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Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

A Stanford researcher found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance and even alienation from society. More than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive, according to the study.

Denise Pope

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative effects on student well-being and behavioral engagement. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.

“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .

The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students’ views on homework.

Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.

Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.

“The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students’ advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being,” Pope wrote.

Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.

Their study found that too much homework is associated with:

• Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.

• Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.

• Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits: Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.

A balancing act

The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.

Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as “pointless” or “mindless” in order to keep their grades up.

“This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points,” Pope said.

She said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.

“Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development,” wrote Pope.

High-performing paradox

In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone,” they wrote, “which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities.”

Student perspectives

The researchers say that while their open-ended or “self-reporting” methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for “typical adolescent complaining” – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.

The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

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More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research suggests.

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative impacts on student well-being and behavioral engagement (Shutterstock)

A Stanford education researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.   "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .   The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students' views on homework.   Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.   Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.   "The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students' advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being," Pope wrote.   Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.   Their study found that too much homework is associated with:   • Greater stress : 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.   • Reductions in health : In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.   • Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits : Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were "not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills," according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.   A balancing act   The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.   Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as "pointless" or "mindless" in order to keep their grades up.   "This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points," said Pope, who is also a co-founder of Challenge Success , a nonprofit organization affiliated with the GSE that conducts research and works with schools and parents to improve students' educational experiences..   Pope said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.   "Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development," wrote Pope.   High-performing paradox   In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. "Young people are spending more time alone," they wrote, "which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities."   Student perspectives   The researchers say that while their open-ended or "self-reporting" methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for "typical adolescent complaining" – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.   The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

Clifton B. Parker is a writer at the Stanford News Service .

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August 16, 2021

Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

by Sara M Moniuszko

homework

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide-range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas over workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework .

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy work loads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace, says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression.

And for all the distress homework causes, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night.

"Most students, especially at these high-achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school ," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely, but to be more mindful of the type of work students go home with, suggests Kang, who was a high-school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework, I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the last two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic, making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized... sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking assignments up can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

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Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in.

effects on too much homework

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework. 

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says, he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy workloads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold , says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace , says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression. 

And for all the distress homework  can cause, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. 

"Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends, from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no-homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely but to be more mindful of the type of work students take home, suggests Kang, who was a high school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial 

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the past two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic , making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized. ... Sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking up assignments can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

More: Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here's what mental health experts say.

More: Some parents are slipping young kids in for the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors discourage the move as 'risky'

Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

A conversation with a Wheelock researcher, a BU student, and a fourth-grade teacher

child doing homework

“Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives,” says Wheelock’s Janine Bempechat. “It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.” Photo by iStock/Glenn Cook Photography

Do your homework.

If only it were that simple.

Educators have debated the merits of homework since the late 19th century. In recent years, amid concerns of some parents and teachers that children are being stressed out by too much homework, things have only gotten more fraught.

“Homework is complicated,” says developmental psychologist Janine Bempechat, a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development clinical professor. The author of the essay “ The Case for (Quality) Homework—Why It Improves Learning and How Parents Can Help ” in the winter 2019 issue of Education Next , Bempechat has studied how the debate about homework is influencing teacher preparation, parent and student beliefs about learning, and school policies.

She worries especially about socioeconomically disadvantaged students from low-performing schools who, according to research by Bempechat and others, get little or no homework.

BU Today  sat down with Bempechat and Erin Bruce (Wheelock’17,’18), a new fourth-grade teacher at a suburban Boston school, and future teacher freshman Emma Ardizzone (Wheelock) to talk about what quality homework looks like, how it can help children learn, and how schools can equip teachers to design it, evaluate it, and facilitate parents’ role in it.

BU Today: Parents and educators who are against homework in elementary school say there is no research definitively linking it to academic performance for kids in the early grades. You’ve said that they’re missing the point.

Bempechat : I think teachers assign homework in elementary school as a way to help kids develop skills they’ll need when they’re older—to begin to instill a sense of responsibility and to learn planning and organizational skills. That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.

We do know that beginning in late middle school, and continuing through high school, there is a strong and positive correlation between homework completion and academic success.

That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success.

You talk about the importance of quality homework. What is that?

Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives. It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.

Janine Bempechat

What are your concerns about homework and low-income children?

The argument that some people make—that homework “punishes the poor” because lower-income parents may not be as well-equipped as affluent parents to help their children with homework—is very troubling to me. There are no parents who don’t care about their children’s learning. Parents don’t actually have to help with homework completion in order for kids to do well. They can help in other ways—by helping children organize a study space, providing snacks, being there as a support, helping children work in groups with siblings or friends.

Isn’t the discussion about getting rid of homework happening mostly in affluent communities?

Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That’s problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.

Teachers may not have as high expectations for lower-income children. Schools should bear responsibility for providing supports for kids to be able to get their homework done—after-school clubs, community support, peer group support. It does kids a disservice when our expectations are lower for them.

The conversation around homework is to some extent a social class and social justice issue. If we eliminate homework for all children because affluent children have too much, we’re really doing a disservice to low-income children. They need the challenge, and every student can rise to the challenge with enough supports in place.

What did you learn by studying how education schools are preparing future teachers to handle homework?

My colleague, Margarita Jimenez-Silva, at the University of California, Davis, School of Education, and I interviewed faculty members at education schools, as well as supervising teachers, to find out how students are being prepared. And it seemed that they weren’t. There didn’t seem to be any readings on the research, or conversations on what high-quality homework is and how to design it.

Erin, what kind of training did you get in handling homework?

Bruce : I had phenomenal professors at Wheelock, but homework just didn’t come up. I did lots of student teaching. I’ve been in classrooms where the teachers didn’t assign any homework, and I’ve been in rooms where they assigned hours of homework a night. But I never even considered homework as something that was my decision. I just thought it was something I’d pull out of a book and it’d be done.

I started giving homework on the first night of school this year. My first assignment was to go home and draw a picture of the room where you do your homework. I want to know if it’s at a table and if there are chairs around it and if mom’s cooking dinner while you’re doing homework.

The second night I asked them to talk to a grown-up about how are you going to be able to get your homework done during the week. The kids really enjoyed it. There’s a running joke that I’m teaching life skills.

Friday nights, I read all my kids’ responses to me on their homework from the week and it’s wonderful. They pour their hearts out. It’s like we’re having a conversation on my couch Friday night.

It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Bempechat : I can’t imagine that most new teachers would have the intuition Erin had in designing homework the way she did.

Ardizzone : Conversations with kids about homework, feeling you’re being listened to—that’s such a big part of wanting to do homework….I grew up in Westchester County. It was a pretty demanding school district. My junior year English teacher—I loved her—she would give us feedback, have meetings with all of us. She’d say, “If you have any questions, if you have anything you want to talk about, you can talk to me, here are my office hours.” It felt like she actually cared.

Bempechat : It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Ardizzone : But can’t it lead to parents being overbearing and too involved in their children’s lives as students?

Bempechat : There’s good help and there’s bad help. The bad help is what you’re describing—when parents hover inappropriately, when they micromanage, when they see their children confused and struggling and tell them what to do.

Good help is when parents recognize there’s a struggle going on and instead ask informative questions: “Where do you think you went wrong?” They give hints, or pointers, rather than saying, “You missed this,” or “You didn’t read that.”

Bruce : I hope something comes of this. I hope BU or Wheelock can think of some way to make this a more pressing issue. As a first-year teacher, it was not something I even thought about on the first day of school—until a kid raised his hand and said, “Do we have homework?” It would have been wonderful if I’d had a plan from day one.

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Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald , Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times , where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

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There are 81 comments on Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

Insightful! The values about homework in elementary schools are well aligned with my intuition as a parent.

when i finish my work i do my homework and i sometimes forget what to do because i did not get enough sleep

same omg it does not help me it is stressful and if I have it in more than one class I hate it.

Same I think my parent wants to help me but, she doesn’t care if I get bad grades so I just try my best and my grades are great.

I think that last question about Good help from parents is not know to all parents, we do as our parents did or how we best think it can be done, so maybe coaching parents or giving them resources on how to help with homework would be very beneficial for the parent on how to help and for the teacher to have consistency and improve homework results, and of course for the child. I do see how homework helps reaffirm the knowledge obtained in the classroom, I also have the ability to see progress and it is a time I share with my kids

The answer to the headline question is a no-brainer – a more pressing problem is why there is a difference in how students from different cultures succeed. Perfect example is the student population at BU – why is there a majority population of Asian students and only about 3% black students at BU? In fact at some universities there are law suits by Asians to stop discrimination and quotas against admitting Asian students because the real truth is that as a group they are demonstrating better qualifications for admittance, while at the same time there are quotas and reduced requirements for black students to boost their portion of the student population because as a group they do more poorly in meeting admissions standards – and it is not about the Benjamins. The real problem is that in our PC society no one has the gazuntas to explore this issue as it may reveal that all people are not created equal after all. Or is it just environmental cultural differences??????

I get you have a concern about the issue but that is not even what the point of this article is about. If you have an issue please take this to the site we have and only post your opinion about the actual topic

This is not at all what the article is talking about.

This literally has nothing to do with the article brought up. You should really take your opinions somewhere else before you speak about something that doesn’t make sense.

we have the same name

so they have the same name what of it?

lol you tell her

totally agree

What does that have to do with homework, that is not what the article talks about AT ALL.

Yes, I think homework plays an important role in the development of student life. Through homework, students have to face challenges on a daily basis and they try to solve them quickly.I am an intense online tutor at 24x7homeworkhelp and I give homework to my students at that level in which they handle it easily.

More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress.

You know what’s funny? I got this assignment to write an argument for homework about homework and this article was really helpful and understandable, and I also agree with this article’s point of view.

I also got the same task as you! I was looking for some good resources and I found this! I really found this article useful and easy to understand, just like you! ^^

i think that homework is the best thing that a child can have on the school because it help them with their thinking and memory.

I am a child myself and i think homework is a terrific pass time because i can’t play video games during the week. It also helps me set goals.

Homework is not harmful ,but it will if there is too much

I feel like, from a minors point of view that we shouldn’t get homework. Not only is the homework stressful, but it takes us away from relaxing and being social. For example, me and my friends was supposed to hang at the mall last week but we had to postpone it since we all had some sort of work to do. Our minds shouldn’t be focused on finishing an assignment that in realty, doesn’t matter. I completely understand that we should have homework. I have to write a paper on the unimportance of homework so thanks.

homework isn’t that bad

Are you a student? if not then i don’t really think you know how much and how severe todays homework really is

i am a student and i do not enjoy homework because i practice my sport 4 out of the five days we have school for 4 hours and that’s not even counting the commute time or the fact i still have to shower and eat dinner when i get home. its draining!

i totally agree with you. these people are such boomers

why just why

they do make a really good point, i think that there should be a limit though. hours and hours of homework can be really stressful, and the extra work isn’t making a difference to our learning, but i do believe homework should be optional and extra credit. that would make it for students to not have the leaning stress of a assignment and if you have a low grade you you can catch up.

Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research published in the High School Journal indicates that students who spent between 31 and 90 minutes each day on homework “scored about 40 points higher on the SAT-Mathematics subtest than their peers, who reported spending no time on homework each day, on average.” On both standardized tests and grades, students in classes that were assigned homework outperformed 69% of students who didn’t have homework. A majority of studies on homework’s impact – 64% in one meta-study and 72% in another – showed that take home assignments were effective at improving academic achievement. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs and higher probability of college attendance for high school boys. In fact, boys who attended college did more than three hours of additional homework per week in high school.

So how are your measuring student achievement? That’s the real question. The argument that doing homework is simply a tool for teaching responsibility isn’t enough for me. We can teach responsibility in a number of ways. Also the poor argument that parents don’t need to help with homework, and that students can do it on their own, is wishful thinking at best. It completely ignores neurodiverse students. Students in poverty aren’t magically going to find a space to do homework, a friend’s or siblings to help them do it, and snacks to eat. I feel like the author of this piece has never set foot in a classroom of students.

THIS. This article is pathetic coming from a university. So intellectually dishonest, refusing to address the havoc of capitalism and poverty plays on academic success in life. How can they in one sentence use poor kids in an argument and never once address that poor children have access to damn near 0 of the resources affluent kids have? Draw me a picture and let’s talk about feelings lmao what a joke is that gonna put food in their belly so they can have the calories to burn in order to use their brain to study? What about quiet their 7 other siblings that they share a single bedroom with for hours? Is it gonna force the single mom to magically be at home and at work at the same time to cook food while you study and be there to throw an encouraging word?

Also the “parents don’t need to be a parent and be able to guide their kid at all academically they just need to exist in the next room” is wild. Its one thing if a parent straight up is not equipped but to say kids can just figured it out is…. wow coming from an educator What’s next the teacher doesn’t need to teach cause the kid can just follow the packet and figure it out?

Well then get a tutor right? Oh wait you are poor only affluent kids can afford a tutor for their hours of homework a day were they on average have none of the worries a poor child does. Does this address that poor children are more likely to also suffer abuse and mental illness? Like mentioned what about kids that can’t learn or comprehend the forced standardized way? Just let em fail? These children regularly are not in “special education”(some of those are a joke in their own and full of neglect and abuse) programs cause most aren’t even acknowledged as having disabilities or disorders.

But yes all and all those pesky poor kids just aren’t being worked hard enough lol pretty sure poor children’s existence just in childhood is more work, stress, and responsibility alone than an affluent child’s entire life cycle. Love they never once talked about the quality of education in the classroom being so bad between the poor and affluent it can qualify as segregation, just basically blamed poor people for being lazy, good job capitalism for failing us once again!

why the hell?

you should feel bad for saying this, this article can be helpful for people who has to write a essay about it

This is more of a political rant than it is about homework

I know a teacher who has told his students their homework is to find something they are interested in, pursue it and then come share what they learn. The student responses are quite compelling. One girl taught herself German so she could talk to her grandfather. One boy did a research project on Nelson Mandela because the teacher had mentioned him in class. Another boy, a both on the autism spectrum, fixed his family’s computer. The list goes on. This is fourth grade. I think students are highly motivated to learn, when we step aside and encourage them.

The whole point of homework is to give the students a chance to use the material that they have been presented with in class. If they never have the opportunity to use that information, and discover that it is actually useful, it will be in one ear and out the other. As a science teacher, it is critical that the students are challenged to use the material they have been presented with, which gives them the opportunity to actually think about it rather than regurgitate “facts”. Well designed homework forces the student to think conceptually, as opposed to regurgitation, which is never a pretty sight

Wonderful discussion. and yes, homework helps in learning and building skills in students.

not true it just causes kids to stress

Homework can be both beneficial and unuseful, if you will. There are students who are gifted in all subjects in school and ones with disabilities. Why should the students who are gifted get the lucky break, whereas the people who have disabilities suffer? The people who were born with this “gift” go through school with ease whereas people with disabilities struggle with the work given to them. I speak from experience because I am one of those students: the ones with disabilities. Homework doesn’t benefit “us”, it only tears us down and put us in an abyss of confusion and stress and hopelessness because we can’t learn as fast as others. Or we can’t handle the amount of work given whereas the gifted students go through it with ease. It just brings us down and makes us feel lost; because no mater what, it feels like we are destined to fail. It feels like we weren’t “cut out” for success.

homework does help

here is the thing though, if a child is shoved in the face with a whole ton of homework that isn’t really even considered homework it is assignments, it’s not helpful. the teacher should make homework more of a fun learning experience rather than something that is dreaded

This article was wonderful, I am going to ask my teachers about extra, or at all giving homework.

I agree. Especially when you have homework before an exam. Which is distasteful as you’ll need that time to study. It doesn’t make any sense, nor does us doing homework really matters as It’s just facts thrown at us.

Homework is too severe and is just too much for students, schools need to decrease the amount of homework. When teachers assign homework they forget that the students have other classes that give them the same amount of homework each day. Students need to work on social skills and life skills.

I disagree.

Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue that it can have many other beneficial effects. They claim it can help students develop good study habits so they are ready to grow as their cognitive capacities mature. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can foster independent learning and responsible character traits. And it can give parents an opportunity to see what’s going on at school and let them express positive attitudes toward achievement.

Homework is helpful because homework helps us by teaching us how to learn a specific topic.

As a student myself, I can say that I have almost never gotten the full 9 hours of recommended sleep time, because of homework. (Now I’m writing an essay on it in the middle of the night D=)

I am a 10 year old kid doing a report about “Is homework good or bad” for homework before i was going to do homework is bad but the sources from this site changed my mind!

Homeowkr is god for stusenrs

I agree with hunter because homework can be so stressful especially with this whole covid thing no one has time for homework and every one just wants to get back to there normal lives it is especially stressful when you go on a 2 week vaca 3 weeks into the new school year and and then less then a week after you come back from the vaca you are out for over a month because of covid and you have no way to get the assignment done and turned in

As great as homework is said to be in the is article, I feel like the viewpoint of the students was left out. Every where I go on the internet researching about this topic it almost always has interviews from teachers, professors, and the like. However isn’t that a little biased? Of course teachers are going to be for homework, they’re not the ones that have to stay up past midnight completing the homework from not just one class, but all of them. I just feel like this site is one-sided and you should include what the students of today think of spending four hours every night completing 6-8 classes worth of work.

Are we talking about homework or practice? Those are two very different things and can result in different outcomes.

Homework is a graded assignment. I do not know of research showing the benefits of graded assignments going home.

Practice; however, can be extremely beneficial, especially if there is some sort of feedback (not a grade but feedback). That feedback can come from the teacher, another student or even an automated grading program.

As a former band director, I assigned daily practice. I never once thought it would be appropriate for me to require the students to turn in a recording of their practice for me to grade. Instead, I had in-class assignments/assessments that were graded and directly related to the practice assigned.

I would really like to read articles on “homework” that truly distinguish between the two.

oof i feel bad good luck!

thank you guys for the artical because I have to finish an assingment. yes i did cite it but just thanks

thx for the article guys.

Homework is good

I think homework is helpful AND harmful. Sometimes u can’t get sleep bc of homework but it helps u practice for school too so idk.

I agree with this Article. And does anyone know when this was published. I would like to know.

It was published FEb 19, 2019.

Studies have shown that homework improved student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college.

i think homework can help kids but at the same time not help kids

This article is so out of touch with majority of homes it would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly sad.

There is no value to homework all it does is add stress to already stressed homes. Parents or adults magically having the time or energy to shepherd kids through homework is dome sort of 1950’s fantasy.

What lala land do these teachers live in?

Homework gives noting to the kid

Homework is Bad

homework is bad.

why do kids even have homework?

Comments are closed.

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Adolescent girl doing homework.

What’s the Right Amount of Homework?

Decades of research show that homework has some benefits, especially for students in middle and high school—but there are risks to assigning too much.

Many teachers and parents believe that homework helps students build study skills and review concepts learned in class. Others see homework as disruptive and unnecessary, leading to burnout and turning kids off to school. Decades of research show that the issue is more nuanced and complex than most people think: Homework is beneficial, but only to a degree. Students in high school gain the most, while younger kids benefit much less.

The National PTA and the National Education Association support the “ 10-minute homework guideline ”—a nightly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. But many teachers and parents are quick to point out that what matters is the quality of the homework assigned and how well it meets students’ needs, not the amount of time spent on it.

The guideline doesn’t account for students who may need to spend more—or less—time on assignments. In class, teachers can make adjustments to support struggling students, but at home, an assignment that takes one student 30 minutes to complete may take another twice as much time—often for reasons beyond their control. And homework can widen the achievement gap, putting students from low-income households and students with learning disabilities at a disadvantage.

However, the 10-minute guideline is useful in setting a limit: When kids spend too much time on homework, there are real consequences to consider.

Small Benefits for Elementary Students

As young children begin school, the focus should be on cultivating a love of learning, and assigning too much homework can undermine that goal. And young students often don’t have the study skills to benefit fully from homework, so it may be a poor use of time (Cooper, 1989 ; Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). A more effective activity may be nightly reading, especially if parents are involved. The benefits of reading are clear: If students aren’t proficient readers by the end of third grade, they’re less likely to succeed academically and graduate from high school (Fiester, 2013 ).

For second-grade teacher Jacqueline Fiorentino, the minor benefits of homework did not outweigh the potential drawback of turning young children against school at an early age, so she experimented with dropping mandatory homework. “Something surprising happened: They started doing more work at home,” Fiorentino writes . “This inspiring group of 8-year-olds used their newfound free time to explore subjects and topics of interest to them.” She encouraged her students to read at home and offered optional homework to extend classroom lessons and help them review material.

Moderate Benefits for Middle School Students

As students mature and develop the study skills necessary to delve deeply into a topic—and to retain what they learn—they also benefit more from homework. Nightly assignments can help prepare them for scholarly work, and research shows that homework can have moderate benefits for middle school students (Cooper et al., 2006 ). Recent research also shows that online math homework, which can be designed to adapt to students’ levels of understanding, can significantly boost test scores (Roschelle et al., 2016 ).

There are risks to assigning too much, however: A 2015 study found that when middle school students were assigned more than 90 to 100 minutes of daily homework, their math and science test scores began to decline (Fernández-Alonso, Suárez-Álvarez, & Muñiz, 2015 ). Crossing that upper limit can drain student motivation and focus. The researchers recommend that “homework should present a certain level of challenge or difficulty, without being so challenging that it discourages effort.” Teachers should avoid low-effort, repetitive assignments, and assign homework “with the aim of instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self-directed learning.”

In other words, it’s the quality of homework that matters, not the quantity. Brian Sztabnik, a veteran middle and high school English teacher, suggests that teachers take a step back and ask themselves these five questions :

  • How long will it take to complete?
  • Have all learners been considered?
  • Will an assignment encourage future success?
  • Will an assignment place material in a context the classroom cannot?
  • Does an assignment offer support when a teacher is not there?

More Benefits for High School Students, but Risks as Well

By the time they reach high school, students should be well on their way to becoming independent learners, so homework does provide a boost to learning at this age, as long as it isn’t overwhelming (Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). When students spend too much time on homework—more than two hours each night—it takes up valuable time to rest and spend time with family and friends. A 2013 study found that high school students can experience serious mental and physical health problems, from higher stress levels to sleep deprivation, when assigned too much homework (Galloway, Conner, & Pope, 2013 ).

