By Olyviah Moriguchi 

Answer me this: Why are students expected to eat dinner, study for tests, do homework, and go to bed at a reasonable time if every teacher gives one to two hours of homework each?

As a sophomore I go to five classes every day, and each class will have either reading or written homework. Each bit of homework will take at least an hour depending on the day so I’ll have five hours of work then maybe two hours for studying. On average almost every night I’ll be doing school work for seven hours, that’s the same amount as a school day!  I also have a job after school so I get home at four or five o’clock then seven hours of school work, by the time I’m done with school work after my job it’s already 11. (This is not including making dinner or walking home) so, for me to get to bed at a “reasonable” time I’d have to skip dinner and go to bed at 11 o’clock. Of course I’m not the only one with this problem take my friend Ollie for example, he doesn’t have a job after school or a fifth period but he still has a fairly large amount of work he has four hours almost every night of work and at least two hours of studying but he still has responsibilities he has dogs he needs to walk and the little sister and he needs to watch while his mom works. Can he do all of what the school expects for us including our own personal responsibilities? Most schools will give out one hour of homework every night that is required. If every teacher gives us that one hour then students will end up with at least four hours (given we do it perfectly and understand how to do it 100 percent) of just homework. We also have tests we need to study for not including the already given four hours of homework. The recommended time for people of 15-18 to go to bed is 11:00pm we need to have 8-10 hours of sleep every night. If we have jobs or other responsibilities we have after school depending on the time we won’t be able to go to bed at a reasonable hour, or eat dinner if we do all of our homework at night. I go to bed on average at maybe one or two in the morning when I finish all of my homework, my job, chores, and eat dinner. I have around four hours of sleep every night because I have to wake up at six in the morning so I can get to school on time.  

Schools are supposed to be places of learning for students, but how much learning can they do when they are up all night worrying about homework, tests, and making sure everything they need to get done at night is done? Teachers tell students “Make sure you get enough sleep tonight, there’s a test tomorrow” or things like “Make sure you get enough sleep, sleep is good for you” but it really isn’t that easy we don’t just have one class with one bit of homework. I feel like teachers need to communicate better with each other so the students don’t have to overwork themselves. People who don’t do their homework are seen as ‘bad students’ or ‘lazy’, but maybe just maybe they were trying to sleep the night before because they has a ton of other homework that needed to be finished. Students who choose sleep over homework are seen as bad and their grades go down and they look stupid and it looks bad on report cards, but is it really that bad? If they were trying to sleep so they don’t get sick? Teachers usually only teach one subject, but students are expected to learn five to six do homework for each of those, pass the tests, write essays, go to sleep on time, get up and at school on time, eat a good meal, stay hygienic, and make sure all of your personal responsibilities are done. We Aren’t Robots, we aren’t perfect, don’t expect us to be.

The students I’ve asked have given me their honest opinions:

“Well in my honest opinion having to juggle eight classes, I got assigned and given an ungodly amount of homework, however most of it is unfinished class work or miscellaneous research for my AP classes and neuroscience courses. That’s only because I’m an exceptional student, I’m also held to very high expectations for my grades as a B grades are accepted but I am pressured to retain grades of as constantly, but it is also worth mention that I am of a small percentage of students that pursue academic challenges that I do and I personally feel the labor of lesser classes is quite bearable, dare I say easy when compared to my daily schedule.” (Anonymous age 16)

“In one night I could have homework from all of the classes and some people have other things they have to do after school.” (Anonymous age 15)

“I think that we do get to much homework, especially considering that has been research done that shows that having no homework or having lots of homework does not change students understanding of the subject.”(Brandon age 16)

“It seems like teachers forget that we have other classes that also have homework, so they give out homework that could last up to an hour or more just for their class.” (Jamie age 16)

“Yeah, I feel like I’m assigned too much homework. I think schools should acknowledge students’ lives outside of school — and shouldn’t expect us to always be at 100 percent. There’s sooo many things going on outside of school with our family, and things like that and, I don’t think schools should penalize us for not having completed an assignment…”(Janely age 16)

“Yes I have so much to do for just one class. I have to write paragraph summaries, write questions for all the notes we take, and I have to do a study guide while doing a project that’s due on the same day.”(Max age 17)

“The schools are asking a lot of us, they’re asking us to *expletive* study for exams, they are asking us to complete *expletive* our homework, they want us  to get a good night’s sleep, they’re asking us to eat breakfast in the morning, they’re also asking us to show up to school and have enough energy to possibly carry on the school work they have throughout the day. We are also expected do well on exams when you’re tired as *expletive*. It’s overwhelming and there’s times where you go on vacation for a little and you have two weeks worth of homework all stacked up against you with the work that you have to do now that was recently assigned to complete. It’s not even like I’m going on vacation for fun, it’s because I have to visit my dad, in another state.” (Ethan age 16)

So are schools giving too much homework? These statements are from kids from, South, Churchill, Sheldon, and North. If students from all over Eugene are saying the same things about homework about school then is the system right? Should we have the schools give students less homework and hold them to a lower standard? I believe that the teachers need to talk to each other more, so students don’t suffer from stress as much as the do now. These students aren’t just tired of doing homework, they feel like they’re given too much, they are stressed and don’t want to be overworked like they are being now.