so far. I hear it gets worse. It makes me not want to go to college, which is really sad. I wish my mom would homeschool me, but not all parents have time for that or are qualified to do that. I wish there was somewhere that let me do things I love. I think I am a smart person- not to boast or anything, but I really do think that I’m smart and hardworking. I’m a straight A student and I pride myself in that, but the kids who don’t do homework always talk about what they did after school.

My A is costing me my social life.

Thanks for voicing your opinion on homework. I wish there were more people ready to stand up for both children and parents.

227 thoughts on “A High School Student Speaks Out–I Love School, But It’s Killing Me

  1. I live in the UK and I know that some of our school laws are different but the homework sure ain’t, I was told I have to do 22 hours of homework a week, of course I don’t do all of it, and any reason I throw at my teachers ends up back in my face, “That’s not acceptable.” Yeah? well neither is 22 hours of homework a week you stupid biatch! anyways, it does make me sad when I do homework, I’m have 2 years left at school and I’m currently serving my first term and I just want it to end! Every time I do homework I end up using the computer to look for private tutors or people that can make this crap disappear, but of course they can’t, at this point my school books are just self written revision guides, what’s the point of me doing a piece of work at home? Then the teachers have the audacity to say something like, “I have to mark it.” No one cares, if you hate marking work so much then don’t set any homework! I’ve only got 1 teacher who doesn’t really give a damn about homework or not, just as long as I have the information in my book that I can use when I take my tests next year.

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  2. Same has been happening for me. I am a junior in high school and usually have 5 to 8 hours of homework everyday after school. It’s even worse on the weekends, when I have about 8 to 12 hours of homework (no exaggeration, I promise). I get home from practice at 7, so at most I get 6 hours of sleep at night. School has been like this for me since 6th grade. When I was 12, I was overwhelmed by the homework and got very depressed. I tried to kill myself, so if that doesn’t show that there is something wrong with the educational system, I do not know what else will. Keep in mind I had no symptoms of depression in the past, it was due to the excessive work load.

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  3. I’m a middle schooler.. and i have homework everyday. I’m an honers straight A student. I have an obsession with grades and keeping them up. I couldn’t get to study so I flipped out and got a knife and tried to kill myself. I am trying to do my homework now and i am flipping out and i want to die. This is really just too stressful.. like I swear to god I can’t live anymore. I literally prayed to god to please let me pass. I want to die. Like I have 3 essays due today and we just got them yesterday. I have to read a 100 paged book. And a math test like OMG this is too too much I’m gonna die it’s not even funny I swear to jesus. Please this is really just tooo stressful

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  4. To all the people who took the time to share their emotional turmoil at a quite pivotal point in their lives: thank you. You have allowed me to reflect on and have a greater grasp of the beast that is the education system. I would have considered myself a casualty of both the system and my own indifference. However, I now consider myself a survivor. Of my own blindness. Ignorance. Complacence. We are sold a bill of goods called education, but I think being young, we lack perspective on life itself. And the utility of an education in living life. My question to you is what constitutes the good life? Who are we kidding when we say that we deserve the best in all circumstances. The problem is not so much with the education we are receiving -but that we don’t perceive the kind of people we are to be in a free society. We don’t perceive how we could become the means by which people can be helped. We are incredibly selfish! And why? Because we’ve been told and believe that we ourselves are helpless. We learn about the fight for freedom and justice, and yet don’t exercise our minds in seeking the same. In everything we do, we do it for OURSELVES and for our own benefit. And that in kind, is why YOU fail to be truly human. You believe in lies and think it’s unfair when life doesn’t work out the way you want. You don’t ever question the source of the Universe, and are pleased enough to be told that man is an evolved animal. You live entirely for your own desires, and are surprised to find that your life is hell on earth! Well that’s a revelation. We want to make something of ourselves with the few days we have on this earth…in fact we want it more than anything else. We’ve lost our minds and our souls to an idol, and bow down to it, and wonder why there is no happiness to be found. Look around you and realize that while in a more innocent era, you may have lived a simpler life. But this is 2015. We have computers, smartphones, GPS, airplanes, coffee machines, etc. Some believe in God, some in science and technology, some in philosophies. Just realize that this planet we live on won’t be here forever. You won’t live here forever. So I wouldn’t worry about the fact that you are stressing over something just because you have the luxury to stress about it. At least it’s not where you’re going to get your next meal.

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  5. Most of this really IS about time management and prioritizing though. I’m in a competitive high school, 5 AP classes and 2 honors classes, and have an SAT score of 2340. I’m competitive. I do homework in my classes whenever the teacher isn’t looking, at lunch while I eat, on the bus ride to school, etc. The people complaining about sleeping little due to homework are the ones that start late or, sadly, put too much work into it. Work smart, not hard. Don’t do all your homework everyday, do the subjects you have a 90 on, not the one you have a 96 on. Homework counts for 10% at my school, so I can easily skip half of my homework in most of my classes and STILL get an A.
    Take my advice, a 90 is the same as a 100 for GPA (at least in my school).
    I shall be graduating this year as valedictorian out of a class of 1049 people.

