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Why Is High School Too Long Essay

Some people believe that school days are too short, however, school days are actually too long. An average high school day in America lasts six and a half hours; that is approximately 1,170 hours a year for schools that have 180 days a year (Nisen, para. 3). Although the average school day is six and a half hours, many high schools’ days are longer. For example, students at Eastern View High School go to school for seven hours and fifteen minutes each day, which is 1,305 hours of education per year (Eastern View High).

This is too long of a day for adolescents to be forced to spend at school. High school school days are too long for students because teens are left with little time for homework, other activities outside of school, and do not get enough sleep. One effect of long school days is students are left with a small amount of time to complete homework. High school students have loads of homework every night and struggle to complete it in a timely manner.

Most teachers assign three and a half hours of homework each night, which is seventeen and a half hours of homework a night (Klein, para. ). Klein claims a lot of this homework is an unnecessary amount and its only purpose is busywork (para. 7). Although teachers may think they are assigning a certain amount of homework, they are not considering the time it takes students to process or think about the questions they are doing, the amount of time to study, nor the amount of distractions a child may run into on the way during the process of completing homework. An example is Preston, from a New Jersey high school, who has four hours of homework a night and is also involved in the swimming team at his school.

New Jersey’s board limited homework from three to four hours to two hours a night and requested teachers not to give homework on weekends, after receiving several complaints from parents (Too Much Homework, para. 1-4). School boards should take into consideration of the large amounts of homework and how much stress it puts in a student’s life for time management. In the chart presented in, This is How Much Homework Teens Do Around the World, the United States is the thirty first country out of the thirty eight countries listed with the most homework.

According to this display, the United States’ average amount of hours of homework a week is six hours, with the least amount at 2. 3 hours and the greatest at eight hours. Also, just about every country has decreased in the amount of homework a week, except for the United States (Klein, para. 3). Amounts of homework definitely varies per child, class, and teacher. For example, if a student is advantaged they will have more homework than the average student.

The chart from This is How Much Homework Teens Do Around the World shows that students have an average of six hours of homework a week, however, Preston from New Jersey had four hours each night, which is 20 hours a week. This proves that some students will have way more than the average amount of homework. If some students have over four hours of homework a night, that is almost like having a second school day in the same day. Large amounts of homework with little time to complete it can be extremely stressful and even cause anxiety.

In fact, just about twenty percent of teens experience anxiety (Teens Are Feeling, para. 2). Many people believe that homework will improve a student’s academic performance, however, many studies have proven that wrong. According to What Research Says About the Value of Homework: Research Review, some students that are given less homework are actually receiving higher grades. People believe that homework will benefit students by teaching them how to develop responsibilities and deal with distractions (What Research Says, para. 4-5). Although that may be true for some students, it is not true for everyone.

Everyone has different work ethics and will react in their own ways. For example, one student might learn how to deal with responsibilities, while another student might start to avoid responsibilities. If someone gets so stressed out about something, they might just give up and put off finishing work. This could actually change a student from being responsible to irresponsible, and it may result in a decrease of grades as well. As far as homework goes for teaching students how to deal with difficulties and distractions is also false.

Homework only creates another difficulty and distraction in teens’ lives. There are so many distractions while completing homework, and at the same time, homework is a distraction for a child’s daily life routine. Not only will difficulties of homework bring down grades, it will also bring down a student’s self-confidence. Large amounts of homework create so much stress on a student (Wallace, para. 11-12). This will change their thoughts and opinions about school overall just by the stress they develop from stressful, distracting homework. Getting stuck and onfused on homework leaves a teen feeling unintelligent and angry with themselves. Wallace describes that homework is not beneficial to a high school student’s grades or GPA average, but it rather changes a student’s attitude towards school in a negative manner (para. 11).

Research proves that there is no direct correlation between homework and a student’s academic performance. An example to support this claim is students in Finland exceed students’ performance in the United States, yet they are given less homework than these U. S. students are (What Research Says, para. -17). Another thing teens do not have enough time for after long hours of school is sleep. Sleep is essential and a priority to all human beings. The National Sleep Foundation says, “Teens’ natural sleep cycle puts them in conflict with school start times. Most high school students need an alarm clock or a parent to wake them on school days. They are like zombies getting ready for school and find it hard to be alert and pay attention in class. Because they are sleep deprived, they are sleepy all day and cannot do their best” (Teens and Sleep, pg. 3).

Although teens need to get eight to ten hours of sleep each night, most only get an average of seven hours of sleep (Sleep in Adolescents, para. 1). Only fifteen percent of teens get eight and a half hours of sleep on school nights (A Good Night’s, para. 3). Most people cannot naturally fall asleep until 11:00 PM, and it is unnormal for anyone to fall asleep before then (Teens and Sleep, pg. 3). If a teen does not go to bed until 11:00 PM and then might have to wake up as early as 5:00 AM, that is only six hours of sleep. That is up to four hours less than suggested.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests in order for high schoolers to get more sleep, school should start at a later time (Teens and Sleep, pg. 3). It may seem like starting school just an hour later would not make a huge difference. However, if school started at least an hour later, that would be an extra hour of sleep each night and five more hours a week. If schools started later, there would be more attendance and less tardies since students who are sleep deprived are often tardy and/or absent (Sleep in Adolescents, para. 2).