Homework in high school should always relate to the lesson and be doable without any assistance, and feedback should be clear and explicit.

Teachers should also keep in mind that not all students have equal opportunities to finish their homework at home, so incomplete homework may not be a true reflection of their learning—it may be more a result of issues they face outside of school. They may be hindered by issues such as lack of a quiet space at home, resources such as a computer or broadband connectivity, or parental support (OECD, 2014 ). In such cases, giving low homework scores may be unfair.

Since the quantities of time discussed here are totals, teachers in middle and high school should be aware of how much homework other teachers are assigning. It may seem reasonable to assign 30 minutes of daily homework, but across six subjects, that’s three hours—far above a reasonable amount even for a high school senior. Psychologist Maurice Elias sees this as a common mistake: Individual teachers create homework policies that in aggregate can overwhelm students. He suggests that teachers work together to develop a school-wide homework policy and make it a key topic of back-to-school night and the first parent-teacher conferences of the school year.

Parents Play a Key Role

Homework can be a powerful tool to help parents become more involved in their child’s learning (Walker et al., 2004 ). It can provide insights into a child’s strengths and interests, and can also encourage conversations about a child’s life at school. If a parent has positive attitudes toward homework, their children are more likely to share those same values, promoting academic success.

But it’s also possible for parents to be overbearing, putting too much emphasis on test scores or grades, which can be disruptive for children (Madjar, Shklar, & Moshe, 2015 ). Parents should avoid being overly intrusive or controlling—students report feeling less motivated to learn when they don’t have enough space and autonomy to do their homework (Orkin, May, & Wolf, 2017 ; Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008 ; Silinskas & Kikas, 2017 ). So while homework can encourage parents to be more involved with their kids, it’s important to not make it a source of conflict.

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Health Hazards of Homework

March 18, 2014 | Julie Greicius Pediatrics .

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A new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and colleagues found that students in high-performing schools who did excessive hours of homework “experienced greater behavioral engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives.”

Those health problems ranged from stress, headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems, to psycho-social effects like dropping activities, not seeing friends or family, and not pursuing hobbies they enjoy.

In the Stanford Report story about the research, Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of the  study published in the  Journal of Experimental Education , says, “Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good.”

The study was based on survey data from a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in California communities in which median household income exceeded $90,000. Of the students surveyed, homework volume averaged about 3.1 hours each night.

“It is time to re-evaluate how the school environment is preparing our high school student for today’s workplace,” says Neville Golden, MD , chief of adolescent medicine at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and a professor at the School of Medicine. “This landmark study shows that excessive homework is counterproductive, leading to sleep deprivation, school stress and other health problems. Parents can best support their children in these demanding academic environments by advocating for them through direct communication with teachers and school administrators about homework load.”

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Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

effects on too much homework

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

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How Much Homework Is Too Much for Our Teens?

Here's what educators and parents can do to help kids find the right balance between school and home.

Does Your Teen Have Too Much Homework?

Today’s teens are under a lot of pressure.

They're under pressure to succeed, to win, to be the best and to get into the top colleges. With so much pressure, is it any wonder today’s youth report being under as much stress as their parents? In fact, during the school year, teens say they experience stress levels higher than those reported by adults, according to a previous American Psychological Association "Stress in America" survey.

Odds are if you ask a teen what's got them so worked up, the subject of school will come up. School can cause a lot of stress, which can lead to other serious problems, like sleep deprivation . According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need between eight and 10 hours of sleep each night, but only 15 percent are even getting close to that amount. During the school week, most teens only get about six hours of zzz’s a night, and some of that sleep deficit may be attributed to homework.

When it comes to school, many adults would rather not trade places with a teen. Think about it. They get up at the crack of dawn and get on the bus when it’s pitch dark outside. They put in a full day sitting in hours of classes (sometimes four to seven different classes daily), only to get more work dumped on them to do at home. To top it off, many kids have after-school obligations, such as extracurricular activities including clubs and sports , and some have to work. After a long day, they finally get home to do even more work – schoolwork.

[Read: What Parents Should Know About Teen Depression .]

Homework is not only a source of stress for students, but it can also be a hassle for parents. If you are the parent of a kid who strives to be “perfect," then you know all too well how much time your child spends making sure every bit of homework is complete, even if it means pulling an all-nighter. On the flip side, if you’re the parent of a child who decided that school ends when the last bell rings, then you know how exhausting that homework tug-of-war can be. And heaven forbid if you’re that parent who is at their wit's end because your child excels on tests and quizzes but fails to turn in assignments. The woes of academics can go well beyond the confines of the school building and right into the home.

This is the time of year when many students and parents feel the burden of the academic load. Following spring break, many schools across the nation head into the final stretch of the year. As a result, some teachers increase the amount of homework they give. The assignments aren’t punishment, although to students and parents who are having to constantly stay on top of their kids' schoolwork, they can sure seem that way.

From a teacher’s perspective, the assignments are meant to help students better understand the course content and prepare for upcoming exams. Some schools have state-mandated end of grade or final tests. In those states these tests can account for 20 percent of a student’s final grade. So teachers want to make sure that they cover the entire curriculum before that exam. Aside from state-mandated tests, some high school students are enrolled in advanced placement or international baccalaureate college-level courses that have final tests given a month or more before the end of the term. In order to cover all of the content, teachers must maintain an accelerated pace. All of this means more out of class assignments.

Given the challenges kids face, there are a few questions parents and educators should consider:

Is homework necessary?

Many teens may give a quick "no" to this question, but the verdict is still out. Research supports both sides of the argument. Personally, I would say, yes, some homework is necessary, but it must be purposeful. If it’s busy work, then it’s a waste of time. Homework should be a supplemental teaching tool. Too often, some youth go home completely lost as they haven’t grasped concepts covered in class and they may become frustrated and overwhelmed.

For a parent who has been in this situation, you know how frustrating this can be, especially if it’s a subject that you haven’t encountered in a while. Homework can serve a purpose such as improving grades, increasing test scores and instilling a good work ethic. Purposeful homework can come in the form of individualizing assignments based on students’ needs or helping students practice newly acquired skills.

Homework should not be used to extend class time to cover more material. If your child is constantly coming home having to learn the material before doing the assignments, then it’s time to contact the teacher and set up a conference. Listen when kids express their concerns (like if they say they're expected to know concepts not taught in class) as they will provide clues about what’s happening or not happening in the classroom. Plus, getting to the root of the problem can help with keeping the peace at home too, as an irritable and grumpy teen can disrupt harmonious family dynamics .

[Read: What Makes Teens 'Most Likely to Succeed?' ]

How much is too much?

According to the National PTA and the National Education Association, students should only be doing about 10 minutes of homework per night per grade level. But teens are doing a lot more than that, according to a poll of high school students by the organization Statistic Brain . In that poll teens reported spending, on average, more than three hours on homework each school night, with 11th graders spending more time on homework than any other grade level. By contrast, some polls have shown that U.S. high school students report doing about seven hours of homework per week.

Much of a student's workload boils down to the courses they take (such as advanced or college prep classes), the teaching philosophy of educators and the student’s commitment to doing the work. Regardless, research has shown that doing more than two hours of homework per night does not benefit high school students. Having lots of homework to do every day makes it difficult for teens to have any downtime , let alone family time .

How do we respond to students' needs?

As an educator and parent, I can honestly say that oftentimes there is a mismatch in what teachers perceive as only taking 15 minutes and what really takes 45 minutes to complete. If you too find this to be the case, then reach out to your child's teacher and find out why the assignments are taking longer than anticipated for your child to complete.

Also, ask the teacher about whether faculty communicate regularly with one another about large upcoming assignments. Whether it’s setting up a shared school-wide assignment calendar or collaborating across curriculums during faculty meetings, educators need to discuss upcoming tests and projects, so students don’t end up with lots of assignments all competing for their attention and time at once. Inevitably, a student is going to get slammed occasionally, but if they have good rapport with their teachers, they will feel comfortable enough to reach out and see if alternative options are available. And as a parent, you can encourage your kid to have that dialogue with the teacher.

Often teens would rather blend into the class than stand out. That’s unfortunate because research has shown time and time again that positive teacher-student relationships are strong predictors of student engagement and achievement. By and large, most teachers appreciate students advocating for themselves and will go the extra mile to help them out.

Can there be a balance between home and school?

Students can strike a balance between school and home, but parents will have to help them find it. They need your guidance to learn how to better manage their time, get organized and prioritize tasks, which are all important life skills. Equally important is developing good study habits. Some students may need tutoring or coaching to help them learn new material or how to take notes and study. Also, don’t forget the importance of parent-teacher communication. Most educators want nothing more than for their students to succeed in their courses.

Learning should be fun, not mundane and cumbersome. Homework should only be given if its purposeful and in moderation. Equally important to homework is engaging in activities, socializing with friends and spending time with the family.

[See: 10 Concerns Parents Have About Their Kids' Health .]

Most adults don’t work a full-time job and then go home and do three more hours of work, and neither should your child. It's not easy learning to balance everything, especially if you're a teen. If your child is spending several hours on homework each night, don't hesitate to reach out to teachers and, if need be, school officials. Collectively, we can all work together to help our children de-stress and find the right balance between school and home.

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Student Opinion

Should We Get Rid of Homework?

Some educators are pushing to get rid of homework. Would that be a good thing?

effects on too much homework

By Jeremy Engle and Michael Gonchar

Do you like doing homework? Do you think it has benefited you educationally?

Has homework ever helped you practice a difficult skill — in math, for example — until you mastered it? Has it helped you learn new concepts in history or science? Has it helped to teach you life skills, such as independence and responsibility? Or, have you had a more negative experience with homework? Does it stress you out, numb your brain from busywork or actually make you fall behind in your classes?

Should we get rid of homework?

In “ The Movement to End Homework Is Wrong, ” published in July, the Times Opinion writer Jay Caspian Kang argues that homework may be imperfect, but it still serves an important purpose in school. The essay begins:

Do students really need to do their homework? As a parent and a former teacher, I have been pondering this question for quite a long time. The teacher side of me can acknowledge that there were assignments I gave out to my students that probably had little to no academic value. But I also imagine that some of my students never would have done their basic reading if they hadn’t been trained to complete expected assignments, which would have made the task of teaching an English class nearly impossible. As a parent, I would rather my daughter not get stuck doing the sort of pointless homework I would occasionally assign, but I also think there’s a lot of value in saying, “Hey, a lot of work you’re going to end up doing in your life is pointless, so why not just get used to it?” I certainly am not the only person wondering about the value of homework. Recently, the sociologist Jessica McCrory Calarco and the mathematics education scholars Ilana Horn and Grace Chen published a paper, “ You Need to Be More Responsible: The Myth of Meritocracy and Teachers’ Accounts of Homework Inequalities .” They argued that while there’s some evidence that homework might help students learn, it also exacerbates inequalities and reinforces what they call the “meritocratic” narrative that says kids who do well in school do so because of “individual competence, effort and responsibility.” The authors believe this meritocratic narrative is a myth and that homework — math homework in particular — further entrenches the myth in the minds of teachers and their students. Calarco, Horn and Chen write, “Research has highlighted inequalities in students’ homework production and linked those inequalities to differences in students’ home lives and in the support students’ families can provide.”