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  6. Hi, I am currently enrolled in a pretty good high school. I am a freshman, and currently get three to six hours of homework. This may not seem a lot, but it drags on. I was not a procrastinator in middle school, but now it seems like I am. As I’m writing this, I am avoiding my Algebra II homework. Does anyone have any tips on to stop procrastinating? When I procrastinate, I often visit youtube, stare into blank space, and think “I can do that tomorrow” when it is 11:45 at night. Does anyone have any tips?

    In addition, our school has iPads for each student, and it is so stressful using them. I thought I was good at technology, but apps like Google Docs, Notability, and Haiku Learning are not doing what I want them to be doing. Sometimes, I just want to break the iPad and use pen and paper, the easy way.

    All-In-All, school has an impact on my life, but I still have time to enjoy breaks along the day. I consider myself on of the lucky ones. Good Luck to all who have completed high school, and Good luck to all the people currently in high school reading this.

    Try your hardest no matter what happens, there is hope.

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  7. Currently I’m in highschool where I live, almost into my last year. While the workload isn’t anywhere as bad as the USA or many other places around the world and I consider myself lucky, I still see many people here stressing out just as much over homework, assignments, due dates and other things. They pressure us into the mindset that if you don’t get good grades, then you’re a failiure; in reality, the way it works is all that matters is who you know, what job experience you have and how much money you’ve got. I got the pleasure of doing some part-time work earlier this year and I can say that school doesn’t prepare you at all for what most jobs have you do. I don’t see schools teaching me how to restock shelves properly, how to work a cash register or how to pay bills, but yet I’m being forced to do a test on mathematical equations I can easily solve just by googling, or writing an essay on some irrelevant novel.
    If anything, I’d like to see a curriculum that’s more focused around what you actually need for what you want to do. My school does this to a degree by letting you choose what you want to do out of a standard list of everything ranging from Cooking to Computer Technology, but the main problem is that not everyone needs or wants that. A lot of people say that school is easy because you get holidays, and you get to talk to your friends. But the problem is that a lot of adults now don’t realize that it’s not like that at all. Where many kids in school have 13 hour working days for 5 days each week (don’t even get me started on weekends), you also have to consider that there are plenty of teens who have to juggle this, their personal life, AND a job. When you consider all of this the holidays are the only thing keeping many people sane; you can’t say that working for money is worse than that, at least you get paid for it and get to have a short working day sometimes, and in the average person’s schedule, even get more time to relax at a steady rate.

    Sorry for this rant, it just really frustrates me to see people argue that school is so easy when it really isn’t. I know a lot of people who already have jobs and would prefer just working over going to school because of the workload stressing them out too much, it’s a hazard to mental health. Even the teachers get stressed out after they’re forced to mark hundreds of assignments with a strict due date, the current system just isn’t healthy for anyone really.

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  8. @ Nani
    Oh my! I was thinking of saying something, but I just didn’t know what. The words were in my heart but not in my mind.
    I cannot describe how uncanny your post is.
    You took all my feelings about school and everything else—all things that make up the the salad of life—and you beautifully mirrored them in your post.
    How amazingly you read my mind that all this homework and trying to earn a name on earth is so short and futile and pointless.
    As a christian I see people wanting to become something important in life ( I am a high school Junior) but all I think in my head is “okay, ten years after high school and your legs start cramping up and the beauty you so aggressively tried to keep up by making others feel bad by always trying to look better and cooler in high school will slowly fade and you start dying.”
    All I think when I do my 3hours of history homework a night is does God care? Do I care? What is the point in all this if I won’t live forever?
    Will it really benefit me for eternity that I know the literature and art during the Jacksonian era? Of course not!
    So of course keeping in topic of this post, all this homework is so ludicrous but thinking that life will become a sea of roses if you get to do anything you want is a lie as well.
    I’d just like to end this by quoting a proverb from ecclesiates “God has set eternity in the heart of man.” No matter how much comfort or relief you receive on planet earth, your heart will always be looking for something more. Removing homework isn’t the secret cure that makes everything feel right.

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  9. I have zero sympathy for you crying over homework. The fact that so many cry about tells me this is one of the reasons we have so many illeritate, ignorant adults. I was in advanced classes from 6th grade on and I have homework every night, weekends and holidays. Not only did I complete my homework, I managed to have plenty of fun reading, writing, hanging out with friends or whatever I felt like doing. Of course I hated homework, everyone does, but I, like everyone else for decades got through it and managed to be a happy kid. If course that was back in the day before kids were coddled and taught everyone’s a winner.

