Homework Should Be Optional

Maia Pryor, Editor

We’ve all been dealing with homework since first grade. As a senior it’s been an almost full twelve years of going home after a seven hour day to do a few more hours of additional work. On top of studying (if you do that kind of thing) and any extracurriculars you could be looking at an almost twelve hour day. The main question I would like to bring to ask (mainly the board of ed) is, should we have homework? 

We are put in extracurriculars from when we’re basically able to walk. Whether this activity be sports or music or anything else we are accustomed to this activity is a main part of our lives. Later on we’re introduced to school (not so fun) and we’re told to do math on worksheets while we’re timed or told to write five page essays on topics we aren’t interested in. All of this and at the end of the day we are given more work (womp womp). So first we’re told to be involved in the community but we’re also told that we aren’t allowed to enjoy ourselves during the twelve years we’re in school so that a letter can tell us if we passed the grade. To have a seven hour day with an additional three hours of homework we’re still told to enjoy life because these are the easiest year of our life and it goes by fast. But instead of soaking up our youth in experiences half of it is spent having mental breakdowns over the test on Friday on information we learned on Wednesday. 

We have this load of homework and studying on top of clubs and sports as well as the school day as a whole and educators and adults in general wonder why depression and anxiety is at an all time high as well as why mental health is so important as a whole. These mental attitudes are a result of being overworked and being demanded constantly to pump out good grades and great performance in extracurriculars. Homework is supposed to be a way to study, teachers tell you to come to them if you have a problem learning the material but when it comes to that test and you fail you’re questioned. Why did you fail the test? Why did you make this mistake? Did you now work hard enough? All of these questions but no one is asking the important one when it comes to this consistent pattern of failing tests or doing poorly on homework. The question being, what can I do to help? overworking and mentality of  constantly needing to grind out premium results can burn someone out. We as students have breakdowns in the middle of the night over homework or a test. It is just a test, but not many people see it that way. 

Homework should not be a required part of school and shouldn’t be any sort of percentage of the grade. If educators want to help students, ask us what we need, let us know that the grade does not define our existence and our world will not come crashing down if we get below an A. Take a creative approach to teaching in the classroom and if you realize that we are struggling, offer to help us in a way we would like to be helped. As educators you yourselves are taught about the different types of learners, put that to use. Not every student is the student to go above and beyond and get the “A” every time, diversify the teaching and maybe the results of the tests you give won’t be as bad next time.