Mr. Kang argues:

But there’s a defense of homework that doesn’t really have much to do with class mobility, equality or any sense of reinforcing the notion of meritocracy. It’s one that became quite clear to me when I was a teacher: Kids need to learn how to practice things. Homework, in many cases, is the only ritualized thing they have to do every day. Even if we could perfectly equalize opportunity in school and empower all students not to be encumbered by the weight of their socioeconomic status or ethnicity, I’m not sure what good it would do if the kids didn’t know how to do something relentlessly, over and over again, until they perfected it. Most teachers know that type of progress is very difficult to achieve inside the classroom, regardless of a student’s background, which is why, I imagine, Calarco, Horn and Chen found that most teachers weren’t thinking in a structural inequalities frame. Holistic ideas of education, in which learning is emphasized and students can explore concepts and ideas, are largely for the types of kids who don’t need to worry about class mobility. A defense of rote practice through homework might seem revanchist at this moment, but if we truly believe that schools should teach children lessons that fall outside the meritocracy, I can’t think of one that matters more than the simple satisfaction of mastering something that you were once bad at. That takes homework and the acknowledgment that sometimes a student can get a question wrong and, with proper instruction, eventually get it right.

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

Should we get rid of homework? Why, or why not?

Is homework an outdated, ineffective or counterproductive tool for learning? Do you agree with the authors of the paper that homework is harmful and worsens inequalities that exist between students’ home circumstances?

Or do you agree with Mr. Kang that homework still has real educational value?

When you get home after school, how much homework will you do? Do you think the amount is appropriate, too much or too little? Is homework, including the projects and writing assignments you do at home, an important part of your learning experience? Or, in your opinion, is it not a good use of time? Explain.

In these letters to the editor , one reader makes a distinction between elementary school and high school:

Homework’s value is unclear for younger students. But by high school and college, homework is absolutely essential for any student who wishes to excel. There simply isn’t time to digest Dostoyevsky if you only ever read him in class.

What do you think? How much does grade level matter when discussing the value of homework?

Is there a way to make homework more effective?

If you were a teacher, would you assign homework? What kind of assignments would you give and why?

Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column . Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Jeremy Engle joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2018 after spending more than 20 years as a classroom humanities and documentary-making teacher, professional developer and curriculum designer working with students and teachers across the country. More about Jeremy Engle

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School Life Balance , Tips for Online Students

The Pros and Cons of Homework

The-Pros-and-Cons-Should-Students-Have-Homework

Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

Photo by  energepic.com  from  Pexels

Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

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How does homework affect students.

Posted by Kenny Gill

Homework is essential in the learning process of all students. It benefits them in managing time, being organized, and thinking beyond the classroom work. When students develop good habits towards homework, they enjoy good grades. The amount of homework given to students has risen by 51 percent. In most cases, this pushes them to order for custom essays online. A lot of homework can be overwhelming, affecting students in negative ways.

How homework affects the psyche of students Homework plays a crucial role in ensuring students succeeds both inside and outside the classroom. The numerous hours they spend in class, on school work, and away from family and friends lead to them experiencing exhaustion. Too much homework leads to students becoming disheartened by the school, and it chips away at their motivation for succeeding.

As a result, homework becomes an uphill battle, which they feel they will never win despite putting an effort. When they continue to find homework difficult, they consider other ways of working on it, such as cheating.

Getting enough time to relax, engage with friends and family members helps the students to have fun, thus, raising their spirit and their psyche on school work.  However, when homework exceeds, it affects their emotional well-being making them sad and unproductive students who would rather cheat their way through school.

How does homework affect students?

As a result, they have to struggle with a lack of enough sleep, loss of weight, stomach problems, headaches, and fatigue. Poor eating habits where students rely on fast foods also occasions as they struggle to complete all their assignments. When combined with lack of physical activity, the students suffer from obesity and other health-related conditions. Also, they experience depression and anxiety. The pressure to attend all classes, finish the much homework, as well as have time to make social connections cripples them.

How can parents help with homework? Being an active parent in the life of your child goes a long way towards promoting the health and well-being of children. Participating in their process of doing homework helps you identify if your child is facing challenges, and provide the much-needed support.

The first step is identifying the problem your child has by establishing whether their homework is too much. In elementary school, students should not spend over twenty minutes on homework while in high school they should spend an average of two hours. If it exceeds these guidelines, then you know that the homework is too much and you need to talk with the teachers.

The other step is ensuring your child focuses on their work by eliminating distractions. Texting with friends, watching videos, and playing video games can distract your child. Next, help them create a homework routine by having a designated area for studying and organizing their time for each activity.

Why it is better to do homework with friends Extracurricular activities such as sports and volunteer work that students engage in are vital. The events allow them to refresh their minds, catch up, and share with friends, and sharpen their communication skills. Homework is better done with friends as it helps them get these benefits. Through working together, interacting, and sharing with friends, their stress reduces.

Working on assignments with friends relaxes the students. It ensures they have the help they need when tackling the work, making even too much homework bearable. Also, it develops their communication skills. Deterioration of communication skills is a prominent reason as to why homework is bad. Too much of it keeps one away from classmates and friends, making it difficult for one to communicate with other people.

Working on homework with friends, however, ensures one learns how to express themselves and solve issues, making one an excellent communicator.

How does a lot of homework affect students’ performance? Burnout is a negative effect of homework. After spending the entire day learning, having to spend more hours doing too much homework lead to burnout. When it occurs, students begin dragging their feet when it comes to working on assignments and in some cases, fail to complete them. Therefore, they end up getting poor grades, which affects their overall performance.

Excessive homework also overshadows active learning, which is essential in the learning process. It encourages active participation of students in analyzing and applying what they learn in class in the real world. As a result, this limits the involvement of parents in the process of learning and children collaboration with friends. Instead, it causes boredom, difficulties for the students to work alongside others, and lack of skills in solving problems.

Should students have homework? Well, this is the question many parents and students ask when they consider these adverse effects of homework. Homework is vital in the learning process of any student. However, in most cases, it has crossed the line from being a tool for learning and becomes a source of suffering for students. With such effects, a balance is necessary to help students learn, remain healthy, and be all rounded individuals in society.

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Great info and really valuable for teachers and tutors. This is a really very wonderful post. I really appreciate it; this post is very helpful for education.

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How Much Homework Is Too Much?

Are schools assigning too much homework.

Posted October 19, 2011

Timothy, a fifth grader, spends up to thirteen hours a day hunched over a desk at school or at home, studying and doing homework. Should his parents feel proud? Now imagine, for comparison's sake, Timothy spending thirteen hours a day hunched over a sewing machine instead of a desk.

Parents have the right to complain when schools assign too much homework but they often don't know how to do so effectively.

Drowning in Homework ( an excerpt from Chapter 8 of The Squeaky Wheel )

I first met Timothy, a quiet, overweight eleven-year-old boy, when his mother brought him to therapy to discuss his slipping grades. A few minutes with Timothy were enough to confirm that his mood, self-esteem , and general happiness were slipping right along with them. Timothy attended one of the top private schools in Manhattan, an environment in which declining grades were no idle matter.

I asked about Timothy's typical day. He awoke every morning at six thirty so he could get to school by eight and arrived home around four thirty each afternoon. He then had a quick snack, followed by either a piano lesson or his math tutor, depending on the day. He had dinner at seven p.m., after which he sat down to do homework for two to three hours a night. Quickly doing the math in my head, I calculated that Timothy spent an average of thirteen hours a day hunched over a writing desk. His situation is not atypical. Spending that many hours studying is the only way Timothy can keep up and stay afloat academically.

But what if, for comparison's sake, we imagined Timothy spending thirteen hours a day hunched over a sewing machine instead of a desk. We would immediately be aghast at the inhumanity because children are horribly mistreated in such "sweatshops." Timothy is far from being mistreated, but the mountain of homework he faces daily results in a similar consequence- he too is being robbed of his childhood.

Timothy's academics leave him virtually no time to do anything he truly enjoys, such as playing video games, movies, or board games with his friends. During the week he never plays outside and never has indoor play dates or opportunities to socialize with friends. On weekends, Timothy's days are often devoted to studying for tests, working on special school projects, or arguing with his mother about studying for tests and working on special school projects.

By the fourth and fifth grade and certainly in middle school, many of our children have hours of homework, test preparation, project writing, or research to do every night, all in addition to the eight hours or more they have to spend in school. Yet study after study has shown that homework has little to do with achievement in elementary school and is only marginally related to achievement in middle school .

Play, however, is a crucial component of healthy child development . It affects children's creativity , their social skills, and even their brain development. The absence of play, physical exercise, and free-form social interaction takes a serious toll on many children. It can also have significant health implications as is evidenced by our current epidemic of childhood obesity, sleep deprivation, low self- esteem, and depression .

A far stronger predictor than homework of academic achievement for kids aged three to twelve is having regular family meals. Family meals allow parents to check in, to demonstrate caring and involvement, to provide supervision, and to offer support. The more family meals can be worked into the schedule, the better, especially for preteens. The frequency of family meals has also been shown to help with disordered eating behaviors in adolescents.

Experts in the field recommend children have no more than ten minutes of homework per day per grade level. As a fifth- grader, Timothy should have no more than fifty minutes a day of homework (instead of three times that amount). Having an extra two hours an evening to play, relax, or see a friend would constitute a huge bump in any child's quality of life.

The 1926 St. Louis Cardinals one their first of 11 World Series titles, defeating the New York Yankees. For most baseball fans, nostalgia tied to this event would be historical nostalgia - an appreciation for a distant-yet-self-referential past.

So what can we do if our child is getting too much homework?

1. Complain to the teachers and the school. Most parents are unaware that excessive homework contributes so little to their child's academic achievement.

2. Educate your child's teacher and principal about the homework research-they are often equally unaware of the facts and teachers of younger children (K-4) often make changes as a result.

3. Create allies within the system by speaking with other parents and banding together to address the issue with the school.

You might also like: Is Excessive Homework in Private Schools a Customer Service Issue?

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Guy Winch, Ph.D. , is a licensed psychologist and author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts.

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Striking a Balance: How Much Homework is Too Much Homework for High Schoolers?

It might surprise you to learn that today’s students feel under more pressure than ever before. Despite the endless resources, the expectations on students can be tiresome. Between online schooling, the cost of living, the rising cost of university life, and the progressively more common hybrid teaching model, students feel immense pressure to succeed. This makes educators worldwide wonder how much homework I should give my students.

This question is especially relevant for high school educators who are trying to prepare their students for college or the workforce and all-important standardized tests that could define their futures for them (as well as the funding for your school).

Giving a certain amount of homework seems necessary in order for students to truly understand and apply the material they are learning. Of course, teachers also might not have enough time to get through all the necessary work during class.

According to research on the effects of homework , over two hours of homework a night can harm students’ stress levels and create a lack of balance in their lives. Things like assigning homework as busy work or asking students to learn more material at home that wasn’t covered in class could end up in hours of homework a night that are highly detrimental to students’ development and overall happiness.

However, educators will find no perfect answer to this question, so the best approach is to find a happy medium. Regarding homework assignments, strive to balance challenging students and simply helping them learn the material. To find that happy medium, consider the following:

Define the purpose of homework.

