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Does Homework Cause Stress? Exploring the Impact on Students’ Mental Health

How much homework is too much?

homework related to stress

Jump to: The Link Between Homework and Stress | Homework’s Impact on Mental Health | Benefits of Homework | How Much Homework Should Teacher’s Assign? | Advice for Students | How Healium Helps

Homework has become a matter of concern for educators, parents, and researchers due to its potential effects on students’ stress levels. It’s no secret that students often find themselves grappling with high levels of stress and anxiety throughout their academic careers, so understanding the extent to which homework affects those stress levels is important. 

By delving into the latest research and understanding the underlying factors at play, we hope to provide valuable insights for educators, parents, and students who are wondering about how much stress homework is causing in their lives.

The Link Between Homework and Stress: What the Research Says

Over the years, numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between homework and stress levels in students. 

One study published in the Journal of Experimental Education found that students who reported spending more than two hours per night on homework experienced higher stress levels and physical health issues . Those same students reported over three hours of homework a night on average.

This study, conducted by Stanford lecturer Denise Pope, has been heavily cited throughout the years, with WebMD even producing the below video on the topic– part of their special report series on teens and stress : 

Additional studies published by Sleep Health Journal found that long hours on homework on may be a risk factor for depression while also suggesting that reducing workload outside of class may benefit sleep and mental fitness .

Lastly, a study presented by Frontiers in Psychology highlighted significant health implications for high school students facing chronic stress, including emotional exhaustion and alcohol and drug use.

Overall, it appears clear that the answer to whether or not homework is a significant stressor for students is “Yes, depending on the workload assigned to students.” As such, teachers and parents alike should be wary of how much work they are truly putting on the shoulders of teenagers. 

Homework’s Impact on Mental Health and Well-being

Homework-induced stress on students is far-reaching and involves both psychological and physiological side effects. 

1. Psychological Effects of Homework-Induced Stress:

• Anxiety: The pressure to perform academically and meet homework expectations can lead to heightened levels of anxiety in students. Constant worry about completing assignments on time and achieving high grades can be overwhelming.

• Sleep Disturbances : Homework-related stress can disrupt students’ sleep patterns, leading to sleep anxiety or sleep deprivation, both of which can negatively impact cognitive function and emotional regulation.

• Reduced Motivation: Excessive homework demands can drain students’ motivation, causing them to feel fatigued and disengaged from their studies. Reduced motivation may lead to a lack of interest in learning, hindering overall academic performance.

2. Physical Effects of Homework-Induced Stress:

• Impaired Immune Function: Prolonged stress from overwhelming homework loads can weaken the immune system, making students more susceptible to illnesses and infections.

• Disrupted Hormonal Balance : The body’s stress response triggers the release of hormones like cortisol, which, when chronically elevated due to stress, can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance and lead to various health issues.

• Gastrointestinal Disturbances: Stress has been known to affect the gastrointestinal system, leading to symptoms such as stomachaches, nausea, and other digestive problems.

• Cardiovascular Impact: The increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure associated with stress can strain the cardiovascular system, potentially increasing the risk of heart-related issues in the long run.

• Brain impact: Prolonged exposure to stress hormones may impact the brain’s functioning , affecting memory, concentration, and cognitive abilities.

The Benefits of Homework

It’s important to note that homework also offers several benefits that contribute to students’ academic growth and development, such as: 

• Development of Time Management Skills: Completing homework within specified deadlines encourages students to manage their time efficiently. This valuable skill extends beyond academics and becomes essential in various aspects of life.

• Preparation for Future Challenges : Homework helps prepare students for future academic challenges and responsibilities. It fosters a sense of discipline and responsibility, qualities that are crucial for success in higher education and professional life.

• Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities: Homework often presents students with challenging problems to solve. Tackling these problems independently nurtures critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

However, while homework can foster discipline, time management, and self-directed learning, it is crucial to strike a balance that promotes both academic growth and mental well-being .

How Much Homework Should Teachers Assign?