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  10. Hi, the only reason i an writing this is because I too googled school is killing me. I have read most of your comments and I fell very sorry for every one of you but I deal with 1/4 of it since I am in 7th Grade but still it is hard for me too. It’s not just the homework i’m stuck with, but the TESTS as well. There was one week where me and my class had 8 tests. And we had to study them ON TOP of the homework we get plus I do the Pre – Algebra class since I want to maintain my good grades. In my opinion, I am sick and tired of us kids having to study for tests, do truckloads of homework, study for these large tests, and then parents have the audacity to yell and get mad at us just because we don’t meet their standards or we don’t get in the the top honor roll. CAN’T THESE PEOPLE SEE HOW HARD WE ARE WORKING. They can’t because all they care about is us getting good grades and be the perfect role models kids so that they can get bragging right. And my mom is constantly telling us about other parents and their 4.0 GPA kids, while I AM WORKING MY BUTT OFF SO THAT I CAN IMPRESS MY TEACHERS (even though there nice teachers). At my last year, I still got good grades but I was driven to the point where I hated school altogether (even though I still like it now). Last year at the first school I went to, most of the kids were rowdy (once I left one was expelled), they allowed the kids to play on their phones, ipads, etc while they were eating lunch, I couldn’t bring any so I just watched the kids play. At one point I thought that the kids shouldn’t do that so I talked to the principal. Later that year, we went to a field trip to a tolerance center teaching about WWII (please excuse my spelling) to see a movie. When I entered the theater everyone was tapping their electronics. I sat down and everyone got up and moved. I felt so bad I went into the bathroom and cried. all electronics were banned because of some delinquent filming a teacher and editing so that guns were shooting at her, they all assumed it was me since I talked about it. Then I go to another school, it started off well, then quickly went quickly downfall. The kids started excluding me from games and sometimes I would be able to play a game, but then I couldn’t, then they came up with these crazy initiations just so I could be in theire groups.f

    Then on top of that, I have to go two hours away from where I live all the way to Irvine, for 3 long extra – curricular classes. The only time I have to play with my friends is at these recesses (and some of them I have to sacrifice to study for tests). I have rarely socialised with my friends out side the schools where I go to.

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  11. I agree with a lot of what was said above. I’m a sophomore in a magnet school with an AP program that we are all required to take(I get all As). I also see in the comments above that many people are shaming us for complaining about home work and how these are just “simple problems that are nothing compared to the real world.” To me, the issue is that we are SACRIFICING our mental happiness for the hope that this high school death will be worth it when we get our much wanted careers in the future. I understand that in the past, past students didn’t have the technology that we have, had no wi-fi, and didn’t have the vast array of information we have at our fingertips, but because of the resources teachers have, it gives them ability to give so SOO much homework and requiring a lot of thinking. and time And yea, these critical thinking questions benefit us, but having 15-20 question EVERY night takes up a lot of time and we still have other homework to do(like 3hr notes and 40 algebra equations and let’s not forget about daily tests that classes just tend to assign in order). My dad was valedictorian and he told me that when he was younger, he was still able to ride his bike in the afternoons and sleep at a considerable time, but I get 5 hours of sleep a night and most times less and it makes me really sad. I keep doing it because I have to and because it gives me really bad anxiety and sadness if I don’t. Our society, beginning with elementary with standardized test(what 3rd grader needs a standarized test that takes up so long), has implanted in our minds that education is our ONLY job and that it’s so important and blah blah blah, What happened to fun? What happened to having peace at mind? I get it that education is important but why do we have to make it like that, Oh I know, because that’s just the way it is and unless the world implants a universal law, its not going to change and top notch students that may have average minds with extravagant work ethic , won’t be happy, and won’t be able to look back on their school life and smile. I said average minds because some students are just plain genius and don’t need to put much effort into school, but if we want grades like these geniuses we need to put in so much effort. The studying we’re doing now will get us the job we need, but we’re just not going to be happy for a while and I chose to just live with it. On another note, many people said that real world problems are harder than this, and they are but it depends on who you’re exposed to and who runs their jobs and houses. A vast majority of the adults I know, have jobs and still have the stress of paying bills and taking care of kids, but they get the sleep they need and they have the money to buy what they want (let me repeat, this is just the vast majority and I know there are adults that have it worse than this) but as high schoolers, we don’t have this as all we can do is study and be sad and do nothing but study and it’s unfair and I’m tired and teachers aren’t letting me sleep without me getting a b or c on my report card which I don’t like and if i was okay with getting b and c s i guess that I would be okay but Im not, i like getting all A’s and I’m not a loser, i have friends, but I’m studying so much that Idk what everyone’s talking about any more and idk the songs that they will be playing at the dances that i may or may not go to and it makes me and a lot of other children sad and its not fair and I really want to start a revolution in the future but idk if its just me being lazy or if there’s an actual flaw in the system and im sad and i wanna go out and see the world but i cant, i wanna walk my dog and cuddle my cat, but i cant, soo much work to get all A’s and the 4.0 that the good colleges want and its just gunna get worse from here and when college ends, am i gunna be married? i don think so because i don’t have time to talk to boys, i barely have time to talk to my parents in highschol!! what about in the future where the work load just increases, whats gunna happen then? NOTHING work is work and students now just have to do it and live with it and thats it.

