The Benefits of Reducing Homework
“My dog ate my homework,” is a famous, desperate excuse theoretically used by students who have failed, out of a lack of self-discipline, to complete homework assignments. Although several people believe that doing homework consistently leads to success in life, it is often placed by high school students in the same category as chores; mundane and difficult. While it is true that completing homework can contribute to success in a class, it also can limit the amount of time that high school students are able to work on other educational pursuits. Decreasing the general amount of homework that students are assigned on a daily basis may enable them to pursue other important endeavors such as mastering musical talent, improving athletically, and spending meaningful time with friends and family.
Singing and music in general are things that most people have been familiar with since infancy. Mothers often sing lullabies to their babies, toddlers learn their “A, B, C's” to a song, and may find the pots and pans in the kitchen and compose a symphony to the clanging chorus of wooden spoons on metal surfaces. Music is something that many students, especially in their high school years, value and even need in order to feel emotionally complete. Music also encourages school excellence. A study at the University of California at Irvine illustrated this point:
“One study at the University of California at Irvine showed that preschoolers who took several months of daily group singing lessons as well as private keyboard lessons scored much higher on spatial- reasoning tests - critical in the development of math and engineering ability.” Speaking from personal experience, several of my friends and I have found that setting aside time for music practice is increasingly difficult as the amount of homework we are assigned increases” (Prince.)
In addition to musical improvement, athleticism is important pursuit that high school students should have the time to cultivate. Schools sports usually occupy approximately two hours each school day during the season. That serious time commitment leaves little time for any other pursuits (such as music practice) beside homework after practice. However, having time to exercise is vitally important, as suggested by a report from the Institute of Medicine:
“children who are more active show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed,and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.” Allowing students the time to exercise according to their interest without the fear of homework may actually increase their performance in school” (Physical Activity.)