As a general guideline, educators should be assigning a workload that allows students to grasp concepts effectively without overwhelming them . Quality over quantity is key, ensuring that homework assignments are purposeful, relevant, and targeted towards specific objectives. 

Advice for Students: How to balance Homework and Well-being

Finding a balance between academic responsibilities and well-being is crucial for students. Here are some practical tips and techniques to help manage homework-related stress and foster a healthier approach to learning:

• Effective Time Management : Encourage students to create a structured study schedule that allocates sufficient time for homework, breaks, and other activities. Prioritizing tasks and setting realistic goals can prevent last-minute rushes and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.

• Break Tasks into Smaller Chunks : Large assignments can be daunting and may contribute to stress. Students should break such tasks into smaller, manageable parts. This approach not only makes the workload seem less intimidating but also provides a sense of accomplishment as each section is completed.

• Find a Distraction-Free Zone : Establish a designated study area that is free from distractions like smartphones, television, or social media. This setting will improve focus and productivity, reducing time needed to complete homework.

• Be Active : Regular exercise is known to reduce stress and enhance mood. Encourage students to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, whether it’s going for a walk, playing a sport, or doing yoga.

• Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques : Encourage students to engage in mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to alleviate stress and improve concentration. Taking short breaks to relax and clear the mind can enhance overall well-being and cognitive performance.

• Seek Support : Teachers, parents, and school counselors play an essential role in supporting students. Create an open and supportive environment where students feel comfortable expressing their concerns and seeking help when needed.

How Healium is Helping in Schools

We find it gratifying to not only explore the impact of homework on stress levels but also to take part in the solution. Our innovative mental fitness tool is playing a role in paving a brighter and more balanced future in education. Schools implementing Healium have witnessed remarkable improvements in student outcomes, from supporting dysregulated students and ADHD challenges to empowering students with body awareness and learning to self-regulate stress .

By providing students with the tools they need to manage stress and anxiety, we represent a forward-looking approach to education that prioritizes the holistic development of every student. Healium not only enhances academic success but also equips students with vital skills that will serve them well beyond the classroom. 

To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below!

About the Author

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Sarah Hill , a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

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Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

homework related to stress

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

YOU’RE INVITED! Watch Free Webinar on USD’s Online M.Ed. Program >>

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August 16, 2021

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The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

homework related to stress

A source of stress: why homework needs to go away


Hank Perkins , Staff Writer December 17, 2021

When Owen Davis goes home after a long day of school at Loy Norrix and KAMSC, all he wants to do is relax and spend time with friends and family, but he realizes he has loads of homework to complete for the next day. Davis is in difficult classes, including Geology, AP Statistics, and Advanced Computer Science, which all give him a lot of homework. 

Homework is a burden for students, as they usually have substantial amounts of homework every day after school where they do not have a sufficient amount of time to complete it due to other priorities they have, such as extracurriculars and family obligations. Homework is supposed to be beneficial for students, yet it is the complete opposite as all it does is increase student’s levels of stress dramatically and makes their life harder. 

According to When Homework Causes Stress , “In 2013, research conducted by Stanford University demonstrated that students from high-achieving communities experience stress, physical health problems, an imbalance in their lives, and alienation from society as a result of spending too much time on homework. According to the survey data, 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress. The remaining students viewed tests and the pressure to get good grades as the primary stressors. Notably, less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.”

Many students at Loy Norrix feel tremendous stress due to the large amount of homework they get every night as they would like to relax after a long day at school, yet they need to continue their diligent studies at home. 

From a survey of 124 students, about 100 agreed that homework is unnecessary and students feel overwhelmed from it due to their extracurriculars outside of school. 

homework related to stress

A majority of students claim to spend 2+ hours on doing homework every night.

One third of students surveyed are in AP classes or are in KAMSC and claim these types of classes assign them a lot of homework, causing them stress. 

Students in regular classes claim to have less homework than those in honors and AP classes, yet these students in regular classes still believe their homework is unnecessary. 

