School considers 30-minute-a-night homework policy

“I wish we didn’t have all this homework!” This phrase has been uttered by almost every high school student in the past few years. Now that phrase might be a thing of the past with new ideas being put forth by the school to create a push to limit homework. Since 2008 the recommended amount of homework has been two hours of homework per night (or 30 minutes per class). This year there has been a renewed push by the IB coordinators.

While the amount of time it takes to complete a homework assignment varies from student to student, reports from several students say they believe this idea would greatly reduce the amount of homework they receive.  With this new idea it is easier to estimate the amount of homework students will be receiving.

The idea of limiting homework will aid students in their effort to manage their time, but it is not all that can implemented. While students telling teachers they have too much homework is a very common occurrence, students have an opportunity to give their teachers feedback in the form of teacher evaluations. This would give a student the ability to tell their teacher about what they think of the level of homework, as well as the amount of time it took each night.

The “30 minutes or less” idea is helpful to all the students it is applied to, unfortunately it is not being applied to every student, or class. So far this idea seems to have been solely pushed on the teachers of IB classes. This idea has a positive impact on the students subjected to it, of this there is no doubt. However, if this fact is true, how can it be justified that not every teacher needs to abide by it?

Teachers have an obligation to their students, to prepare them for the future, no matter what it holds. This means assigned homework for students must be comprehensive work, not just busy work and worksheets.

Busywork may have been a benefit in elementary and middle school, but in high school students are preparing for the rest of their lives. College, gap year, or the working world, the post high school world is very different from high school.

For the last six years transitions have been heavily pushed in Fairfax County. The transition to middle and high school, as well as transitioning into taking standardized testing with the PSAT, school has always been preparing students for what comes next. If this trend of reinforcing transitions is to be continued, students should be assigned more comprehensive work, aimed at provoking intelligent thoughts from students.

A student has to be able to participate in other after school activities, as well as sports in addition to doing homework and getting the recommended amount of sleep. With less homework, students will have a much easier time managing time.