School Homework: 70 Minutes of Homework A Day Is Enough, Students Are Not Robots

April 08, 2015


By: Anna Agoncillo
Image Credits: Paul Fisher via Flickr
According to a recent study math and science homework lasting for 60 mins. per day is optimal while, 70 mins. per day is enough work for adolescents. Their knowledge gain is even improved if they do the tasks alone.

The Study

Researchers from University of Oviedo, Spain examined the academic performance of about 7, 725 public and private school students. They found out that on the average, the amount of homework took a little more than 70 minutes per day to finish. If the teachers assigned 90 to 100 minutes of homework per day, students experienced decline in their math and science results. They also found that students who did their homework by themselves benefited more.

Hence, it is not necessary to give enormous quantities of homework. What is important for academic success is for the students to have systematic assignments that promote autonomy. 

The Study’s Importance

One of the sentiments of an adolescent student is: "I have to do all these math and science assignments tonight because these are due tomorrow. But, I fear that I cannot finish it on time. I will just have to sleep late to finish this."

In school, students do non-stop work. When they get home, they will have to do a pile of homework too. For 5 days straight, they will have to stick with this routine. Doesn't it sound exhausting? Too much work can easily put the individual under pressure. This pressure and stress of finishing all the tasks handed to them can cause frustration, sleep-deprivation, fatigue, unhealthy eating habits, depression, cheating in class, and diminishing grades. 

The first reaction to too much workload is either frustration or depression, followed by change in your sleeping and eating habits. If the student still cannot finish the workload, he/she will go to different lengths such as copying the homework of others or filling the blanks with random answers. This will just drag the learning and grades down.

Students are not like robots - programmed by computers to do overwhelming tasks without getting tired! They deserve rest. In fact, The National Institutes of Health suggests that adolescents need at least 9 to 10 hours of sleep daily. 

Conclusion

Homework shall act as a supplement for learning. Teachers must give assignments that are systematic and doable with the allotted time recommended. If the task is too hard for the student, it is better to solve the problem together as a class.

Given the reduced number of homework, adolescents can spend more time to play with their siblings or friends, interact with their parents, browse the web, practice their favorite sports, and mainly de-stress from the school day's work. 
Image Credits: guilherme jofili via Flickr
Click here to read the previous post: Health Psychology: The Good And Bad Reasons Why People Exercise 

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