Despite Stress, Study Shows Benefits of Homework

Erica Worzel, Staff Writer

Photo by Marissa Ben-Asher, Legacy Media

Sophomore Remsha Naz sits at a desk in her bedroom. Crumpled papers, a laptop opened to Google, a dead calculator and pencils worn to a nub are splayed out all around her. She tries to find the answers, but they do not come to her. She has a feeling that she will be up late into the night. This is her nightly ritual, her never ending battle with copious amounts homework.

With homework dating back to the late 1800’s, the battle over teachers assigning homework has been waged for years, leaving many researchers, education experts and students to ponder the actual point of homework and whether or not take-home assignments are necessary. According to a Duke University study, homework actually benefits students, as long as the amount of homework is kept to a minimum.

“I usually have five or six hours of homework each night,” Naz said. “I am taking algebra two and geometry at the same time. I have 30 problems of homework for each class plus AP World History. It’s just too much sometimes. If I don’t do my homework because I was busy the night before I know my grade will go down.”

Another study concerning homework was conducted by researchers at Sydney University and suggests that homework only benefits students in their last three years of high school. Junior Cristal Gomez said she understands the influence of homework all too well.

“I started receiving actual homework my sophomore year. I have homework mainly in my core classes this year and homework plays a factor in my grade,” Gomez said. “Whenever I have a test and I don’t know how to do something, I always wish I had done the homework to prepare but, sometimes I have extracurricular activities and I just don’t have time for homework.”

To coincide with new education reforms, French President Francois Hollande pledged to abolish homework, stating that students needed more down time and that work should be done at school. Some American public schools, like Gaitherburg Elementary School in Maryland, have followed suit by adopting no-homework policies. Algebra teacher Cheryl Gold has her own opinion on the stresses of homework.

“Statistical data reveals there is a positive high correlation between the times spent working on homework and students academic performance,” Gold said. “I do believe this is true and proven in my students. By managing their time wisely, students can reduce their stress level. Homework is essential.”