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  12. i like school btw i like learning but im sad bc of it and its gunna burn me out and im barely able to function anymore. (i know my grammar is terrible but this rant just made me alot more sad)

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  13. I agree. I love school but it gets the better of me. I study a lot and people have told me I have a learning fetish. I hate everyone I know and all I want to do is go to school. It’s driving me insane I swear.

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  14. I’m in 7th grade and I hate homework. I have a GT project to work on as well as tons more homework every night. My teacher wants me to work on the project over the break but I hate it all.

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  15. I read Eva’s comment, and I feel so happy that someone else mentioned that taking school too seriously might be a huge issue here. I graduated at the top of my class with the highest honors just this summer. I did do my best on everything, but I also did the most minimal amount of work I could get away with too. I even got a few bs and cs once in a while…I think kids should focus on only putting in max effort when it’s really needed. But not for essays and projects that don’t count towards much.

    People will say that kids need to learn to how to study for harder college classes, so why not let the kids dual enroll? Or even allow them to try some online college courses? From personal experience, I can say that online coursework can be really challenging because you’re totally responsible for your own schedule…so I think it can be great practice for kids and it definitely was for me. I did all of my work in advance once it really hit me that I’d fail if I ever fell behind too much lol

    But I think the online courses really helped me to be more mature about scheduling, so I think kids can learn in better ways than how they are in all the terrible stories on here.

    I realize that schools all have different policies for everything. ..but if they can, I think that instead of taking homework so seriously, the kids should just focus on what will directly impact their futures.

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  16. I haven’t even reached high school yet, and my issues are the exact same! Homework takes me the whole entire night and I don’t even have the time to read 2 CHAPTERS IN A BOOK! I don’t get a break, and it is damaging me emotionally, giving me anxieties. Teachers need to stop and realize that it isn’t elementary school, and they are not the only ones assigning that child work. Last week, even, I had 3 tests and 1 final! That may not seem a lot, but in a two day window, it sure is. It is becoming increasingly unbearable. I hope there is someway teachers might be able to be reached- and stopped.

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  17. my problem is my schools drop restrictions. So i am a sophomore taking 2/4 junior classes which are Chemistry honors World History 2 honors English 10 honors and Algebra 2 honors. Well the school has t to where you can drop only drop classes from sept 22-november 1 and i thought i understood all my classes but of course after the dead line everything in my algebra class got hard, i used to have a b in there and after one bad grade it is now down to an f and i dont know what to do i cant get tutored because they dont offer an activity bus after school and my parents are working so of course i cant do anything and he doesnt offer extra credit because he offers it on his tests whic is ONE PROBLEM that nobody knows how to do unless you like read everything about algebra 2 before hand. i cant study because he gives us horrible notes and i have no time because my mom makes me do so much at home and i have homework from my other 7 classes. Today he was talking about how he teaches and its our fault if we dont get it and get help, as long as he still gets his paycheck! SERIOUSLY why do teachers suck???

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  18. I think it depends how much homework you get. I get about half an hour every 2 days. But, If you get 2 hours plus a day, then that isn’t good because you need to have a break from work, as well as revising. Maybe schools could give out 1 -3 pieces of homework a week, then encourage more revision on any subject that needs going over?

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  19. When I was in 6th grade (which i left only oh-so recently) I had THE WORST TEACHERS EVER!

    Now, I know this seems normal, but I go to school in Maryland, a state famed for many of the best schools in the country.

    And I am not saying my teachers were mean– which, besides the point, they were– but they were just BAD TEACHERS.

    My media classes teacher would always make me redo work 3 or 4 times if he lost it, which was constantly,

    My world studies teacher gave us, like, 2 days to do a project that counted for near 1/2 our grade– NO EXCEPTIONS,

    My english teacher would give us books meant for college students, and expected us to figure out what words meant ourselves. Also, she would expect us to know what she wanted us to research. She would say that she told us what we were to research individually, although that was untrue because we would get something like, “Your projects as a whole are about something Russian” And it’s like :|. Also, she wouldn’t tell us what we needed to improve on. She expected us to know.

