ASL has not found, or is not looking, for the correct balance for middle school students between school, sports, homework and through all this, still being able to maintain a social life. Many students across the Middle School including me have complained about having too much homework, particularly in the seventh and eighth grades. This is clearly a big problem, but there is an easy solution to this.
Having an average amount of 30 minutes of homework from each class could amount to at least an hour and half of work per night. On top of all this homework, the school and our English teachers expect us to read 30 minutes every day. This would add up to a minimum of two hours of homework. If you play a sport then after practices or games you may be getting home as late as 7:30 or 8:00. At this point you will need to shower and eat dinner which could take up to an hour. If you take the average hour and a half to two hours to do all your homework without procrastination, you could be getting into bed at 11 or later on game or practice days.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), children from the ages of 10 – 14 should be getting at least nine hours of sleep a night. Most kids get up around 6:30 or 7:00 am but some will get up earlier. If that is true, then they will be getting no more than eight hours of sleep per night which will affect them massively the next day.
“It puts more stress on our bodies and minds that we don’t need, and it takes time away from our family and social life,” said Malakai Spencer, an eighth grade student.
Mr. Boodey, an eighth grade English teacher said, “There’s way too much.” The Middle School faculty and admin seem to feel that extending students at home through homework is essential for students to learn the material and achieve. A solution to this may be to try and get teachers on board with the concept of flipped learning and eventually assigning it as homework. The idea of a flipped classroom means that the teachers make or find videos that they can assign us as homework. These can be watched on Haiku and should be about 20 minutes long. These videos will contain the lecture or demonstration of what they would normally give at the beginning of class. Watching these videos would maximize class time to do work rather than be taught the material. Some teachers may not like the idea of a flipped classroom because they may like the idea of taking questions as they are teaching it. But, my thought is that having watched a video of the subject the night before, the children will have a better understanding of the subject and therefore it will be easier to teach them in the classroom. This will therefore help children and teachers.
Clearly, there is a need for change as middle school children are currently being assigned too much homework, and this has an impact on the quality of our lives. It is generally understood that there has to be some learning from home, and flipped learning may be a good solution to the problem. Perhaps if nothing else, it is worth some research, investigation and possibly a trial period to see if it improves the lives of middle schoolers.