As an educator, you will find that defining the purpose of the homework you’re assigning will tell you how necessary it is or how much you should give.

If the purpose is to help students apply a new concept, demonstrate their understanding, or build an important skill, then assign it away. 

However, you might be overdoing it if you find yourself assigning work to keep students busy, teaching new material not covered in class, or making sure they understand the value of hard work. 

Take high school schedules into consideration.

High school students already have nearly impossible schedules to maintain, especially in an increasingly modern and digital world.

Most students are trying to fit in after-school activities, college prep, essay writing, sports, and time with family and friends into their lives. 

Try and picture this level of logistics from a young high schooler’s mindset, a mindset that is still developing. They are dealing with the constant struggle inherent in growing up while trying to retain high school freedoms.

Remember that teens need sleep.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , teens between the ages of 13 and 18 need an average of 8-10 hours of sleep a night for healthy development, but most are not getting the amount of sleep they need on school nights.

Kids and teens who do not get enough sleep are at a higher risk of developing health and behavior problems, which could impair their ability to learn effectively.

So, sending teens home with too much homework might actually impair your ability to prepare them for the future or even for the next day’s class.

Reasons Not to Overwork High School Students

Rather than harping on the negative effects of too much homework, educators might be inspired to consider the positive effects of assigning less homework, if possible.

Create resilient learners, not perfectionists.

By focusing on learning from, working with, and even failing at classroom material, rather than immediately mastering it, educators will help to create resilient learners. 

So many high school students face pressure to be the best, to be exceptional, and to attend top colleges and universities. They also face pressure to have perfect social media accounts, to be the most popular students, and to define their identities flawlessly.

This idea of perfection, as we know, is impossible to achieve. So, if educators can strive to teach students to work hard for shorter amounts of time, rather than perfectly learning a concept in one night, students will be more resilient and accepting of failure in life.

Instill the lifelong importance of play and rest.

We all need a true, unwinding rest sometimes. As adults, we are constantly trying to find our sense of play again and searching for moments of rest. Many of us spend free time reading self-help books and listening to inspirational TED talks, knowing that we have lost some sense of ourselves by focusing only on work. 

American society especially encourages us to be forever busy, working as hard as we can until we reach our goals.

Though the hard work narrative is still important in many respects, let’s not deprive our high school students of their inherent sense of play and rest. 

Perhaps we can even cultivate an understanding of the importance of play and rest, building these concepts into educational homework plans before these students become another generation of overworked adults.

Avoid early academic burnout.

Finally, by avoiding too much homework than is necessary, educators will help students also avoid academic burnout too early. 

When high school students spend all of high school working as hard and as many hours, or more, than they will in college, the prospect of college work can be daunting. 

Students don’t need to feel burned out before reaching a college campus or starting their first post-graduate career. They have plenty of time to overwork themselves if they wish, but they should be able to enjoy learning in high school without becoming completely overwhelmed in the process.

By assigning less homework, it might feel like you’re missing out as an educator or falling behind; but really think about how much is too much. And try to give your high school students a break.

It is all about health 

When it comes down to it, the student comes first. That means their physical, mental, and emotional health, above all the other results educators might have been taught to strive for. Do not sacrifice the health of the student for the final class percentage on the final exam. If you are teaching an AP class or just a tough subject to a class full of Seniors, then homework is inevitable. But communication will win out every time. By at least explaining the amount of homework, you will find a better rapport with the students expected to complete the work. If you are curious about teaching strategies or want to learn more about how NSHSS works with  educators , visit our website for more information!

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  • 06 March 2024

Why scientists trust AI too much — and what to do about it

You have full access to this article via your institution.

A robotic arm moves through an automated AI-run laboratory

AI-run labs have arrived — such as this one in Suzhou, China. Credit: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Getty

Scientists of all stripes are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) — from developing ‘self-driving’ laboratories , in which robots and algorithms work together to devise and conduct experiments, to replacing human participants in social-science experiments with bots 1 .

Many downsides of AI systems have been discussed. For example, generative AI such as ChatGPT tends to make things up , or ‘hallucinate’ — and the workings of machine-learning systems are opaque .

effects on too much homework

Artificial intelligence and illusions of understanding in scientific research

In a Perspective article 2 published in Nature this week, social scientists say that AI systems pose a further risk: that researchers envision such tools as possessed of superhuman abilities when it comes to objectivity, productivity and understanding complex concepts. The authors argue that this put researchers in danger of overlooking the tools’ limitations, such as the potential to narrow the focus of science or to lure users into thinking they understand a concept better than they actually do.

Scientists planning to use AI “must evaluate these risks now, while AI applications are still nascent, because they will be much more difficult to address if AI tools become deeply embedded in the research pipeline”, write co-authors Lisa Messeri, an anthropologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and Molly Crockett, a cognitive scientist at Princeton University in New Jersey.

The peer-reviewed article is a timely and disturbing warning about what could be lost if scientists embrace AI systems without thoroughly considering such hazards. It needs to be heeded by researchers and by those who set the direction and scope of research, including funders and journal editors. There are ways to mitigate the risks. But these require that the entire scientific community views AI systems with eyes wide open.

effects on too much homework

ChatGPT is a black box: how AI research can break it open

To inform their article, Messeri and Crockett examined around 100 peer-reviewed papers, preprints, conference proceedings and books, published mainly over the past five years. From these, they put together a picture of the ways in which scientists see AI systems as enhancing human capabilities.

In one ‘vision’, which they call AI as Oracle, researchers see AI tools as able to tirelessly read and digest scientific papers, and so survey the scientific literature more exhaustively than people can. In both Oracle and another vision, called AI as Arbiter, systems are perceived as evaluating scientific findings more objectively than do people, because they are less likely to cherry-pick the literature to support a desired hypothesis or to show favouritism in peer review. In a third vision, AI as Quant, AI tools seem to surpass the limits of the human mind in analysing vast and complex data sets. In the fourth, AI as Surrogate, AI tools simulate data that are too difficult or complex to obtain.

Informed by anthropology and cognitive science, Messeri and Crockett predict risks that arise from these visions. One is the illusion of explanatory depth 3 , in which people relying on another person — or, in this case, an algorithm — for knowledge have a tendency to mistake that knowledge for their own and think their understanding is deeper than it actually is.

effects on too much homework

How to stop AI deepfakes from sinking society — and science

Another risk is that research becomes skewed towards studying the kinds of thing that AI systems can test — the researchers call this the illusion of exploratory breadth. For example, in social science, the vision of AI as Surrogate could encourage experiments involving human behaviours that can be simulated by an AI — and discourage those on behaviours that cannot, such as anything that requires being embodied physically.

There’s also the illusion of objectivity, in which researchers see AI systems as representing all possible viewpoints or not having a viewpoint. In fact, these tools reflect only the viewpoints found in the data they have been trained on, and are known to adopt the biases found in those data. “There’s a risk that we forget that there are certain questions we just can’t answer about human beings using AI tools,” says Crockett. The illusion of objectivity is particularly worrying given the benefits of including diverse viewpoints in research.

Avoid the traps

If you’re a scientist planning to use AI, you can reduce these dangers through a number of strategies. One is to map your proposed use to one of the visions, and consider which traps you are most likely to fall into. Another approach is to be deliberate about how you use AI. Deploying AI tools to save time on something your team already has expertise in is less risky than using them to provide expertise you just don’t have, says Crockett.

Journal editors receiving submissions in which use of AI systems has been declared need to consider the risks posed by these visions of AI, too. So should funders reviewing grant applications, and institutions that want their researchers to use AI. Journals and funders should also keep tabs on the balance of research they are publishing and paying for — and ensure that, in the face of myriad AI possibilities, their portfolios remain broad in terms of the questions asked, the methods used and the viewpoints encompassed.

All members of the scientific community must view AI use not as inevitable for any particular task, nor as a panacea, but rather as a choice with risks and benefits that must be carefully weighed. For decades, and long before AI was a reality for most people, social scientists have studied AI. Everyone — including researchers of all kinds — must now listen.

Nature 627 , 243 (2024)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-00639-y

Grossmann, I. et al. Science 380 , 1108–1109 (2023).

Article   PubMed   Google Scholar  

Messeri, L. & Crockett, M. J. Nature 627 , 49–58 (2024).

Article   Google Scholar  

Rozenblit, L. & Keil, F. Cogn. Sci. 26 , 521–562 (2002).

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Too Much of This B Vitamin Could Be Bad for Your Heart

Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • A recent study showed that high levels of niacin, also called vitamin B3, could increase the risk of heart disease by triggering inflammation and damaging blood vessels.
  • Niacin is found in many foods, including red meat, fish, brown rice, and bananas, as well as fortified cereals and breads.
  • If niacin is consumed in high doses through supplements, it can lead to toxicity which can potentially cause digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and even liver damage.

Niacin , also known as vitamin B3, is made and used by your body to help convert foods that you eat into the energy you need. However, you can have too much of a good thing—a new study found that high levels of niacin may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease . 

The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine , found a breakdown product of niacin, known as 4PY, was strongly linked to the development of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiac events. More specifically, people with elevated levels of 4PY were around 60% more likely, on average, to have these cardiac events compared to people with lower levels.

“What’s exciting about these results is that this pathway appears to be a previously unrecognized yet significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease,” Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD , senior author of the study and Chair of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, said in a press release . “These insights set the stage for developing new approaches to counteract the effects of this pathway.” 

Here’s what you need to know about why niacin can be bad for your heart, as well as expert advice on making sure that your vitamin supplements aren’t putting you at risk.

What Is Niacin and Why Do You Need It?

Our bodies need niacin, and luckily, it’s found in a variety of foods like meat, fish, dairy, and grains, Joseph Daibes, DO , an interventional cardiologist at Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital, told Verywell.

“It plays several key roles, like helping convert food into energy and keeping our skin, nerves, and digestive system healthy,” said Daibes. Niacin also improves circulation and lowers elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood.

When you don’t get enough niacin in your diet, it can lead to pellagra , said Daibes. The condition can cause mental confusion, weakness, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and other serious symptoms.

“This was a huge issue during the Great Depression, which led the government to mandate that all of the wheat flour and other cereals be fortified with niacin,” said Daibes.

Niacin was also one of the first cholesterol medications out there, according to Daibes. However, researchers noticed a problem: While patients who took niacin did have lower cholesterol, their rates of cardiac events did not decrease—in some people, the rates actually went up compared to people in the general population.

Why Is Too Much Niacin Hard on Your Heart?

When niacin breaks down, it produces byproducts known as 2PY and 4PY. In the new study, the researchers found that these byproducts, specifically 4PY, have a direct role in triggering vascular inflammation, which damages blood vessels and could contribute to the development of plaque in the arteries ( atherosclerosis ) over time—which is a major heart disease risk factor. 

“It is well established that inflammation plays a critical role in cardiovascular disease, especially atherosclerotic coronary disease,” said Daibes. Since 2PY and 4PY are pro-inflammatory factors, they increase vascular inflammation, which is directly linked to worse cardiovascular outcomes, such as heart attacks and strokes.

4PY not only triggers inflammation in the cardiovascular system, but can also lead to an increase in plaque accumulation within the walls of arteries, leading to damage to blood vessels, Lena Bakovic, MS, RDN, CNSC , a registered dietitian specializing in chronic disease, weight management, and gut health at Top Nutrition Coaching , told Verywell.