Senior Ari’el Abbott who is taking AP classes at Loy Norrix mentioned her disapproval of homework’s effects on her mental strength.

“ Sometimes homework goes to the point where you are doing so much it’s harder to retain what you are learning compared to what is needed to know,” Abbott said. “I can be working for 4 hours in a class, and by the time I finish with the one class, I am too tired to even attempt to do another class which could cause one of two things: me working hard overdoing myself and possibly getting a bad grade on the assignments or mentally exhausting myself and then becoming behind in multiple classes. Either way the assignments are taking too long to complete which causes me to overwork myself.”

According to Kalamazoo Public Schools sets districtwide homework policy , the KPS District suggests that teachers give 10 minutes of homework per night for students in kindergarten and first grade and increase the amount by 10 minutes per night as grade levels go up. This means that seniors in high school are recommended to have roughly two hours of homework per night. 

Students in high school get way too much homework every night as they also have extracurricular activities and other duties to do, and the last thing they want to do after a hard day of school is to continue learning what they have already covered in school. 

Many students feel the amount of homework they receive influences their lives in a way where they cannot do the things they love. Senior Matthew Gray said how homework has affected his life during virtual learning.

“Online, I’d be getting huge projects and essays to do, so I would just be on my computer all day and miss out on other things I could be doing, such as hanging out with friends and family, since I have things to get done,” Gray said.

Another person that doesn’t see the positives of homework is AP Spanish teacher Christina Holmes.

“I try to keep homework to a minimum,” Holmes said. “I feel like homework should only continue something that has been worked on in class. I would never assign new material as homework. Homework, if given, is one of two things, an opportunity to complete an assignment that was worked on in class or an opportunity to use the language in a real life setting, such as watching a TV show in Spanish or talking to someone in Spanish,” Holmes said. 

While some students and teachers do not admire and agree with homework, other students and teachers do see the necessity of homework. AP Calculus teacher Adam Hosler is a proponent in favor of homework. 

“Homework is especially important for math as you have to practice the skills on your own to internalize it, to know what you’re doing,” Hosler said, “I think the amount of homework students should do is dependent on the student’s level, so AP kids would have more homework than kids in Algebra II, so I think there’s a feel on how much homework students should do. I base homework on quality over quantity: as long as you understand the topics, instead of how much homework you do. Students do need more practice based on their levels on certain topics though.”

According to Is Homework Beneficial? – Top 3 Pros and Cons , students who do homework for 30 to 90 minutes a day score 40 points higher on the SAT Math portion than students who do no homework a day. 

Additionally, in relation to standardized tests and grades, students who do homework perform better than 69% of students who do not have homework. 

Statistical research from the High School Journal on the impact of homework showed that 64% of students in one study and 72% of students in another study, improved academic achievement due to having homework.

Homework’s so-called purpose is to be beneficial to students, yet it appears to be the direct opposite, as homework usually causes negative effects for students. 

If teachers are to give students homework, it should be homework that is relevant to the real world. It should contain skills that are realistic to the skills you would use in real life. Homework should not be worksheets that are irrelevant to the world outside of their classes. 

Teachers should be more mindful of students’ lives outside of school as teachers often load students with immense amounts of homework that students are not capable of completing, which makes their lives even more difficult on top of other obligations outside of school. 

A change needs to be made on the homework policy. Homework should be relevant to the real world and not just monotonous daily worksheets that don’t seem to serve a purpose to the real world. 

Less amounts of homework need to be given to allow students to relax outside of school and enjoy their lives, instead of constantly being stressed due to their homework duties. 

  • adam hosler
  • Ari'el Abbott
  • Christina Holmes
  • hank perkins
  • Matthew Gray


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The University of Texas at Austin

August 23, 2022 , Filed Under: Uncategorized

How to Manage Homework-Related Stress

Ask students what causes them the most stress, and the conversation will likely turn to homework. Students have complained about homework for practically as long as it has existed. While some dismiss these complaints as students’ laziness or lack of organization, there’s more to it than that. Many students face a lot of pressure to succeed in school, sports, work, and other areas. Also, more teens and young adults are dealing with mental health problems, with up to 40% of college students reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety.  

