Are Students Buried in Mountains of Homework?

CALCULUS%3A+This+is+an+example+of+the+kind+of+work+done+in+Calculus.+Sage+Rainey+says+that+Calculus+takes+up+most+of+her+homework+time.+With+work+like+this%2C+it%27s+easy+to+see+why%21

CALCULUS: This is an example of the kind of work done in Calculus. Sage Rainey says that Calculus takes up most of her homework time. With work like this, it’s easy to see why!

Irrissa Guyett, staff writer

Students have been getting homework for a really long time. Though most students start consistently getting homework around first or second grade, in some states homework becomes a reality as early as Kindergarten. However, there are still mixed opinions on when kids should start getting homework, how much homework should be assigned, and everything in-between. Some people believe that kids spend too much time on homework resulting in missing out on other important extra-curricular activities.

Star Valley High School has a staff of teachers dedicated to helping students learn and prepare for college. Most of these teachers generally assign homework for their classes pretty regularly. However, with eight classes  the amount of overall homework students get can really stack up, but is the homework helping students learn or just overwhelming them? Many teachers throughout the school seem to agree on some points, but still disagree on others.

 

Mr. Moore said, “I would estimate 1 hour for all of their classes. Indeed, it has been shown that spaced repetition builds neural pathways which helps us retain knowledge.”

Mrs. Stauffer claims does not think students suffer from excessive homework assignments.  “Not much. I don’t believe students should get homework unless they really know what to do and it is practice or finishing something up or a quick preview of a video or something for the next class. I think no more than 20-30 minutes for each core class is adequate,” she said.

Mr. Sloan sees the value of homework but not too much of it. “Average of maybe 45 minutes. I tend to think repetition helps learn. So yes,” he said.

Mr. Waldron declares that, “I would think probably about an hour a day or an average of 15 minutes per class. I think homework can be effective practice as long as the students know the skills and steps required.”

No surprisingly, students perceive homework and the amount they get each day differently due to factors like different classes, involvement in extracurriculars, and grade level. These factors and others combine to give each student a unique experience with homework.

Senior Sage Rainey said, “I probably get close to 3 hours of homework a day because I’m in college classes. My calculus takes me probably the majority of the time and the rest of it probably takes me only 30 minutes. I do think [it’s important] because it’s practice and especially with math, if you don’t practice, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Junior Breanne Jenkins estimated, “To complete my homework in a day it normally takes me about an hour, give or take. I think that getting homework is beneficial only to get the assignments done, but I don’t really find it beneficial for learning.”

“Like an hour maybe. Sometimes,  I feel like just like reading about it helps. Sometimes I feel like writing it down for homework can help too.” said senior Jolie Nunn. However, she also expressed that homework is not always so helpful to students. “Probably when there’s not like a book or story to go with it because then you don’t really know the background for it,” she said.

One of the larger factor that affects students’ experiences with homework is their involvement in extracurricular activities. Nunn captains the varsity cheer squad and is enrolled in online school. Cheer coach Mrs. Philpott says that when doing online school, most students face many technology-related difficulties. She acknowledged that involvement in any extracurricular activity makes jugging homework more difficult for students.

“It’s pretty hard to keep up, but I mean if you just space it out evenly, it’s easy,” said Nunn.

It has become pretty clear that most everyone has their own ideas and beliefs on a subject as vast as homework. While studies show the value in certain kinds and amounts of homework, students will probably always see it negatively. Regardless, it looks like it is going to stick around for a while longer.