Why Kids Don’t Do Their Homework

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Student does homework doggedly.

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Student does homework doggedly.

Of all the stress that plague high school today, you will likely find this stress and exhaustion routed in homework. Now, homework is nothing new to students. Practically our whole lives we’ve had to do homework, and in the future, many people will still have homework to do. Homework has become an integral part of student life and society, yet many people still refuse to do it. From a logical standpoint, it seems absurd to not do homework. It makes up a very significant portion of your grade, it builds good work ethic skills and time management, and besides all of that, it is expected of you from your teachers. So why is it that kids still can’t find it in themselves to bother with it?

In an article from The Washington Post on the mindset behind avoiding homework, it highlights an important concept in the minds of the students doing it. Many people see the issue of avoiding homework as a motivation issue, kids just simply sitting back and thinking, “I don’t feel like it.” While that can be a factor, it goes a little deeper than just sheer laziness. The article cites a scenario that many students who don’t do homework go through regularly.

School runs on a time schedule, as everyone knows. Students are expected to be attentive for class and do whatever busy work they’re assigned until the day ends. Then they can go home. Seems simple enough, right? You do some work, probably a little tired, but at least there’s a concrete time that they are aware of when their work is done. Now you have homework.

You bring school home with you, sometimes a piece of it from every class. After coming home from school, possibly after a two hour sport, you are now faced with an indefinite time slot full of work. You think about the amount of work you now have, knowing that it’s about to be a long night of work you already did today in school. This mindset is one that strays from the idea of homework being a reinforcement and rather something that should be avoided.

And it’s no surprise why students have a fear of beginning this work in the first place. It has become a myth that student should have no more than one hour a night. A study done in 2014 by the LA Times found that high school students do an average of about 3.5 hours a night. That’s more than 17 hours a week, more if you count the weekends. This number alone is enough to deter any student from wanting to initiate homework, knowing that their 10 hour school day (if you include sports,) is followed with around 3.5 hours of homework. Cheer up though, you still have about 30 minutes of leisure before you go to bed and repeat the process. That is, if you don’t procrastinate.

Now, homework definitely has its place, that much is proven. It helps to improve test scores and learn to an extent at the very least. However, the correlation between this homework and stress has been been far from acceptable, with the average high school teen ranking a 5.8 out of 10 on the stress scale, more than the average adult, according to a study by NBC. While homework is an aspect of life that will never go away, it should at least be acknowledged the next time a kid doesn’t come in with their homework.

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