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Homework: Wanted for Stealing Sleep

A blur of sleepless nights. A yawn here. A stretch there. Another day full of caffeine…and homework. These days, many students have an overload of homework. At this age, we need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but instead of sleeping, many students are caught up in the mountains of homework they have until the early hours of the morning. Why should students have to sacrifice their well-being to complete schoolwork? No homework assignment is as important as staying healthy.

Think about it. Having too much homework creates a vicious cycle. Students will stay up late finishing assignments, and then during the day, they will be too tired for their brains to function normally. As a result, learning new concepts and concentrating on tests will become increasingly difficult with fatigue. Thus, having so much homework is actually counterproductive. Instead of helping us learn, it actually acts as an obstacle to our education.

Sometimes, homework is used to teach new concepts, but that’s the purpose of being in class. Our school day is more than seven hours long, so we should be able to learn what we need to during that time. Learning most of the content outside of class just defeats the purpose of going to school and learning from an actual teacher.

Even worse, most homework is just busy work and doesn’t contribute to our education at all. Practicing a couple problems to reinforce understanding is helpful, but slogging through twenty problems can only be described as time-consuming.

Most importantly, we need to get back to the health problem. Fatigue can reduce immune system function and make students more prone to illnesses due to the viruses that wander the school. Being sick means missing school, which means students will lag even farther behind in schoolwork. Also, lack of sleep over a long period of time can have long-term effects, such as an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Being unhealthy can greatly limit the way we live our lives. We need to understand that being happy and living life to the fullest does not come from working through tons of homework. Guaranteeing our health should be more of a priority.

Homework shouldn’t be assigned for the sake of being assigned. It needs to be effective, and help students better understand the concepts they are learning. Finally, it most definitely should not be harmful to our health. Homework is not worth losing sleep over. After all, the future isn’t in homework; it’s about finding happiness and being the best one can be—and that all starts with good health.

erica.song@cnhsmedia.com

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