    My science teacher in the beginning of the year was awesome, but after three months, she left, leaving us with the meanest teacher in existence who just expected us to know everything in physics (I was in 6th grade!).

    My math teacher /didn’t teach us anything/. She gave us homework and I would often have to stay up until 1:00 am (and that was just for math) to finally understand this utter crap that I would never actually use. (I still don’t understand the purpose of the quadratic equation). Then, getting 5hours of sleep IF I was lucky, I would have to zombie myself through another day of Hell.

    My literature teacher always would get off track in class and never explain the homework. So, I would get home to jibberish sitting in front of me. Would my parents help me? No. “Figure it out. You should know this.”

    My P.E. teacher would make you run 5 laps which would add up to a mile, regardless of injury. If you complained, you would run around another 3, and if you stopped, another 2.

    My dad says, “You used to love school, and now you don’t care for it, which is sad.” He doesn’t say it in an empathetic tone, he says it as if he’s mad at me.

    I hate school. I don’t hate education, I hate being stressed out to the point where everyday I come home to an emotional breakdown, anxiety attacks, and suicidal thoughts. So before you say I’m whiny, consider that I didn’t have the same experience as you.

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  20. Also, I feel as if people do not think that students are *naturally curious*. We are, it’s just that we get pushed off it once we are forced into it. Subjects in school should become selective earlier on, as many things, math teachers for example, say are going to be used many times in my later life, I have never ONCE seen anyone in my family use. Now, there is the basic addition and subtraction, but many times teachers lessons are useless.

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  21. I honestly don’t understand most of our homework. When are we ever going to need all of this stuff that is most likely going to be unused?

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  22. Hi everyone,

    I am not sure, if anyone is still posting and reading about this, but I could not help to give my opinion about this. I am a teacher, also the mother of a third grader and I was once, not too long ago, a student.
    To compare homework with child labor abuse is insane to me, unrealistic and exaggerated.
    NOT every student spends hours and hours doing homework,but obviously in order to be an Straight A student a price needs to be paid. When, I was in college, I decided to complete my masters degree in one year instead of two. I was working part time as well, as an adjunct teacher as well, so I needed to prepare my classes, attend meeting, correct tests, offer tutorials etc. So you can imagine that there was a point when I felt I could not do it anymore. The work was just too much, and I remember feeling this way as well. My friends would have parties on the weekends and I was not able to go, they would plan trips here and there and I was at home reading 5 chapters and writing a 30 page analysis paper. I remember, breaking down and crying once, BUT it had been my decision to complete my master in that time, because I needed to get a job ASAP and could not afford life anymore. SO, with that said, I believe students in this country need to establish priorities and not want to cover all. As a teacher, I see it ALL the time, students play a sport and they are also in choir or band and they are also in some extra curricular activities outside the school. This is not only too much,but due to this, students are often absent too much. I have students who are absent every Friday playing Golf and in my class tests are Friday. Sometimes more than one day a week. This means a lot of make up work next week, plus the work they have too do. Students should be limited to one extra curricular activity, that’s more than enough and parents should also understand that. Moreover, if a student is NOT doing that well academically that means, this students should concentrate more on that. I am NOT saying extracurricular activities are not important, because they are, BUT let’s establish priorities people!
    Because of people like you, schools are limiting the teachers in the amount of homework they give students and I don’t agree with that.
    My daughter is in third grade, first and second grade was not an issue, all A’s. However, not in third grade, her grades have dropped. HOWEVER, I never see her doing homework or studying. Except for the 20 minutes of reading which teachers recommend every day and math homework. When I went and talk to her teachers and mentioned this, they cannot give more than 20 minutes of homework, so they decide to give homework only for Math and sometimes spelling. Well, what about social studies and science and writing? I don’t even have idea what she is covering in those classes, so for me that is NOT good. My daughter needs to practice at home what she is learning in ALL of her subjects.I agree that the length of the homework, should be age appropriate even for a gifted kid. Yes, kids need to have fun, not just to be in books. But is the situation described in the article, what every student faces in every school? NO it is NOT. Now a days we cannot even give homework for religious holidays (specially Jewish holidays) and the funny thing is that this occurs in schools were there is only a handful of Jewish students. Still, the rule applies to ALL, no homework.
    So, overall, I DO NOT agree with this. Establish priorities and if you want your kids to become a star since early age and shine because that makes YOU feel good, then don’t complain. And if you are a high school student and also HAVE DECIDED to be in who knows how many extra curricular activities and take ALL AP classes,and make it a point to be an straight A student, then don’t complain either and do what needs to be done! it was your decision a teacher’s decision.

