Homework Isn't Just Pointless; It's A Health Hazard
According to most educational experts, the standard for homework should be the ten-minute rule -- i.e. absolutely no more than 10 minutes per grade per night, with kindergartners getting no homework at all. But lo and behold, research has found that on average, first-graders get three times as much homework as recommended, while kindergartners are getting 25 minutes of assignments, when the only things they should be taking home from school are crappy drawings and head lice.
And homework overload isn't just pointless busywork, but downright toxic. Many studies have shown that, especially in elementary school, homework doesn't improve scholastic achievement. In fact, it's likely causing the opposite. For young students, too much homework is "detrimental to their attitude about school, their grades, their self-confidence, their social skills, and their quality of life," according to pediatric clinical director Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman. It doesn't matter whether you're going the extra mile for corporate or Mrs. Sing in third grade; being forced to work in your off-time is a surefire path to burnout.
And that also applies to the parents helping with homework, who feel the same stress and anxiety from having to spend hours a week as an unpaid substitute teacher. All this time, the graffiti in the school bathroom was right. Homework sucks.
School Starts When Teens Are Still In Sleep Mode
In case you haven't noticed their mutating skin and wildfire hormones, teens are biologically different from both kids and adults. And that also applies to their circadian rhythm. Our bodies produce the hormone melatonin to regulate sleepiness. As kids, melatonin secretion starts knocking us out in the early hours of the night, which is why babysitters have so much free time to mess up your Netflix algorithm. But during puberty, this nocturnal melatonin downer is delayed by several hours, making it difficult for teens to fall asleep before 11 p.m.
With that shift in their sleep cycle, the America Academy of Pediatrics advises that these growing bodies should not be dragged out of bed until 8 a.m. at the earliest. But because that timing's slightly inconvenient for adults (who've all forgotten what it's like to be a teenager), society doesn't care. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 73% of teens get under eight hours of sleep a day, and a staggering 43% get under six hours. Meaning almost three out of four teens are shuffling around taking exams and handling saws in shop class while chronically sleep-deprived.
Antonioguillem/Adobe StockYou read that right. Teens who can stay conscious in class get better grades. These are the groundbreaking discoveries we bring you here at Cracked.