The Case Against Homework




According to Stanford research, “56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress.”

Daniel Hampton, Staff Writer

Homework has been systematically ruining students’ home lives for decades.

Homework is a concept that seems fine on paper; however, in practice, it works to limit the creativity of students and slow their lives down. Students who work jobs or have families to take care of tend to have too much homework that affects other parts of their lives, especially if the volume of homework is quite high. Students already spend 5-8 hours every day in school — adding homework on top of jobs or other outside activities is too much for your average student.

Fundamentally, school is really a full-time job for students. With another job, you’re almost working two full-time jobs or a full-time job and a part-time job at the same time. Imagine working 12 hours almost every day and having extra work on top of that.

Students who have long work-weeks, along with homework, will get overwhelmed extremely quickly, decreasing their performance in school and at work. For instance, with math homework (which can be particularly confusing), students can spend hours trying to do it, only to end up making no further progress. I, myself, have spent hours doing homework, and it is definitely time-consuming when I’m lost.

While homework overwhelms students, it also limits freedom to explore creative arts. Students who have passions such as video creation, singing, or video games have less time to do creative arts because of homework. These same students might already have limited free time, and adding homework on top of this does not help at all.  Students’ hidden passions are often taken away or restrained just because they’re being forced to “practice outside of class,” when there are other parts of life they need to focus on too.

Students can be burned out from homework, and it can affect their performance in school. By that I mean students who spend great amounts of time doing homework often stay up late at night, reducing the amount of sleep they get, and hurting themselves. Homework burns students out, tires them, and reduces their grades the next day due to the inability to finish assignments. Due to the inconsistent length of assignments, it can be quite difficult to plan around homework.

Homework objectively does not improve school performance. A study by Adam Maltese  and reported on by The Huffington Post (the IU School of Education assistant professor) found that “There was no relationship whatsoever between time spent on homework and course grade.”

Stanford research also found that “56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress.” This Stanford research paper went on to say, “Students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems.”

A common argument for homework is that it reduces screen time. This can be refuted, however, because although it might reduce screen time, it also leads to a more sedentary lifestyle. Not to mention, most homework assignments are done on school-provided Chromebooks.

Students in a Stanford study said they average 3.1 hours of homework per night. (John Bolland,

Another argument for homework is that it is self-paced learning time, but this argument can be refuted by pointing out that in-class time can also provide self-paced learning. Teachers can provide time for studying or self-paced learning in class.

Note that I am not calling for a universal ban on homework, just a restriction of the amount of homework that we receive. Each day, students should only be provided 1-2 homework assignments per class. Although this may not sound like a lot, in reality, that is actually plenty of outside-of-class practice.

Homework is an example of an old idea that no longer functions as it used to, and in this day and age, it needs to be fixed.