Column by J1 Reporter Chioma Aloziem
Homework should be eliminated from all of existence. It’s detrimental to my mental health. My mind creates this negative chain of events in my head that messes with my brain. I can’t sleep and I worry about my grades. Then, I start stressing about if my grades are acceptable to get a scholarship. If I don’t get a good scholarship, where am I going to get the money to go to college? Will my parents have enough money to pay for it, or will I not go? Homework creates this added stress to my life every night that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Homework doesn’t have a fair system. According to a Los Angeles Times article in 2014, students spend about 3.5 hours on homework daily. That’s more than 17 hours a week. After students come home from being at school for about seven hours, they have to spend another three hours on homework. According to Eyeque in 2020, staring at a screen for more then two hours can cause computer vision syndrome. Some symptoms of this are eye strain, headache, blurred vision and more.
This doesn’t include studying for tests and quizzes. A lot of my friends stay up late at night studying for tests. A good majority of them have work after school which messes with their sleep schedule. I know that sports especially can be time consuming and drain your energy. So many look towards caffeine to help them stay awake which can be damaging to their bodies. I know a lot of people don’t go to bed until 12 or 1. This can cause a lot of long term effects of sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation can’t kill you, but it could help lead to a fatal accident that could. Some symptoms of sleep deprivation are irritability, fatigue and excessive sleepiness. According to Healthline, sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your brain abilities and emotions. Lack of sleep can make it hard to learn new information and focus in class. It can also make you hallucinate and micro sleep during the day which can lead to a fatal accident. Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on hormone production and blood pressure. It can also lead to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, flu, chronic lung illness, obesity and more.
Sleeping is more important than having a bad grade. According to Katrinadreamer in 2015, sleeping helps our brain let go of unnecessary and old memories to make space for new information the next day. Every person should get up to about six to eight hours of sleep every night. Sleeping helps the body remain healthy and alert.
I know schools across the United States would never cut homework out of the curriculum, but we could change our educational curriculum to match Finland. Finland is currently sixth in the world for math and science expertise. They have no mandated standardized tests and no competition between schools or students. They also are publicly funded. The students of Finland also receive a higher education that is completely free. Foreign students have to pay a small tuition fee though.
Every school has university-trained educators that help students to receive a good education no matter your wealth. The teachers of Finland are more educated than the American teacher. The teachers of Finland do whatever it takes to help students reach their goal. Finland only assigns 2.8 hours of homework a week. Unlike the US, children in Finland start school at the age of 7. They also have short school days and long vacations.
According to an article on Pew Research Center in 2017, The US is ranked 30th in math and 19th in science. The US is also ranked 17th in reading expertise. The US could easily advance if we didn’t rely heavily on homework and focused more on our studies.
If schools started giving out less homework or quit, there would be a positive increase in my mental health. I would be healthier and happier. I could hang out with my family and friends. I also would have time to participate in extracurricular activities and get a job. It would be the best day of my life.