Researchers and professionals debate over whether homework does more harm than good, but at least for now, homework is an integral part of education. How do students deal with heavy homework loads? It’s become common for overwhelmed students to use an essay service to help them complete their assigned tasks. Pulling all-nighters to finish assignments and study for tests is another strategy busy college students use, for better or worse. 

If you’re a student that’s struggling to get all your homework done, make sure to take care of your mental health. School is important, but your health is more important. Try the following tips to help you stay on top of your busy schedule.

Make a Schedule

Time management is an important skill, but you can’t learn it without effort. The first step to managing your time more effectively is to make a schedule and stick to it. Use a calendar, planner, or an app to write down everything you need to get done. Set reminders for due dates and set aside time each day for studying. Don’t leave assignments for the last minute. Plan to finish your work well ahead of the due date in case something unexpected happens and you need more time. Make sure your schedule is realistic. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete each task. And schedule time for hobbies and social activities too. 

Find a Study Spot

Doing homework in a dedicated workspace can boost your productivity. Studying in bed could make you fall asleep, and doing homework in a crowded, noisy place can be distracting. You want to complete as much work as possible during your study sessions, so choose a place that’s free of distractions. Make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach. Resist the temptation to check your notifications or social media feeds while you study. Put your phone in airplane mode if necessary so it doesn’t distract you. You don’t need a private office to study efficiently, but having a quiet, distraction-free place to do your homework can help you to get more done.

Get Enough Rest

An all-nighter every once in a while probably won’t do you any lasting harm. But a consistent lack of sleep is bad for your productivity and your health. Most young people need at least 7 hours of sleep every night, so make it your goal to go to bed on time. You’ll feel better throughout the day, have more energy, and improve your focus. Instead of dozing off while you’re doing homework, you’ll be more alert and productive if you get enough sleep. 

It’s also important to spend time relaxing and enjoying your favorite activities. Hang out with friends, take a walk, or watch a movie. You’ll feel less stressed if you take some time for yourself.

Don’t Shoot for Perfection

It’s tempting to try to get a perfect grade on every test or assignment. But perfectionism only causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you consider yourself a perfectionist, you might spend too much time on less important tasks. Prioritize your assignments and put more time and effort into the most important ones. 

Most people struggle with perfectionism because they’ve been taught they should do their best at everything. But you don’t have to go above and beyond for every assignment. That’s not to say you should turn in bad work. But putting in just enough effort to get by isn’t a bad thing. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be the best at everything. Focus on your most important assignments, and don’t spend too much time and effort perfecting the others. 

Almost all students deal with the burden of homework-related stress. No one enjoys the anxiety of having a lot of assignments due and not enough time to complete them. But take advantage of this opportunity to learn organization and self-discipline, which will help you throughout your life. Try making a schedule and don’t forget to set aside time to rest. When it’s time to study, choose a quiet place where you can concentrate. Don’t neglect your health; if you’re feeling anxious or depressed, talk to a counselor or your doctor. School stress is hard to avoid, but if you take these steps you can reduce homework anxiety and have better control of your time. 

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes —  Marcel Proust

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The student news site of Westwood High School.

Homework is Stressing Students Out


A graph showing what percentage of respondents rated their homework-related stress on a scale of one to ten.

Chloe Boyd , Dreamcatcher Editor-in-Chief March 3, 2021

Despite efforts to reduce it, homework has been a major cause of stress for students all throughout middle and high school. It has placed pressure on students to do well in school for as long as the institution has been in place. The stress from modern-day schooling is at deeply concerning amounts. Ask the 516 Westwood students who completed a survey conducted this year, asking students to rate their homework-related stress on a scale of one to ten. An overwhelming majority of 85.7% said that their stress was either seven, eight, nine, or ten.

