The Homework Can Wait- Go To Bed!

Students and teachers alike take home hours of homework every night, extending their work days from a typical eight hours to maybe ten or even twelve hours of homework. Kaylee Spurbeck ‘24 estimates that she has approximately three hours of homework each night in addition to cross country and other activities. How does she fit it all in? She sacrifices her sleep.

Spurbeck admits her stress levels are not ideal. She moves from one activity to the next with no time for rest, frequently eating dinner while working on schoolwork. Her only downtime is the few hours of sleep she gets each night.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that teenagers get eight to ten hours of sleep each night. However, that expectation isn’t realistic when students are expected to juggle school, activities, jobs, and on top of all of that, homework. 

“I get home from practice, and then I have to eat dinner, and then I do my homework, then go to bed,” Morgan Sullivan ‘25 said. Sullivan doesn’t go to bed until all of her homework is complete. Her work ethic, while admirable, could be detrimental to her health. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting less than the recommended amount of sleep each night increases your chances of experiencing many chronic illnesses such as heart disease and depression. Chronic stress can do that too.

Students like Spurbeck and Sullivan must learn to prioritize their health and well being so that they are able to perform on all cylinders. The district needs to assist them in doing so.

Johnston Community School District states that their vision is “creating a culture of excellence where students come first.” The district needs to practice what they preach. 

Teaching students and educators how to set boundaries between work and personal life or even being more accepting of those boundaries is an absolute necessity. The district is on the right track with their new homework policy. Instituted in the 2019-2020 school year, homework is no longer graded. This provides students with more flexibility as they do not have to waste valuable time studying topics they are already familiar with. Instead, they can do what they really need to do: go to bed!