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  23. I have been reading through all of these comments, and it makes me really happy that people are fighting for this and that other students have the same problem. I am a freshman in high school, and I have barely finished the first semester of high school. I spend 4-8 hours a night on homework and am taking all of the honors and AP classes I can. I don’t have much motivation left to continue to get A’s because it is just so much work every night. I don’t have any time for the things I want to do anymore, and if I do try to do those things, I feel guilty for procrastinating. Plus, my physical well being has dramatically decreased. I am always tired (I never get more than 5 hours of sleep per night), I am sick all of the time, and I am way paler now than I was at the beginning of the year. Oh, and if I do have any free time on weekends, I spend it playing in competitive softball tournaments or practicing for softball. But now, softball isn’t what it used to be for me. It used to be fun and it would be my outlet for my competitiveness- now it’s just another source of stress because I’m expected to get into a good college with high level academics and sports. It really is sad, though, because now whenever I’m at softball and I remember all of the homework I should be doing I get really stressed out. So, now I can’t even enjoy the sport I love because of the crazy amount of homework given out. And I know that we’re priveleged to get this high level education and I shouldn’t be complaining, but I am really struggling right now with stress and my “time management issues” that were discussed before. Because of the huge load of homework, I am gradually losing my childhood and what I wish I could be experiencing- going out with friends, sports, getting a boyfriend (okay, I’m lame, but I can’t have one because I don’t have the time to go out and do stuff or even text them since I have to use that time doing homework), and even relaxing once in a while. I honestly feel like I’m about to lose my mind because of all this homework and stress. Well, I have to get back to this essay I’ve been putting off because I’ve had writer’s block. I have finals next week too, so wish me luck! And, I wish everyone else luck going through the same thing.

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  24. Sophia, I am so sorry you feel that way already in your sophomore year.
    I’m a lot like you. Straight A, junior, musician, and a kid with not enough time for ANYTHING.
    My entire schooling career has been a long line of not having to do too much and still getting into the top 15% of my class, but this year has absolutely KILLED me. I used to be a really happy person, always writing or drawing or singing randomly, now I am quiet, tired, and I don’t have time for my own homework, not to mention things that make me happy (drawing/writing/singing/reading/playing piano). It is awful.
    My heart honestly goes out to you.

    Good luck with the rest of high school, my dear.
    We can get through this shite. 🙂

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  25. I feel terrible for all who are experiencing this including me. I heard people only have a few hours or maybe just half an hour of their day on homework. But that doesn’t reach out for everyone. I am a honor student only in middle school and everyday I just have at least two or three hours of sleep. Everyone thinks that I leave everything for the last minute, but I don’t. Also, I feel even badder for you because I love music too. I signed up for band class AND my middle school band club which is really fun, but you had to quit. I am on the verge of quitting too. Hopefully both of us have a happy ending. I mean hard work has to pay off t some point right?

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  26. I feel terrible for all who are experiencing this including me. I heard people only have a few hours or maybe just half an hour of their day on homework. But that doesn’t reach out for everyone. I am a honor student only in middle school and everyday I just have at least two or three hours of sleep. Everyone thinks that I leave everything for the last minute, but I don’t. Also, I feel even badder for you because I love music too. I signed up for band class AND my middle school band club which is really fun, but you had to quit. I am on the verge of quitting too. Hopefully both of us have a happy ending. I mean hard work has to pay off t some point right? And believe me, I loooove books, but not like I wanna marry one.

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  27. I know you might just want people to respond saying that you are completely right and that your teachers are to blame, but I have a question for you. Are you working too hard on every assignment? I used to spend hours upon hours on homework and not get that many assignments done. If you are getting perfect scores on every homework assignment, I suggest trying to put a little less effort in. This can be extremely difficult, especially if you are a perfectionist like I am. If you have a writing assignment, try to just do enough to fulfill the requirements. If you try this, it might end up cutting your homework time down significantly. Also, I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but you should not do the play. It makes no sense. I know it probably seems like you would really enjoy it, but adding another four hours of work to a day that is already too full is impossible. Do not take on more than you can handle!

    I hope this helps.

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  28. I’m in eleventh grade in the IB program taking college classes, I just read your struggle and to be honest none of that seemed hard at all, other than the novel that you wrote in the 4th grade I believe? But anyways the solution is to completely kill your social life and never leave your room, I’ve done that and it works beautifully. Also I’ve recently taken to smoking marijuana, why don’t you try that?

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  29. I came across this website looking for other opinions on why “homework should be banned” for my required school paper. I had no idea this many people feel the same way. I agree with you, homework is criminal. I know that there are many people out there including me who envy the very few people who get their homework done at a reasonable hour, hang out with friends, watch some TV, and get 10 hours of sleep. However, teachers do not understand the concept that all students don’t have that life, students are loosing their inner fire that makes them get up every morning. Students like me and like you are tired of the late nights, lack of social life, no time, and teachers who cannot understand them. Society is punishing children for a crime they did not commit. Society is making students loose their will to live for no particular reason at all. Society is shaping students with a cookie cutter, they are taking away what had once made school bearable, they are turning students into machines that follow orders on command. You are 100% correct, this is child abuse.