“4PY is thought to trigger cardiovascular inflammation via a newly discovered pathway, which may then increase plaque deposits within artery walls and produce damage to blood vessels,” said Bakovic.

Although the study did not establish direct causation between niacin and an increased risk of heart disease, experts say that larger studies should be done to investigate the possible link.

“This study is a stepping stone for further research that may help us understand how we can further mitigate the risk for cardiovascular disease,” said Daibes.

Are There Other Vitamins That Can Become Dangerous When Broken Down?

The fat-soluble vitamins —A, D, E, and K—can be toxic when taken in large doses in supplement form, according to Bakovic. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, these fat-soluble vitamins are stored within the body, and each one comes with its own symptoms of toxicity.

What Foods and Products Contain Niacin? 

You can get niacin naturally from many different foods, including fish, red meat, poultry, pork, legumes, whole grains, brown rice, nuts, seeds, and bananas, according to Bakovic. It is also added to enriched and fortified foods, such as breads, cereals, and infant formulas.

Niacin is also found in many dietary supplements such as multivitamins or mineral supplements, specifically in the form of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide— two distinct chemical forms of niacin .  

In the form of nicotinic acid, niacin is also accessible as a prescription medicine for the treatment of high cholesterol—but do to the potentially dangerous side effects , it’s not as commonly used as it once was.

How Much Niacin Is Dangerous?

According to Bakovic, niacin is measured in niacin equivalents (NE); 1 NE is equivalent to 1 milligram (mg) of niacin or 60 mg of tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts to niacin. The recommended dietary allowance for niacin is generally around 16 mg NE for men and 14 mg NE for women. The allowance is 18 mg NE for women who are pregnant and 17 mg NE for women who are breastfeeding.

“The Tolerable Upper Intake Level, which is the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause harmful effects, is 35 milligrams or 35 NE of niacin” for people 19 years or older, said Bakovic. “Anything beyond that amount poses a risk for toxicity.”

Consuming high doses of niacin in supplement form, particularly going over 500 mg and especially in the form of nicotinic acid, can increase the risk of niacin toxicity , according to Bakovic. One of the more common symptoms of excessive niacin is flushed or red skin, which shows up throughout the body.

Other symptoms of niacin toxicity include gout, digestive issues, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, low blood pressure, vomiting, easy bruising, increased bleeding from wounds, and in rare cases, inflammation of the liver.

However, you should know that it’s unlikely you’ll get dangerously high doses of niacin from eating too many niacin-rich foods because dietary sources typically provide well-balanced amounts of the nutrient. The risk is more from supplements, especially if large amounts are taken over time. That’s why you should always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any kind of vitamin.

What This Means For You

While more research is needed to fully understand the link, too much niacin or vitamin B3 could be bad for your heart health. You’re not likely to get too much niacin from your diet, but supplements could pose a risk if you take high doses over an extended time.

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Niacin: fact sheet for health professionals .

Ferrell M, Wang Z, Anderson JT, et al. A terminal metabolite of niacin promotes vascular inflammation and contributes to cardiovascular disease risk . Nat Med . 2024;30(2):424-434. doi:10.1038/s41591-023-02793-8

Mount Sinai. Vitamin B3 (niacin) .

Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic-led study discovers link between high levels of niacin – a common B Vitamin – and heart disease .

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus.  Pellagra .

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus.  Niacin for cholesterol . 

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Niacin — vitamin B3 .

By Alyssa Hui Alyssa Hui is a St. Louis-based health and science news writer. She was the 2020 recipient of the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association Jack Shelley Award.

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March 12, 2024

How excess niacin may promote cardiovascular disease

At a glance.

  • A metabolite of niacin (vitamin B3) was associated with elevated risk of heart attack and stroke, likely due to inflammation in arteries.
  • The findings suggest new measures that may prevent or treat cardiovascular disease and raise concerns about the health effects of too much niacin.

Foods rich in vitamin B3, or niacin, surround a drawing of a niacin molecule: avocado, nuts, spinach, bean, broccoli, egg, tomato, and chicken breast slices.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is disease of the heart and blood vessels. CVD is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Despite advances in prevention and treatment, it remains widespread. This suggests that there may be risk factors that are not yet recognized.

To investigate, an NIH-funded research team, led by Dr. Stanley Hazen at the Cleveland Clinic, searched for products of metabolism that might contribute to CVD risk. The results appeared in Nature Medicine on February 19, 2024.

The team analyzed blood plasma from more than 1,100 people for molecules associated with major adverse cardiac events, such as heart attacks and strokes. They identified two such molecules, 2PY and 4PY. Both of these are produced when the body breaks down excess niacin.

Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is an essential part of the diet. Many countries require that staple foods like cereals, flour, oats, and grains be fortified with niacin to prevent deficiency. In the United States, niacin must be added to “enriched” foods. The recommended amount of niacin is 14–18 mg/day for adults.

High–dose niacin (1,500–2,000 mg/day) was also one of the first cholesterol-lowering drugs. But studies found that niacin, unlike newer cholesterol-lowering drugs, did not lower the risk of heart attack or stroke. Researchers hadn’t understood why.

The researchers examined 2PY and 4PY levels in two other groups, one American and one European, totaling more than 3,000 people. They confirmed that elevated levels of either molecule were associated with increased risk of major cardiac events. People with 2PY or 4PY levels in the top 25% had 1.6-2 times the risk of major cardiac events over the next three years as those with levels in the bottom 25%, even after controlling for other CVD risk factors.

Levels of both 2PY and 4PY were associated with variants in a gene called ACMSD . The team found that levels of another protein, called VCAM-1, were also associated with ACMSD variants. Furthermore, VCAM-1 levels correlated with 2PY and 4PY levels.

VCAM-1 is known to help white blood cells stick to the walls of blood vessels as part of the inflammatory response. This contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries. Injecting mice with 4PY, but not 2PY, increased the amount of VCAM-1 on the walls of blood vessels and the number of stuck white blood cells.

These findings suggest that excess niacin may be a risk factor for CVD. When excess niacin is broken down into 4PY, this breakdown product activates inflammatory pathways that are known to promote plaque formation in arteries. This may increase the risk of major cardiac events.

“Niacin’s effects have always been somewhat of a paradox,” Hazen says. “Despite niacin lowering cholesterol, the clinical benefits have always been less than anticipated based on the degree of LDL [cholesterol] reduction. This led to the idea that excess niacin caused unclear adverse effects that partially counteracted the benefits of LDL lowering. We believe our findings help explain this paradox.”

The study results could lead to better assessment of CVD risk. They also highlight the importance of further research on the health effects of supplemental niacin.

—by Brian Doctrow, Ph.D.

Related Links

  • Erythritol and Cardiovascular Events
  • Irregular Sleep Patterns May Raise Risk of Heart Disease
  • Stress Links Poverty to Inflammation and Heart Disease
  • Eating Red Meat Daily Triples Heart Disease-Related Chemical
  • How Dietary Factors Influence Disease Risk
  • Healthy Body, Happy Heart: Improve Your Heart Health
  • Niacin: Fact Sheet for Consumers
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Heart-Healthy Living
  • Heart Health and Aging

References:  A terminal metabolite of niacin promotes vascular inflammation and contributes to cardiovascular disease risk. Ferrell M, Wang Z, Anderson JT, Li XS, Witkowski M, DiDonato JA, Hilser JR, Hartiala JA, Haghikia A, Cajka T, Fiehn O, Sangwan N, Demuth I, König M, Steinhagen-Thiessen E, Landmesser U, Tang WHW, Allayee H, Hazen SL. Nat Med. 2024 Feb;30(2):424-434. doi: 10.1038/s41591-023-02793-8. Epub 2024 Feb 19. PMID: 38374343.

Funding:  NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS); Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin; Berlin Institute of Health; Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH.

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How to Tell If You're Taking Too Much Magnesium

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Magnesium is an essential mineral that’s important for literally hundreds of bodily functions including muscle function, blood sugar control, and blood pressure regulation. About half of Americans don’t get enough magnesium from food and beverages alone, so supplements could be helpful to fill in the gaps of your magnesium intake.

However, supplements often come in much higher doses than what you’d get from foods, so the risk of magnesium overdose (or hypermagnesemia) is much higher. At best, magnesium overdose can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but at worst it could lead to difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, and death. Severe magnesium toxicity isn’t all that common, but symptoms like diarrhea are more common if you’re taking a high dose supplement.

In this article, learn how much magnesium is safe to take, symptoms of a magnesium overdose, and what to do if you think you’ve taken too much magnesium. 

How Much Magnesium Is Safe to Take?

Magnesium does so much for our bodies, so it’s important to consume enough of it. Amongst hundreds of other functions, we need magnesium to turn food into energy and to generate protein. You can find it in foods like nuts, seeds , green leafy vegetables , and whole grains, but if you don’t eat those foods very much then a supplement can help you meet your magnesium needs. Magnesium supplements may also help with migraines , constipation, anxiety, and sleep.

The amount of magnesium you need each day depends on your age, sex, and whether you’re pregnant or lactating. Keep in mind that the recommendations below are for total intake of magnesium from foods and supplements combine:

  • Birth to 6 months: 30 milligrams (mg)
  • 7–12 months: 75 mg
  • 1–3 years: 80 mg
  • 4–8 years: 130 mg
  • 9–13 years: 240 mg
  • 14–18 years: 410 mg for males; 360 mg for females; 400 mg if pregnant; 360 mg if lactating
  • 19–30 years: 400 mg for males; 310 mg for females; 350 mg if pregnant; 310 mg if lactating
  • 31–50 years: 420 mg for males; 320 mg for females; 360 mg if pregnant; 320 mg if lactating
  • 51+ years: 420 mg for males; 320 mg for females

To prevent a magnesium overdose, it’s important to be aware of the tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) for magnesium. These are purely for magnesium supplements, not foods, and they vary based on your age.

  • Birth to 12 months: none established
  • 1–3 years: 65 mg
  • 4–8 years: 110 mg
  • 9–18 years: 350 mg
  • 19+ years: 350 mg

Side Effects of Magnesium

Taking a magnesium supplement could cause some unpleasant side effects, even if you’re not exceeding the UL. Diarrhea is one of the most common side effects since magnesium can draw water into the stool to soften the stool. These digestive side effects are more likely with magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate since these forms are commonly used for treating constipation .  

Symptoms of Magnesium Overdose

The symptoms of magnesium overdose can be quite severe because of all the roles magnesium plays in the body. In fact, overdosing on magnesium can lead to muscle paralysis and serious cardiac issues like cardiac arrest .

Earlier signs of magnesium overdose include nausea, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. If magnesium levels continue rising, symptoms like slowed reflexes, headache , flushing, and blurred vision can occur.

Who Is at Risk for Magnesium Overdose?

Magnesium overdose actually isn’t that common, but certain groups are at higher risk of magnesium overdose. They include:

  • Those with impaired kidney function: The kidneys help excrete magnesium, so those with acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease are more likely to experience magnesium overdose.
  • Those taking magnesium supplements: Not surprisingly, consuming high doses of supplemental magnesium—often for treating constipation —makes it more likely you’ll overdo it. 
  • Those taking certain medications: Some medications, like anticholinergics or opioids, can increase magnesium absorption, which increases the chance of a magnesium overdose.
  • Pregnant people with eclampsia: Since high doses of intravenous magnesium are commonly used to help prevent eclamptic seizures, pregnant people with eclampsia are considered a high-risk group for magnesium overdose. 

