All Homework in High School Should be Optional

Karli Applestein, Opinion Editor

School has no shortage of setbacks. Boring classes, long lectures, irresponsible classmates, and so on. But homework is one aspect of school that is not just a nuisance but can actually be a pillar for stress. 

A typical day for a student is around 6-7 hours, and high school students are mounted with work practically from the moment they walk in the building. Class after class, work after work. The older you get, the more work you have and the harder it is to balance school work and other aspects of life. According to, the average amount of homework each day for high school students is 3.5 hours per night, up to 17 hours a week. Driving to New York with a lot of traffic is around the same time it would take for one night of homework, and a flight from Las Vegas to California would take the same amount of time that it takes kids in high school to complete weekly homework assignments. 

This daily and weekly homework hurdle is a lot for us teens to handle. Personally, I find it incredibly hard to make priorities when I have my homework and my life outside of school. Both are important, and I end up getting very overwhelmed trying to balance them on the scale. 

Sometimes, I think that teachers who distribute homework don’t realize the weight it puts on us. College readiness is significantly prominent in our lives, and we are all looking for extra-curricular activities to add to our resumes, as well as fill our passions. With the heavy workload, it is difficult to honor our commitments to these activities.

Homework also takes a huge toll on our mental health. Growing up and having more responsibilities, there are many expectations from you when you are a teenager, and the hefty amount of homework is one of them. It can cause anxiety, panic, and even depression to many students. states that homework can cause sleep loss, as well as mental and physical exhaustion.

Elementary school students don’t have nearly the same issues. Not having to worry about admissions boards watching their every move, most kids their age don´t worry about their future or what it entails. Given the fact that children in elementary school haven’t got much on their plates, they should be the ones given mandatory homework for at least 30 minutes a day.

It is also crucial that children have homework given to them because their memory is much slower than matured minds. On, professionals remark that kids need repetition in order for things to stick into their brains. But with teenage minds, they go on to say that this is not necessarily required to maintain a strong understanding of the topic, proving that homework should not be assigned to high schoolers. 

Material outside the classroom can be helpful to some students, and the practice may be beneficial. But I don’t believe that everyone should be forced to learn and retain information that way. I think that homework should be an option for high school students who want the extra practice on whatever subject they struggle with, but it should not be required, as it only adds more stress and fear to many of our lives.