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  30. hey, I’m a freshman in high school and i guess i’m lucky enough to not do home work and still get A-B’s and put no effort into my classes,and my teachers get angry at me for it here’s an example my math teachers refuse to take work from me unless i show the work and i spent 10 minutes on a worksheet with 20 or so questions and showing works add like 10 minutes alone and i sit right next to the teacher and they even say that i dont cheat so that makes no sense to me why they dont take it. and the class just go to slow, so i find myself getting yelled at for staring into space when we’re doing work when i’m done 15 minutes before everyone else.And I’ve completely given up on homework and get yelled at for not turning that in. So I’ve learned to say “what its my fault for being smarter and quicker then others”

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  31. This post describes exactly what my life was like as an honors student at my public high school, nearly 10 years ago. The amount of homework teachers give students is insane! Sophia, hang in there, the rest of life is not like high school. College affords students way more free time than high school does. This is partially because scheduled class time is much shorter in college than in high school (15-20 hours a week in lecture, instead of 30-40). This frees up inordinate amounts of time to fit in homework and other activities into your schedule. Plus, the actual assignments you get are much less likely to be busywork; they are demanding, they are rigorous and stimulate critical thinking, but they do not approach the insanity of your high school’s workload. I was able to get straight A’s in college as a biomedical engineering major, and I STILL had more time to myself than I did in high school! And from what I have seen as a medical student and as an engineering PhD student, the amount of time you are given to spend on pursuits outside of school tends to increase the farther you advance in your education. At least, this has been my experience so far. (Note that I haven’t yet completed the dreaded third year of medical school rotations, so my current perception could be skewed – but at the very least, the rest of your life will not be as ridiculous as high school.)

    Some of the other posters have recommended striking an acceptable balance between your own mental health and your grades — that is, being willing to accept B’s in AP classes or A’s in regular classes. This is actually great advice. In high school, I was a straight-A student like you, but if I had opted for a B per semester (or even per year), perhaps I wouldn’t have driven myself to burnout, self-harm, or illness. In my senior year of high school, I opted to take regular English Composition instead of the AP version, and my life became immeasurably better. It’s not fair that students have to choose between perfect grades and their personal wellbeing nowadays – but until the status quo changes, you will probably be happier (and equally successful) if you heed the advice of the posters. And if you are worrying about college acceptances, don’t. From what you have written, it sounds like you have a strong, healthy interest in outside pursuits such as music and theater. Spending time on the things that you love will make you a happy, well-rounded, passionate human being – and that’s really all most colleges are looking for anyways.

    That being said, homework inflation is a real problem for many top-level students. Here are some reasons why I believe the problem exists:

    1. Some teachers assign homework as if their class is the only thing that exists in a student’s life. They forget that students are also receiving homework from several other instructors — and if you happen to have two or three instructors who think this way, you end up with a mountain of homework every night. They also forget that students have commitments outside of the classroom, such as extracurricular activities, work, and family obligations. Some teachers even assign homework to be completed over holidays, when students are meant to be with their families.

    2. Some teachers don’t have realistic expectations for how long it takes for a student to complete their assignments. I once had a teacher who made us put on theatrical productions of the books we were reading in class. Another teacher asked her students to convert their literature into comic books, complete with illustrations. If teachers personally attempted their own assignments before giving them to students, this would not be nearly as huge of an issue as it is.

    3. Some teachers conflate academic rigor with quantity of work assigned. For example, summarizing a 40-page history chapter onto a double-sided sheet of paper every night could be considered rigorous (this is what I had to do while in AP history) — but in reality, it is busywork that panders to rote memorization. I would have learned just as effectively if my teacher had presented the summary in class, and then given us a shorter follow-up assignment to help us synthesize the material or expand upon what was presented in lecture.

    4. Some teachers hide behind assignments to do the teaching for them. The AP history assignment from point 3 is a perfect example of this – rather than presenting the salient points in class, the teacher chose to spend class doing who-knows-what, and then used the worksheet summary assignment to make us learn the material ourselves.

    I realize that I’ve so far put all of the blame on teachers. This is because this is the side of it that I have personally experienced. I can’t even imagine the stress that teachers themselves experience when they put together their lesson plans, generate assignments, grade them, and attempt to squeeze in the material they really want to convey within the confines of limited budgets and state-mandated regulations. I also realize that there are students out there who are perfectionists, or lack time management skills, or otherwise do spend too much time on their homework (I was one of these students). But if a class poll reveals that all of the top students in class are taking at least 6 hours to complete their homework, then a real problem exists, and it should be duly addressed. It is sad that top students still receive so much homework. Its beats the passion out of them. It turns them into little robots that are trained to spit out what the world wants from them, rather than what they want for the world. It gives them cause to stop caring about life. Why hasn’t the status quo changed?

