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Lets rethink homework policies

Homework - as soon as I hear the word I know a long night with no friends, no fun and no freedom is ahead.

People may think homework helps us learn and prepares us for future schooling, but in my opinion after six and a half long hours of school we shouldn't be forced to do more work.

School is a time for working hard but afternoons, nights, weekends and holidays shouldn't be clouded with more work to do. Not many kids with homework are able to do normal kid stuff, like hanging out with friends or reading a book, just for the fun of it.

Instead, we get home to a mound of homework just waiting to be done. I think we shouldn't have to do so much homework; we should be able to do moderate portions of homework on an irregular basis.

With homework comes high expectations, pressuring parents and the weight of grades all resting on ones shoulders. This stress leaves kids with a negative attitude toward school and learning. With smaller amounts of homework, like 30 minutes per night, kids would be excited to learn new things, not dreading school.

Homework also interferes with other activities children should be able to participate in without the worry of mounds of homework to do the same night. I, for example, come home, go straight to a volleyball or softball practice. Then I get back home, eat dinner and go straight to homework. In that schedule I don't see a time to relax, play with friends or be an average kid.

After all that homework, I'm usually exhausted and can't wait for a good night full of sleep. But I find myself usually going to bed later and waking up, still tired. School also ruins other chances for us to learn different things the school is not teaching us. When we go to school we get taught particular things, like math and reading. If we want to learn something not based on their curriculum, we have to find our own time for it. That, in most cases usually never happens though because most of our time is taken up by our usual homework and other commitments.

A child should have a childhood, right?

After six long hours of school we should be able to play, relax, spend time with our parents, enjoy time with our friends and do normal kid stuff. But what is normal kid stuff these days? It appears to me that normal kid stuff is long hours of homework, short hours of sleep and no hours to have fun. If homework interferes with our childhood we will have nothing to remember about our childhood, except the fact we spent all of our free time on homework.

Childhood is supposed to be a wondrous time in life but homework is interfering with that short amount we have. We only have one lifetime and we should be able to fill it with happiness, excitement and enthusiasm. We shouldn't be wasting our time with stress, anxiety and loads of homework.

School shouldn't be something that is dreaded, yet it is, because no kid will want to go to school knowing that the teachers will assign a night full of homework. If homework is given in huge amounts children will be discouraged to go to school, complete assignments, and moat of all discouraged to learn.

I believe learning is an extreme value in our society. The world would not function as it does without the intelligence of citizens all around the world. If education is that important then it seems to me keeping interest in learning is even more important. Without the desire to acquire new information students will never be interested in school. Students have to want to learn. That is why I believe students would benefit if they had smaller portions of homework on an irregular basis.

Kalin Rooney, 14, is a resident of and student in Lake Oswego.