It doesn’t end there. When asking students if they’ve ever had to, “skip family events, plans with friends, or other activities because [they’ve] had homework,” a majority amount of 87% said yes.

When asked if they felt as though they do enough work at school and that the extra work to bring home is too much, over 79% of them said yes.

Then the students were asked to identify which of the things they’ve had to deal with as a result of homework’s stress. This list included getting a headache, severe procrastination, poor sleep (or fewer hours than usual), not eating, forgetting to drink water, crying, getting frustrated/angry, isolating [themselves], or feeling as though [they] lacked emotion. The most, with 90.7%, was “gotten frustrated/angry,” the next largest percentage was, “severely procrastinated,” with 88.2%. The following highest was 87.8% of the students saying that they’ve, “slept poorly/gotten fewer hours than usual.”

The “other” box had some heartbreaking answers. Many students were saying that they had anxiety and depression from homework, as well as panic attacks. Another student even said that they’d, “been hospitalized and missed weeks of school.” One student sent a response in this “other” box that particularly stood out. They wrote, ”too much homework makes me feel like I’m not a person and like my passions and interests don’t matter.”

The following question asked “How many days a week do you feel stressed from homework?”

homework related to stress

When asked if they felt as though homework improved or worsened their grades, 61.9% of students said that it was “somewhere in between.”

The next question was, “over time, do you think school has made you a better student/person in general or a worse one?” The students responded with nearly half of them (48.7%) saying that they couldn’t tell. Only 30.4% of students said that homework improved their grades.

The students were then asked where their stress came from. The choices were, “I’m not usually stressed, school’s pressures/grades, homework, family/friends, job/pressure to get one, and other’s expectations of you.” The highest percentage was, “school’s pressures/grades,” with 88.3%, which was followed closely by, “homework,” with 77.5%. The, “other,” box for this question had some disheartening responses. One student said, “there are days where I want to just wake up and live. Like I remember days where I enjoyed going to school and participating but now it feels like a chore…” Another said that they have “mental health issues rooting from personal life and school.”

“Do you wish you didn’t have homework, and/or that your life would be better if you didn’t have it?” the next yes/no question asked students. The results were “yes” in a landslide, with 78.9%.

The following question asked students if they were exhausted from homework. (This one was optional, and only had 514 responses.)

homework related to stress

“If you could make any changes to your homework load, what would they be?” Several hundred students had the words, “no homework,” or simply, “less,” as a response. Nearly every student that answered, including the ones that sent paragraphs of feedback, said that they were fine with the concept of homework but that it needed to be lessened if there was going to be any genuine learning. Another common response was to make it optional, and only the students that needed to do it would. One of these responses resonated the issue with homework perfectly. “Make it less and instead of just focusing on the results of grades, focus on the actual growth of the students. When the homework and school system in general is just focused on the results of grades it encourages students to cheat more at the cost of never really actually learning the information.”

The final question was, “do you feel as though your opinion about homework isn’t heard?” The results were staggering. Of all the students, 73.1% of them felt like their opinion about homework isn’t heard.

If these students are our future, people who will one day run the world, the system they are put into at a young age should be something that brings out the gifts, talents, and potential that each student has. How can it do this if the students are being given so much homework that they begin to lose their mental health? How can it do this if they’re being put under so much pressure by the system that is supposed to be preparing them for adulthood?

Fixing the students’ learning environment to be less stressful, less overbearing has to be the answer. If giving students tests upon tests, and endless empty assignments isn’t the answer, then what needs to change? It should be a system focused on the health and development of each individual. It should be something that grows a student into someone that they, themselves, can believe in, instead of putting them through this intellectually abusive system. It should be something that encourages creativity and individuality rather than restricting it.

Students are crying out in these responses. We are overly exhausted, mentally and emotionally unstable, anxious and depressed, physically unwell, and overworked. This isn’t enough, the pitiful extra spaces of time in their schedules to get work done. We need to change the core of the system into something that truly teaches students, rather than a machine that spits out meaningless busywork.

