Too much homework can cause stress, anxiety and tension for the student and the parents. Home time should be down time for children just as it should be for adults after a day of working. Homework is necessary sometimes but a constant stream of work coming home should be a sign to the parent that the child is not using their class time wisely and not a purposeful act by the teacher.
When you arrive home from work you don’t instantly want to jump right back into the job, you want a chance to sit down and relax for five or ten minutes before you start dinner or breakfast, depending on what kind of job and shift you work. There is no reason to believe your child doesn’t feel the same way. If you child is eager to get working on a project or assignment at home then don’t stand in their way but don’t greet them after school with “Let’s get that homework started.”
Homework should be confined to work that the child didn’t get finished in school and studying for tests. When a child begins to see no end to the work and no beginning to the relaxation/fun time then stress levels and anxiety rise. The child can’t cope with no down time other than sleep.
Stress and anxiety lead to many health issues including weakened immune systems. When your child misses school not only do they have to deal with the regular homework but also with days worth of in class work they have missed. This in turn will cause the stress to return and the cycle will start all over again.
Most children are now in one or more after school activities and so they need to learn how to organize their time around all their commitments. This is especially hard if the teacher doesn’t see the child’s home time as being their down time. Adults know from their own experience what it is like to never feel like their time is their own. Children are going through lots of changes both physical and psychological. Having no free time to think their own thoughts leaves them feeling trapped in an adult world. When their whole world revolves around getting school work done children are not able to make the social connections they need nor feel like they are connected in any way to a group. Study groups are a possible way for over loaded students to create connections but sitting in a group studying is not the same as going to the skate park to hang out and goof off or going to a friends house to listen to music and talk about nothing.
Homework should be confined to work not completed during regular school hours or studying for tests. Anything more than that will interrupt the child’s down time and leave them feeling overwhelmed and stressed.