I walk into my English classroom. “Essay due tomorrow” is written under homework on the board. I groan to myself. I forgot about that. I knew I should’ve worked on it yesterday but I already had lots of homework for my other subjects, plus I had no idea what I should write about. I guess I’ll be paying for that tonight while I’m working on the essay, my drawing for science, my test review sheet for social studies, and my three pages of math problems.
I know school is important, and that by and by I’ll be grateful for all the work that made me smarter, but right now I’m not really seeing that. I don’t see the point of sending us to work hard in school for seven hours, then sending us home with about three more hours of homework. I see this as an issue about school. I do think that some of the homework is useful, but a lot of it is just busywork. What’s the point of writing an essay when we’ve spent years learning how? What’s the point of learning how the moon came into existence, when all that matters is that it’s here now? What’s the point of reviewing for a test that’s material will be completely useless to us in fifteen years? What’s the point of doing hundreds of math problems that no one else will ever learn about and essentially we don’t need to know? There isn’t a point.
On the days when the amount of homework is complete overkill, I think that the teachers are conspiring against us. That they all have a meeting and say to each other, “Let’s give them as much homework as we can think of today, just for fun!” But I know this isn’t true. I wonder, though, do the teachers actually think all this homework is necessary? I certainly don’t. None of the kids do. Maybe homework could be a useful thing if we didn’t have so much of it. I’m sure that if we only had half an hour of homework a night, everyone would be more likely to remember the material. But the way it’s piled on us, everyone is too worried about getting it done than they are about actually understanding it, so they just rush through it all without taking the time to focus on the material. Maybe if we had less homework, school would be a more enjoyable and useful experience.