What if we shifted the view of school entirely? What if we switched from busywork to assignments that added to the students’ understanding? What if we added different types of assignments, to suit all of the different learning styles? We could include visual, auditory, linguistic, hands-on, logical, social, and individual. Working as a team to find a solution that helps the students better understand the material. Something that brings the life, the energy and excitement back into learning. Learning should be something that children should be excited about. It should be something that makes them analyze the problems at hand and come up with new solutions, rather than a teacher lecturing a classroom for an hour and expecting full comprehension. Getting the wrong answer should be something that’s expected, something to grow from, instead of being shunned and given a failing grade simply because they didn’t understand. In our school especially, the race for the most A’s should be replaced with an environment where students are allowed to make mistakes. Education should be focused on understanding, rather than the ability to memorize and throw it all up again on a test before forgetting it all immediately. If we are all trying to truly grasp what it means to learn, the system that the youth is being put through isn’t going to work. If the cost of education is the students’ health and ability to learn, we should reshape the way they’re being taught.

Photo of Chloe Boyd

Class of 2023 Hello! I'm the Dreamcatcher Editor-in-Chief, and I graduate in 2023. I'm really excited to be working for Press! I'm also Junior Varsity...

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dog • Jun 8, 2023 at 10:26 pm

Janga • May 1, 2023 at 2:07 pm

I feel we should not have homework cause it is very stressful! 🙂

jack • Apr 27, 2023 at 1:27 pm

bobby westwood


  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Health & Wellness

Stress & Anxiety | Written by:  Keely

The Truth About Homework Stress: What Parents & Students Need to Know

Homework is generally given out to ensure that students take time to review and remember the days lessons. It can help improve on a student’s general performance and enhance traits like self-discipline and independent problem solving.

Parents are able to see what their children are doing in school, while also helping teachers determine how well the lesson material is being learned. Homework is quite beneficial when used the right way and can improve student  performance.

This well intentioned practice can turn sour if it’s not handled the right way. Studies show that if a student is inundated with too much homework, not only do they get lower scores, but they are more likely to get stressed.

The age at which homework stress is affecting students is getting lower, some even as low as kindergarten. Makes you wonder what could a five year old possibly need to review as homework?

One of the speculated reasons for this stress is that the complexity of what a student is expected to learn is increasing, while the breaks for working out excess energy are reduced. Students are getting significantly more homework than recommended by the education leaders, some even nearly three times more.

To make matters worse, teachers may give homework that is both time consuming and will keep students busy while being totally non-productive.

Remedial work like telling students to copy notes word for word from their text books will  do nothing to improve their grades or help them progress. It just adds unnecessary stress.

Effects of homework stress at home

Both parents and students tend to get stressed out at the beginning of a new school year due to the impending arrival of homework.

Nightly battles centered on finishing assignments are a household routine in houses with students.

Research has found that too much homework can negatively affect children. In creating a lack of balance between play time and time spent doing homework, a child can get headaches, sleep deprivation or even ulcers.

And homework stress doesn’t just impact grade schoolers. College students are also affected, and the stress is affecting their academic performance.

homework stress college students statistics

Even the parent’s confidence in their abilities to help their children with homework suffers due increasing stress levels in the household.

Fights and conflict over homework are more likely in families where parents do not have at least a college degree. When the child needs assistance, they have to turn to their older siblings who might already be bombarded with their own homework.

Parents who have a college degree feel more confident in approaching the school and discussing the appropriate amount of school work.

“It seems that homework being assigned discriminates against parents who don’t have college degree, parents who have English as their second language and against parents who are poor.” Said Stephanie Donaldson Pressman, the contributing editor of the study and clinical director of the New England Center for Pediatric Psychology.

With all the stress associated with homework, it’s not surprising that some parents have opted not to let their children do homework. Parents that have instituted a no-homework policy have stated that it has taken a lot of the stress out of their evenings.

