Does Homework really Make Kids Sick?

Research has found that students are spending around three hours at night to complete their homework. It is, in turn, making them sick and affecting their personal growth.

While this statistic was just an average, some kids are doing way more than that. This was stated by Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She is also the co-author of the study published in the Journal of Experimental Education.

This study surveyed more than 4,300 students from some of the most affluent public and private schools in the upper-middle-class communities in California. It was conducted to examine the relationship between the homework load and well-being and engagement. Moreover, it also helps to understand how homework can act as a stressor in students’ lives.

The research findings were quite troubling and showed that excessive homework can cause high-stress levels. Besides, it can cause other health problems and a lack of balance in children’s lives. Around 56% of students examined stated that homework is a main stressor.

The research results were quite interesting compared to the National Assessment of Educational Progress data about the homework trends on a large population.

What’s up with the kids belonging to affluent families?

Pope, along with her fellow colleagues, focused more on the students belonging to upper-middle-class families. It is because these families consider homework as an important part of growth and development. These students describe homework as a dominating force in their day-to-day activities.

Some parents in this community wanted more homework, while others wanted less. Pope also mentioned that some parents even complained that they had not seen their children over an entire holiday period since they were busy completing their assignments.

The pressure of completing homework isn’t only on children under-privileged but also slowly moving towards students belonging from upper-middle-class families.

Suniya S. Luthar, a professor at Arizona State University, admitted that most kids are troubled by excessive homework pressure with poverty as another risk factor. It further puts them at the risk of several social disturbances, including drug and alcohol abuse.

Apart from this, another major factor that plays a significant role in inducing stress in a child’s life is his/her relationship with an adult caregiver. The parents must act as cheerleaders and not graders.

So, how much homework is sufficient?

If your child is in high school, homework shouldn’t take more than two hours. On the other hand, if he/she is in middle school, ninety minutes is more than enough. But what about elementary school, if you may ask? Well, there is no relation between homework and academic achievement when your child is in elementary school.

Therefore, if your child is in elementary school, it is better to let him/her learn the basics at school and enjoy the rest of the time at home. However, you must put a little emphasis on his or her moral development.

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