Updated: May 11
Here are some quick thoughts on why we should be eliminating compulsory homework from high school learning plans. First, I want to acknowledge the fact that many educators feel similarly and assign homework because of the heavy pressure of meeting academic standards and leadership expectations. I get it - it's not an easy fix. But in a perfect world, we wouldn't assign homework because:
Some students are working after school. They may have worked until 1 am the night before at McDonald's. That money may be helping families pay rent or to put food on the table. Leaving school after an 8 hour day only to attend another job all while knowing you have to come home and type a paper? I'm exhausted thinking about it. Given the choice between a job and homework, a paycheck is an easy choice for a teenager. Students are more likely to drop out of school when they fall behind, so why not help them succeed by eliminating additional mandatory obligations?
How would you feel if your employer insisted you take your work home every single night? I know, I know- you probably do this all of the time, especially if you are a teacher! That doesn't make it right, though. People need time to decompress and pursue their passions and spend time with their families every single day. We all deserve this.
Extracurriculars! We stress the importance of sports and clubs for competitive college applications, but how are students to balance homework with their other obligations? How are they supposed to explore different hobbies, sports, and groups and find their niche if they're tied to homework?
Children need to move their bodies after sitting at desks all day. Keeping them inside staring at a computer screen is ridiculous.
They have their whole adult lives to work long hours if they so choose. Let's honor childhood as a magical time where students are encouraged to explore their interests, hang out with their friends, and play outside. This mentality should absolutely extend through high school.