The recommended amount homework

The standard endorsed by the National Education Association is called the “10 minute rule”; 10 minutes per grade level per night. This recommendation was made after a number of studies were done on the effects of too much homework on families.

The 10 minute rule basically means 10 minutes of homework in the first grade, 20 minute for the second grade all the way up to 120 minutes for senior year in high school. Note that no homework is endorsed in classes under the first grade.

Parents reported first graders were spending around half an hour on homework each night, and kindergarteners spent 25 minutes a night on assignments according to a study carried out by Brown University.

Making a five year old sit still for half an hour is very difficult as they are at the age where they just want to move around and play.

A child who is exposed to 4-5 hours of homework after school is less likely to find the time to go out and play with their friends, which leads to accumulation of stress energy in the body.

Their social life also suffers because between the time spent at school and doing homework, a child will hardly have the time to pursue hobbies. They may also develop a negative attitude towards learning.

The research highlighted that 56% of students consider homework a primary source of stress.

And if you’re curious how the U.S stacks up against other countries in regards to how much time children spend on homework, it’s pretty high on the list .

countries where kids do the most homework

Signs to look out for on a student that has homework stress

Since not every student is affected by homework stress in the same way, it’s important to be aware of some of the signs your child might be mentally drained from too much homework.

Here are some common signs of homework stress:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Frequent stomachaches and headaches
  • Decreased appetite or changed eating habits
  • New or recurring fears
  • Not able to relax
  • Regressing to behavior they had when younger
  • Bursts of anger crying or whining
  • Becoming withdrawn while others may become clingy
  • Drastic changes in academic performance
  • Having trouble concentrating or completing homework
  • Constantly complains about their ability to do homework

If you’re a parent and notice any of these signs in your child, step in to find out what’s going on and if homework is the source of their stress.

If you’re a student, pay attention if you start experiencing any of these symptoms as a result of your homework load. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher or parents for help if the stress of homework becomes too much for you.

What parents do wrong when it comes to homework stress

Most parents push their children to do more and be more, without considering the damage being done by this kind of pressure.

Some think that homework brought home is always something the children can deal with on their own. If the child cannot handle their homework then these parents get angry and make the child feel stupid.

This may lead to more arguing and increased dislike of homework in the household. Ultimately the child develops an even worse attitude towards homework.

Another common mistake parents make is never questioning the amount of homework their children get, or how much time they spend on it. It’s easy to just assume whatever the teacher assigned is adequate, but as we mentioned earlier, that’s not always the case.

Be proactive and involved with your child’s homework. If you notice they’re spending hours every night on homework, ask them about it. Just because they don’t complain doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

How can parents help?

  • While every parent wants their child to become successful and achieve the very best, it’s important to pull back on the mounting pressure and remember that they’re still just kids. They need time out to release their stress and connect with other children.
  • Many children may be afraid to admit that they’re overwhelmed by homework because they might be misconstrued as failures. The best thing a parent can do is make home a safe place for children to express themselves freely. You can do this by lending a listening ear and not judging your kids.
  • Parents can also take the initiative to let the school know that they’re unhappy with the amount of homework being given. Even if you don’t feel comfortable complaining, you can approach the school through the parent-teacher association available and request your representative to plead your case.
  • It may not be all the subjects that are causing your child to get stressed. Parents should find out if there is a specific subject of homework that is causing stress. You could also consult with other parents to see what they can do to fix the situation. It may be the amount or the content that causes stress, so the first step is identifying the problem.
  • Work with your child to create a schedule for getting homework done on time. You can set a specific period of time for homework, and schedule time for other activities too. Strike a balance between work and play.
  • Understanding that your child is stressed about homework doesn’t mean you have to allow them not to try. Let them sit down and work on it as much as they’re able to, and recruit help from the older siblings or a neighbor if possible.
  • Check out these resources to help your child with their homework .

The main idea here is to not abolish homework completely, but to review the amount and quality of homework being given out. Stress, depression and lower grades are the last things parents want for their children.

The schools and parents need to work together to find a solution to this obvious problem.

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