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  32. I already lost a lot of interest in learning since i came to middle school.I used to be a honor student in elementary school but i also did well in 6th grade but when i entered 7th grade it all went downhill.I started not doing homework because of the overload.I got so bad i thought about running away from home to escape the homework.I am failing 3 three classes but i am turing that around.

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  33. All I read was the title, but I totally agree, schools are killing us kids with their stuff and I don’t know how much longer I can take it, I mean for Pete’s sake, just type into google “school makes me want to” and the auto fill forms should speak for themselves

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  34. Homework is undoubtedly one of the most stressful things in highschool. But what is more burdening nowadays is that more is expected from us. High expectation is whats killing me. Adults need to understand that competition is not always good.

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  35. I used to be happy when I went to school but now as a high schooler I dread it. I have all A’s and honors classes as well as a foreign language and come to school with at least a small amount of depression each day which only makes it harder to get through the day. I have thought about how all I can really do is do my best to keep good grades but besides that I dont’t really have a life, and maybe even a future. I have no ability to play sports, am shy and am nervous to do choir, and if I wanted to even do track I am pretty sure my lungs would collapse. I have a few good friends but I am so unsocial that I can’t even have a conversation so once a peer and I begin to like different things about each other I just don’t really know what to do. I don’t get much sleep due to homework either and judging by the above I don’t see how I would be able to get into a 4 year college. I just really see myself going no where in life, I tell myself oh I will be a Wildlife Biologist or a vet but then I think about how there are some things I would not be able to do in those jobs and I am just kind of… no I have given up on life, and it also has to deal with things out side of school but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to jump of a bridge, slit me wrists, or anything like that,s even if the thoughts have come to mind. I am would be too afraid to even end all the frustration, anger, sadness, and emptiness. Most people that even read this are most likely thinking how does homework, school, and a sucky social life make you feel this way, well that’s because these feelings are due to other things as well ajd this all just makes life look like its only going to get worse and worse and worse until every day is nothing but a blur of meaningless breaths, after all I do already fake the smiles, hold back the tears, hold back my real thoughts, all so no one ever know the truth behind my mask…
    I’m sorry if my comment was a waste of anyone’s time or didn’t really belong here…

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  36. I break down regularly due to homework. For example, I’m supposed to get 10 pieces a week, however we are getting 15+. I have dance on Tuesday, Wednesday, Sarurday and Sunday which leaves me only Monday, Thursday and Friday to do it. I get up at 6:30 everyday. I go to school at 7:45 everyday. I get in at 4:30 everyday. I go to bed at 9:00. I already spend 9 hours at school, I don’t need an extra 20 hours of work.

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  37. I am a 7th grader living in Menlo Park, California. On my school website, it says the average hours for homework per night for 7th graders is 2.3 hours. However, I timed myself for 3 weeks, and came up with an average: an astounding 6 HOURS OF HOMEWORK A DAY! Now, it may just be me. However, I emailed some of my friends and they agree: 6 HOURS. Every NIGHT. What on EARTH is wrong with the education system?!

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  38. I am an Australian student in grade 9 of high school. After reading this and all the comments, I now realise I have it easy. I thought my life was so hard: I have rowing training at 5am four mornings a week and one afternoon, I have 1 and a half hours of piano practice a night, and I have 2-3 hours of homework a night during the assessment time. On the weekends I have about 12 hours of homework altogether. Thank you for this, and everyone who commented, because I know that I shouldn’t be so stressed out all the time. I’m getting A+ for every subject and I’ve never gotten worse than a b+ for a test or assignment ever. I’m alright now, thanks everyone

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  39. I feel like I cannot take another day of school or I will kill myself. If you tell me to suck it up I will kill you too.

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  40. Number 11: Yeah, so you had homework every day? That’s cute. Try 6 hours of it every day. See? Shut the fuck up and get a life.

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  41. i totally get what your saying. we get essays some days which take me over 8 hours to do in for the next day. recently i went on holiday and i came back yesterday and now im doing an essay ive also tried to kill myself many times due to homework and related stuff

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  42. I had several HOURS of homework in fifth grade. Even my mom agreed that it was too much homework, so she sent a note regarding all the homework and she friggin YELLED at me. My mom met her (there was a school concert) and she agreed to everything she said. My teacher blamed it on my time management skills and that I should start my homework earlier. On top of all that she hasn’t learned from that and gave us hours of homework and ended up being completely unfair to us. She told us to put our model bridges on the floor, she trips over one and lowers their mark because of herself!

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