I’ve seen your website, and I just want to say how grateful I am that someone out there besides my friends and I understand how awful homework is and how it really doesn’t help us learn at all.
I’m a freshman at a competitive public high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’ve always spent large amounts of time on homework; last year, I spent maybe 2 1/2 hours on homework on average. This year, it’s much worse. On good nights, I spend maybe 3 1/2 hours on homework. On especially bad nights, I spend up to 4 1/2 hours doing homework.
All my teachers give horrible amounts of work; my math teacher gives us up to 30 long, complicated math problems, which takes me a while because I’m not particularly good at math, and I check my work because I’m afraid he’ll give us a pop quiz on it the next day. My history teacher gives long, grueling assignments, mostly involving reading long textbook chapters and then doing worksheets on them. My English teacher gives huge amounts of work; we have to memorize 200 vocabulary words a month, complete terribly long essays he grades meticulously, do worksheets on a novel we’re reading exclusively in class, AND read a novel that’s supposed to be read exclusively at home. It’s horrible, because English has always been my favorite subject, and now I dread
going to class every day because I’m afraid of the mountainous pile of work he’ll give us that day. I’m in three advanced classes; English, history, and Spanish. Most of my friends are in all advanced, which means they have even more homework than I do. One of my friends goes to school, goes to sports practice and gets home by 7:30, then does homework until midnight and has to wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning to get to school on time. Another one of my friends told me she stayed up until midnight working on one essay. An essay! Essays should be challenging, but not so challenging that they take 3 hours to do!
Most of my homework, truthfully, is studying. I usually have at least three tests every other week. I have two next week, one Monday and one Tuesday. I’ve always done well in school, and now that I’m in high school, I have to work even harder to get the A’s that came so easily in middle school. I study all my class notes maybe for 20 minutes each. Then I have to do the written homework, which takes forever because I like to do a thorough job.
If something is worth 4 1/2 hours of my time, it should be useful, right? It should help me in some way. But homework has never helped me. In 7th grade I spent an hour a day filling out math worksheets my teacher gave us; they were essentially 50 of the same math problem. But I did it all, because if I didn’t, I would get a zero which would kill my grade. But the thing was, usually after the 5th problem I got the concept. So why should I have to do 45 more?
Every time I talk to one of my friends–which isn’t often, because we all have the same ridiculous amounts of homework–all I hear is, “I’m so overwhelmed,” “I had so much work last night!”, or “I forgot to study for the vocab quiz today because I had so much science homework last night!”.
It’s just terrible, how we never have time to do what we want to do. How I don’t have time to hang out with my family, see my friends, write, read, or do anything I love to do, because I have so much work every night. School should be about learning. And I am learning. But the 4 1/2 hours I waste every night does not help me learn in the slightest.
I’ve played hockey for the past year and a half or so, and I love it. But I recently had to quit because practices went on too long and I was up too late doing homework. I’ve always loved creative writing and I joined a literary club at my school–one of the few things I like about high school–and I had to skip the meeting yesterday because I just had too much work.
You have weekends, my mom tells me every time I complain to her about how much homework I have. The thing is, I don’t. I usually have Friday nights and Saturdays, but then on Sunday (which should be the day of rest!) I sleep in until about 10, exhausted from how little sleep I get every week, and then do homework on and off all day.
I’m 14 years old. I should be allowed to be a teenager! It’s so unfair. My friends who go to other public districts near me don’t have nearly as much homework. I hate it.
Thank you so much for speaking out and taking a stand. Everyone should know how useless homework is and how it just consumes the lives of kids who are still just that–kids. And we should be allowed to be kids.