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If you’re taking a magnesium supplement or have impaired kidney function and you experience any symptoms of a magnesium overdose, speak with a healthcare provider. Mild magnesium overdose often doesn't lead to symptoms, so if you experience symptoms your magnesium levels may have already progressed to a moderate magnesium overdose. It’s better to act early to prevent it from progressing to a severe overdose.

In general, it’s best to talk with your healthcare provider before starting a magnesium supplement, especially if you’re taking other supplements or medications. They can make sure there aren’t any drug or supplement interactions to be aware of and recommend an appropriate dose. If you have impaired kidney function then you’ll definitely want to consult with your healthcare provider first since you’re at higher risk for a magnesium overdose.

How Is Magnesium Overdose Diagnosed?

To check for a magnesium overdose, your healthcare provider will likely draw blood to check your serum magnesium level. Normal levels are generally around 1.8–2.3 mg/dL. The severity of a magnesium overdose is categorized as follows:

  • Mild magnesium overdose: less than 7 mg/dL
  • Moderate magnesium overdose: 7–12 mg/dL
  • Severe magnesium overdose: more than 12 mg/dL

However, since checking blood magnesium levels isn’t all that routine and symptoms of a magnesium overdose aren’t all that unique, it may be overlooked initially. So diagnosis often involves a process of elimination for other neurological and cardiorespiratory conditions like acute kidney failure, hypothyroidism , and high potassium levels.

Treatments for Magnesium Overdose

The treatment for magnesium overdose depends on the severity. If you have a mild magnesium overdose and normal kidney function, the typical treatment is simply to stop taking any magnesium supplements to give your body time to excrete the excess magnesium. 

However, if you have a severe magnesium overdose, you may need to be hospitalized so your heart function and blood pressure can be closely monitored. At the hospital, they may administer calcium and saline intravenously since calcium can help offset magnesium’s effect on the heart and muscles. If it’s really severe, you may also be given intravenous diuretics or even hemodialysis to help your body get rid of the excess magnesium faster. 

With that in mind, people at high risk for magnesium overdose, particularly those with impaired renal function, likely don’t need a magnesium supplement since the kidneys will have a hard time excreting the excess. 

How to Prevent Magnesium Overdose

Magnesium overdose is dangerous, but remember that it’s not very common, especially if you have normal kidney function. If you have normal kidney function, then taking a magnesium supplement within recommended daily doses is likely safe and may even benefit your health. Just be sure to speak with a healthcare provider about a safe dose, and try purchasing a third-party tested supplement so you know the dosage listed is accurate. 

If you’re at high risk for magnesium overdose, speak with a healthcare provider before starting a magnesium supplement to be sure it’s safe for you to start taking. Your healthcare provider may check your magnesium levels more often if they suspect they may be abnormal.

That being said, the best way to boost your magnesium intake is by eating more magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. These foods have other nutrients like antioxidants and fiber that magnesium supplements don’t have, and eating magnesium-rich foods doesn’t pose much of a risk for a magnesium overdose.

A Quick Review

As important as magnesium is for the body, too much of it can lead to some pretty serious health issues. Eating more magnesium-rich foods isn’t usually cause for concern, but taking high-dose supplements could increase your risk for magnesium overdose. The best way to prevent a magnesium overdose is to consult with your doctor or registered dietitian before starting a supplement to be sure that it’s safe for you to take and that you take an appropriate dose. 

National Institutes of Health. Magnesium .

National Library of Medicine. Magnesium citrate .

National Library of Medicine. Magnesium oxide .

Aal-Hamad AH, Al-Alawi AM, Kashoub MS, Falhammar H. Hypermagnesemia in Clinical Practice . Medicina (Kaunas) . 2023 Jun 24;59(7):1190. doi:10.3390/medicina59071190

Cascella M, Vaqar S. Hypermagnesemia . In: StatPearls . StatPearls Publishing; 2023.

Razzaque MS. Magnesium: Are We Consuming Enough? Nutrients . 2018 Dec 2;10(12):1863. doi:10.3390/nu10121863

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12 Side Effects of Eating Too Much Cheese, According to Dietitians

Posted: June 16, 2023 | Last updated: June 16, 2023

<p>Whether you're at your favorite burger joint, a cocktail party, or are just looking for a bold and flavorful snack, it's difficult to ignore the delicious allure of cheese. With so many varieties of cheese out there, this versatile, tasty food is bound to complement and elevate any dish, from pizza to tacos and even a sophisticated charcuterie platter. At the same time, eating cheese can trigger a handful of side effects that can impact your body and health, especially when not consumed in moderation. But why does this occur, and what exactly does happen to your body when you eat too much cheese?</p><p>"These effects can be triggered by factors such as the high fat content of cheese, the hormonal composition of dairy products, the potential inflammatory response to saturated fats, and the risk of bacterial contamination in certain cheese varieties," <strong><a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://bodydesignsbymary.com">Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD</a></strong>, tells <em>Eat This, Not That!</em> "It's important to maintain a balanced and varied diet to mitigate these risks and promote overall health and well-being."</p><p>To learn more about which possible side effects could potentially arise after eating too much cheese, we spoke to a handful of nutrition experts. Read on, and for more, don't miss <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/highest-quality-cheese-brands/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">11 Cheese Brands That Use the Highest Quality Ingredients</a>.</p>

Whether you're at your favorite burger joint, a cocktail party, or are just looking for a bold and flavorful snack, it's difficult to ignore the delicious allure of cheese. With so many varieties of cheese out there, this versatile, tasty food is bound to complement and elevate any dish, from pizza to tacos and even a sophisticated charcuterie platter. At the same time, eating cheese can trigger a handful of side effects that can impact your body and health, especially when not consumed in moderation. But why does this occur, and what exactly does happen to your body when you eat too much cheese?

"These effects can be triggered by factors such as the high fat content of cheese, the hormonal composition of dairy products, the potential inflammatory response to saturated fats, and the risk of bacterial contamination in certain cheese varieties," Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD , tells Eat This, Not That! "It's important to maintain a balanced and varied diet to mitigate these risks and promote overall health and well-being."

To learn more about which possible side effects could potentially arise after eating too much cheese, we spoke to a handful of nutrition experts. Read on, and for more, don't miss  11 Cheese Brands That Use the Highest Quality Ingredients .

<p>"Eating excessive amounts of cheese can potentially lead to constipation," says Sabat. "Cheese is high in fat and low in fiber, which can <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/worst-drinks-digestion/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">slow down digestion</a> and make it harder for the stool to pass through the intestines. This can result in infrequent bowel movements and difficulty in eliminating waste."</p><p>"In the short term, consuming large quantities of cheese can cause immediate discomfort and bloating, while long-term overconsumption may lead to chronic constipation," explains Sabat.</p><p>RELATED: <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/foods-to-help-you-poop/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">16 Foods To Help You Poop Immediately</a></p>

1. You could become constipated.

"Eating excessive amounts of cheese can potentially lead to constipation," says Sabat. "Cheese is high in fat and low in fiber, which can slow down digestion and make it harder for the stool to pass through the intestines. This can result in infrequent bowel movements and difficulty in eliminating waste."

"In the short term, consuming large quantities of cheese can cause immediate discomfort and bloating, while long-term overconsumption may lead to chronic constipation," explains Sabat.

RELATED:  16 Foods To Help You Poop Immediately

<p>"Consuming casein, a protein found in milk and a major component of cheese, can potentially lead to various side effects and health issues. One significant side effect related to casein consumption is inflammation," says Sabat. "In some individuals, casein can trigger an immune response and <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/inflammatory-foods/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">contribute to inflammation in the body</a>. This inflammatory response can manifest as a wide range of symptoms, including digestive problems, skin issues, respiratory discomfort, and even joint pain. For individuals who have a true allergy or sensitivity to casein, the immune system recognizes casein as a threat and releases inflammatory mediators, leading to adverse reactions," she elaborates.</p>

2. You could experience inflammation.

"Consuming casein, a protein found in milk and a major component of cheese, can potentially lead to various side effects and health issues. One significant side effect related to casein consumption is inflammation," says Sabat. "In some individuals, casein can trigger an immune response and contribute to inflammation in the body . This inflammatory response can manifest as a wide range of symptoms, including digestive problems, skin issues, respiratory discomfort, and even joint pain. For individuals who have a true allergy or sensitivity to casein, the immune system recognizes casein as a threat and releases inflammatory mediators, leading to adverse reactions," she elaborates.

<p><span>Heartburn. Thanks to decades of TV commercials, we consider it a relatively harmless condition that just calls for some over-the-counter remedy. And in most cases, it's just that. But frequent heartburn is a cause for concern and a call to your doctor. It can signify a condition that can lead to one of the most deadly cancers. These are the most common signs of heartburn, according to physicians. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.eatthis.com/covid-19-signs/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed"><b>Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID</b></a><span>.</span></p>

3. You could get heartburn.

"Cheese is a rich source of fat and can trigger heartburn in susceptible individuals," says Sabat. "When consumed in excess, the high-fat content of cheese can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle that normally prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. This can result in a burning sensation in the chest and throat," she explains. "Over time, chronic heartburn can damage the esophageal lining and lead to more serious conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)."

<p>"Acne is a multifaceted topic as it is affected by a variety of factors including diet quality, hormones, age, genetics, hygiene practices, cosmetics, and the environment," explains <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://tobyamidornutrition.com/"><strong>Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND</strong>,</a> an award-winning nutrition expert and <em>Wall Street Journal</em> bestselling author of <em><a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.amazon.com/Family-Immunity-Cookbook-Recipes-Health/dp/0778806804/ref=asc_df_0778806804/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=507843573010&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7585951155847958001&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9021712&hvtargid=pla-1319189977807&psc=1&region_id=972485">The Family Immunity Cookbook</a></em>."According to the <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.aad.org/member/clinical-quality/guidelines/acne">clinical guidelines</a> published by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) when it comes to diet, emerging evidence suggests that high glycemic index foods and dietary patterns may be linked to acne."</p><p>"While not everyone is affected, some individuals may experience skin breakouts or worsened acne as a result of consuming excessive amounts of cheese," adds Sabat. "This could be attributed to the hormones present in milk, including insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which can stimulate sebum production and contribute to clogged pores. Additionally, cheese is high in saturated fats, which may promote inflammation in the body and potentially aggravate existing skin conditions," she explains.</p><p>"When it comes to dairy foods, there is limited evidence to suggest that milk/cheese may influence acne, but the AAD guidelines state that the quality and strength of evidence is limited and inconsistent," Amidor continues. "As such, the AAD concluded that at this time there are no specific dietary changes recommended for the management of acne."</p>

4. Your skin may experience breakouts.

"Acne is a multifaceted topic as it is affected by a variety of factors including diet quality, hormones, age, genetics, hygiene practices, cosmetics, and the environment," explains Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND , an award-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Family Immunity Cookbook ."According to the clinical guidelines published by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) when it comes to diet, emerging evidence suggests that high glycemic index foods and dietary patterns may be linked to acne."

