Homework Overload

Plenty of high school students will be burning the midnight oil tonight as they try to finish their homework.

Homework has become the subject of national debate as some students and parents complain there is just too much.

If you catch Stephen White at home in Granger, chances are he is doing homework.

The Penn High School junior takes two advance placement courses to help his chances at getting into a prestigious school, Notre Dame.

Stephen said, “It’s extremely stressful frustrating you just feel so boggled down by it especially when you want to do other things.”

Stephen’s mother, Roberta White said, “That's what I think is the hardest part. I don't right now see him probably relaxing as much as I would like to see him relax. It doesn’t seem like he has the time to do some of the things I did when I was a child and when I was in high school.”

Homework time is up all across the nation.

A University of Michigan study found that the amount of time spent on homework has increased 51 percent since 1981.

Why the extra homework?

Some kids say they are just not getting it done at school anymore.

While they still have study hall, Penn kids no longer have homeroom or additional time when they could catch up on homework and meet with the teachers.

College-bound or not, homework is a major part of students' grades.

Timm Barnbrook, a Penn High School Counselor said, “So many teaches structure it so that homework is this portion of the grade, tests, classroom stuff and so on, so that even if a person didn't do so well on their tests if they did okay on their homework, they could pass the class.”

But there are kids that just do not do their homework or claim they do not have any.

Penn High School Counselor Madeline Watkins said, “If you have a high schooler and your child comes home and says I don't have any homework they're either misinformed because they weren't paying attention or they're lying. They do have homework.”

Freshman counselor Madeline Watkins encourages students to write down homework assignments.

Have a set time for homework after school, and if the homework is light to use that time for reading or review.

Do not procrastinate, if it is assigned, do it.

Have a folder for each class to stay organized.

Have parents supervise the homework time.

Today’s teenagers do have more homework distractions than ever.

For Stephen, it is instant messaging and television.

But he also plays lacrosse and coaches football; activities that he needs to help round out his college application.

Steven added, “Things need to get done. I understand teachers are on a tight schedule. You got to get through the curriculum. We got to learn this stuff. I understand that but still it's like, ‘cut us some slack’ you know?”

Parents often find the subjects too difficult to help, so students are encouraged to ask about tutoring at school.

Check out Rose-Hulman's homework hotline, funded by the Lilly Endowment.

Tutors are available from 7PM to 10PM to answer questions from middle and high school students.

The number to call is 1-877-ASK-ROSE or check out their website by visiting the link below:

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