Also, teens’ brains would work better being less tired, so grades would most likely improve. In one study done at Stanford University, student athletes increased the amounts of sleep they got, and it improved their athletic skills, such as sprint times and swimmers got their best times (A Good Night’s, para. 7). If getting more sleep improved advanced athletes’ skills, it would definitely improve every student’s academic performance just by getting more sleep. Unfortunately, not getting enough sleep comes with various consequences. Not getting enough sleep can result in sleep deprivation.

This would leave students sleepy in school and unable to concentrate on things, such as learning and paying attention in class. The National Sleep Foundation suggests not doing homework right before going to bed to get better sleep, however, that is nearly impossible for some students (Teens and Sleep, pg. 2). Many students have multiple things to do everyday, so their only option is to complete homework late at night and right before bed. Abilities such as memory, creativity, and paying attention will decline when sleepy (Sleep in Adolescents, para. ). A lack of sleep could also cause teens to have skin problems and issues with acne. Illnesses and sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea can even develop from not receiving enough sleep. Teens will be moodier than usual and it could even cause them to become aggressive and take their grumpiness out on others.

Sleep can affect a person’s mood so much, it can cause hopelessness and even depression. Fifty eight percent of teens reported of constantly feeling stressed or anxious (Teens and Sleep, pg. -4). Twenty percent of teens will suffer from depression at some point in their life (Why Are So, para. 3). When a teenager is tired it can cause them to start having bad eating habits (A Good Night’s, para. 2). This can result in teens eating too much and becoming overweight (Teens and Sleep, pg. 2). Sleepiness can also mess with the human mind and lead to an increase of chances of making risky decisions, such as engaging in drinking alcohol, smoking, doing drugs, and speeding when driving (Sleep in Adolescents, para. 7).

This will interfere and increase the dangers and effects of these risks (Teens and Sleep, pg. 2). Another huge danger sleepiness can cause is drowsy driving. Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports in Sleep in Adolescents (13-18 Years), “Teenagers are at the highest risk for falling asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving is the most likely to occur in the middle of the night (2:00 to 4:00 AM), but also in mid-afternoon (3:00 to 4:00 PM). ” Mid-afternoon is right when high schools release students from school. Eastern View High School’s students are let out at 3:10 PM, for example (Eastern View High).

This means that many students are exhausted after a long school day and are driving while tired, which is extremely dangerous for both these teens and other drivers. Over 100,000 car crashes a year are caused by drowsy driving (Teens and Sleep, pg. 2). Obviously, not getting enough sleep can come with some major consequences, while some can even be life threatening. Students are left with hardly any time at all for other activities after long hours of school. According to A Day in the Life, teens spend around 8. 6 hours sleeping in a day’s twenty four hours, when they need eight to ten hours.

A Day in the Life also states that students have 8. 6 of education a day, while this does not include time spent on homework. The remaining hours are spent as followed: 2. 3 hours of media/communication, 1. 4 hours of leisure, one hour of eating/drinking, 0. 7 hours of playing sports, 0. 9 hours of grooming, 0. 1 hours of religious activities, 0. 5 hours of working/volunteering, and 1. 7 hours of other miscellaneous activities a day. High school students should be allowed more time to be involved in volunteer jobs and religious activities.

Many students also need a job but are left unemployed due to limited amounts of time to fit in all the needs in their life. A child should have more time to eat three meals than in one hour and more than 1. 4 hours of free time a day. This set of data does not even include time for homework, chores, or family time. Fifty five percent of high schoolers are involved in sports (High School Sports, para. 2). Sports are very important for teens to be a part of because exercise is essential, especially at these particular age ranges of the high school years.

Many teenagers do not get enough exercise in their life. In fact, sixteen percent of teens are overweight, and 13. 9 % are obese (Study of High, para. 1). Students cannot just cut sports out of their life due to limited times to be involved in non educational activities because it is truly something very beneficial to teens. This causes even more difficulties for students when they are athletes because it is even less time for homework, family, and sleep, and especially causes more stress.

Although sports are beneficial to health, it is also valuable for students’ grades and performance in school. For instance, most students who participate in sports perform academically better than those who are not (High School Sports, para. 8). Another outside of school activity that long school hours does not allow for students is family time. Donnelly says that the more time teens spend with their family, the more of a positive influence a teen will have in their life. She says family time can simply help tame a teenager.

Even if a teen could find a spare hour a day to spend with family, that would be an extra five hours a week of positive impacts a teen would experience. This could make a huge difference in a teenager’s behavior. Some parents worry about not spending enough time with their child, which actually causes stress for both of them. The stress level of a parent will heighten the stress level of the child (Six Hours a, para. 1). Family time is needed in a child’s life, however, in many instances teens truly do not have enough time for family between a long school day and all the work following school.

In conclusion, high school school days are exceedingly too long because students are bombarded with tons of homework, which is usually busywork, after a long day of education for seven hours. Students also do not get enough sleep, resulting in many serious consequences. Also, teens do not have enough time for other activities that are unrelated to school, such as exercise and family time, which is very important to be included in a teen’s life. Long high school days prevent students from living a stress-free life of their own.

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