"While not everyone is affected, some individuals may experience skin breakouts or worsened acne as a result of consuming excessive amounts of cheese," adds Sabat. "This could be attributed to the hormones present in milk, including insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which can stimulate sebum production and contribute to clogged pores. Additionally, cheese is high in saturated fats, which may promote inflammation in the body and potentially aggravate existing skin conditions," she explains.

"When it comes to dairy foods, there is limited evidence to suggest that milk/cheese may influence acne, but the AAD guidelines state that the quality and strength of evidence is limited and inconsistent," Amidor continues. "As such, the AAD concluded that at this time there are no specific dietary changes recommended for the management of acne."

<p>"Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause foodborne illness, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and the elderly," says Sabat. "Soft cheeses, such as brie, camembert, and blue cheese, have a higher risk of contamination with listeria. If these cheeses are consumed excessively or not stored properly, the risk of exposure to Listeria may increase."</p><p>"Listeriosis can lead to flu-like symptoms, severe complications in vulnerable individuals, and even miscarriage or stillbirth in pregnant women," she adds.</p>

5. Your risk of contracting listeria could increase.

"Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause foodborne illness, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and the elderly," says Sabat. "Soft cheeses, such as brie, camembert, and blue cheese, have a higher risk of contamination with listeria. If these cheeses are consumed excessively or not stored properly, the risk of exposure to Listeria may increase."

"Listeriosis can lead to flu-like symptoms, severe complications in vulnerable individuals, and even miscarriage or stillbirth in pregnant women," she adds.

<p>"Overconsumption of cheese, particularly high-fat varieties, may potentially increase the risk of certain cancers," says Sabat. "Cheese contains saturated fats, which have been associated with an <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.1017720/full">increased risk of colorectal cancer</a>. Moreover, some studies suggest a correlation between the consumption of dairy products, including cheese, and an <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.pcrm.org/news/news-releases/dairy-consumption-linked-prostate-ovarian-breast-cancers-finds-new-narrative#:~:text=The%20review%20cites%20several%20large,half%20a%20serving%20or%20less.">elevated risk</a> of prostate and breast cancers," she adds. "However, it's important to note that the link between cheese consumption and cancer is still being researched, and other factors in one's diet and lifestyle also play a significant role."</p>

6. Your cancer risk could increase.

"Overconsumption of cheese, particularly high-fat varieties, may potentially increase the risk of certain cancers," says Sabat. "Cheese contains saturated fats, which have been associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer . Moreover, some studies suggest a correlation between the consumption of dairy products, including cheese, and an elevated risk of prostate and breast cancers," she adds. "However, it's important to note that the link between cheese consumption and cancer is still being researched, and other factors in one's diet and lifestyle also play a significant role."

<p>If you chow down on mac and cheese only to find yourself full of uncomfortable regret soon after, you can probably blame all the cheddar, swiss, and gouda in your bubbly pasta bake.</p><p>People who struggle to digest dairy (or who, you know, eat gobs of it on the regular) are likely to wind up pretty bloated within 30 minutes to two hours, says <strong>Amy Gorin, MS, RDN</strong>, a plant-based <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.amydgorin.com/recipes/">registered dietitian</a> and owner of <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/PlantBasedEats">Plant-Based Eats</a> in Stamford, CT.</p><p>Obviously, cutting back on your overall cheese consumption can help, but if you're still experiencing a lot of bloating after eating even small amounts of cheese, you can try mixing up your varieties: Gorin says muenster, brie, and camembert have less lactose than some of their other cheese counterparts, so they may be easier to digest and cause fewer side effects.</p><p>Gorin adds that if you're super lactose intolerant and eat too much cheese, all that lactose will move into your colon instead of being processed and absorbed within the body. "In the colon, the undigested lactose combines with the normal bacteria [and] causes gas," she explains.</p><p>Per the FDA, experiencing gas soon after eating dairy products like cheese is one of the most common <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/problems-digesting-dairy-products">telltale signs of having insufficient lactase</a>, which is the enzyme that breaks down the lactose, or sugar, in dairy products.</p>

7. You end up bloated.

If you chow down on mac and cheese only to find yourself full of uncomfortable regret soon after, you can probably blame all the cheddar, swiss, and gouda in your bubbly pasta bake.

People who struggle to digest dairy (or who, you know, eat gobs of it on the regular) are likely to wind up pretty bloated within 30 minutes to two hours, says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN , a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, CT.

Obviously, cutting back on your overall cheese consumption can help, but if you're still experiencing a lot of bloating after eating even small amounts of cheese, you can try mixing up your varieties: Gorin says muenster, brie, and camembert have less lactose than some of their other cheese counterparts, so they may be easier to digest and cause fewer side effects.

Gorin adds that if you're super lactose intolerant and eat too much cheese, all that lactose will move into your colon instead of being processed and absorbed within the body. "In the colon, the undigested lactose combines with the normal bacteria [and] causes gas," she explains.

Per the FDA, experiencing gas soon after eating dairy products like cheese is one of the most common telltale signs of having insufficient lactase , which is the enzyme that breaks down the lactose, or sugar, in dairy products.

<p>If you're an air fryer fan, chances are you've heard about how you can actually make a grilled cheese inside this tiny appliance. But <strong>Paul Sidoriak</strong> of <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="http://grillingmontana.com/">Grilling Montana</a>, author of two cookbooks on outdoor cooking and facilitator of an air fryer/indoor grilling <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/340956310185851">group on Facebook</a> with almost 60,000 followers, says that if you're going to put cheese in your air fryer, you'll definitely want to avoid using the grated kind.</p><p>"The air fryer has such a small footprint and the fan that blows hot air around is extremely powerful, so grated cheese will get sucked from your food and redistributed all over the air fryer (including getting into the fan)," says Sidoriak.</p><p>If you absolutely must use <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/highest-quality-cheese-brands/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">cheese</a> and all you have is the grated kind, you can try some of Sidoriak's tips on how to prevent the cheese from flying around and making a mess all over your air fryer. "The first thing to do is to bury the cheese under your food. You can still make something like nachos, but they may become upside-down nachos with the cheese intermingled, rather than dripping from the top," says Sidoriak. "The other workaround is to put the cheese on food that's already hot—preferably piping hot. Sprinkle the cheese on the food and allow it to wilt and melt slightly. This will make it harder for the fan to blow around and will make for far less clean up."</p><p><em>Make better eating choices every day by signing up for our <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/newsletters?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">newsletter</a>!</em></p>

8. You get diarrhea.

If you're one of the many unlucky adults with a limited ability to digest lactose—a number that registered dietitian Sarah Rueven, MS, CDN , founder of Rooted Wellness says is about 65%—then overconsumption of dairy products can cause serious discomfort.

"When someone with a lactose intolerance consumes cheese, the lactase in the cheese isn't broken down and is instead fermented in the gut by bacteria," explains Rueven, who says this can result in diarrhea…among several other unpleasant GI symptoms.

<p>Yes, not drinking enough water can easily lead to dehydration, but so can eating foods high in sodium, like creamy casseroles and double-decker cheeseburgers.</p><p>"Cheese is a food that's higher in sodium," says Gorin, "[and] this can add up quickly, especially if you eat more than one slice at a time."</p><p><a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/dehydration-symptoms/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">Signs that your eating habits are making you dehydrated</a> include headache and decreased urination, so make sure you're intentionally hydrating before or after sodium-rich meals to avoid drying out.</p>

9. You could become dehydrated.

Yes, not drinking enough water can easily lead to dehydration, but so can eating foods high in sodium, like creamy casseroles and double-decker cheeseburgers.

"Cheese is a food that's higher in sodium," says Gorin, "[and] this can add up quickly, especially if you eat more than one slice at a time."

Signs that your eating habits are making you dehydrated include headache and decreased urination, so make sure you're intentionally hydrating before or after sodium-rich meals to avoid drying out.

<p>On the flip side, because cheese is high in sodium, <strong>Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN</strong> registered dietitian and founder of <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="http://realnutritionnyc.com/">Real Nutrition</a>, says it can also cause people who are salt-sensitive to retain water. That's why individuals on low-sodium diets, like those with heart disease or high cholesterol, are often told to limit or avoid cheese.</p>

10. Your water weight may increase.

On the flip side, because cheese is high in sodium, Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN registered dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition , says it can also cause people who are salt-sensitive to retain water. That's why individuals on low-sodium diets, like those with heart disease or high cholesterol, are often told to limit or avoid cheese.

<p>This water-packed cow's milk cheese–including some of the most popular brands in the U.S.–would be unknown in Greece. The use of cow's milk isn't traditional in Greece due to the hilly nature of much of the terrain, which is better suited for goats and sheep, according to this article from the <em><a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.post-gazette.com/life/food/2009/07/16/The-other-Greek-cheeses-Feta-is-best-known-but-the-variety-is-endless/stories/200907160277">Pittsburgh Post Gazette</a></em>. Greek feta is traditionally brine-packed and significantly more flavorful, plus it's made from goat's or sheep's milk.</p><p>True feta cheese must contain at least 70% sheep's milk and be produced in certain regions of Greece, but feta is far from the only cheese in Greece. Be sure to try Graviera, Kasseri, Kefalotyri, Kopanisti, Ladotyri, Manouri, Mytilinis, and San Michali. (Learn more about these delicious types of Greek cheese <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.cheeseprofessor.com/blog/7-greek-cheeses">here</a>.)</p><p><strong>Plus, don't miss:</strong></p><p><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.eatthis.com/mexican-food-they-dont-eat-in-mexico/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">6 'Mexican' Dishes No One Eats in Mexico</a></p><p><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.eatthis.com/japanese-foods-not-eaten-in-japan/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">7 'Japanese' Foods No One Eats in Japan</a></p><p><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.eatthis.com/italian-food-not-in-italy/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">11 'Italian' Foods No One Eats in Italy</a></p>

11. Your heart health suffers.

Eating too much cheese can set you up for a greater risk of heart disease, says Rueven, since the high sodium levels raise your blood pressure (hello, increased stroke risk) and the saturated fat elevates your bad cholesterol.

Need a quick refresher on saturated fat? According to Shapiro, it's the type of fat that remains solid at room temperature and therefore, can clog your arteries.

"Saturated fat increases our bad cholesterol levels and, when consumed too often, can become unhealthy," she says.

The good news, though? You don't have to cut out cheese completely to avoid these side effects, emphasizes Rueven: "Eating cheese in moderation is not going to drastically elevate cholesterol and blood pressure, so enjoy it on occasion or use it in small amounts to garnish a salad or soup." You can also try  10 Low-Fat Cheeses You Can Eat When You're Losing Weight .

<p>So here's where some common misconceptions about cheese really work against us.</p><p>"Because people tend to think of cheese as a 'low-carb' food or one high in protein, they add it to many menu items like salads, sandwiches, and omelets, and enjoy it for snacks," says Shapiro.</p><p>The problem? One ounce of cheese contains about 100 calories and eight grams of fat, she adds, so it's not the "healthy" food many people see it as—instead, it pretty quickly increases your overall fat and calorie intake.</p><p>Over time, your cheese habits can lead to weight gain.</p><p>"Cheese is high in fat and fat is the most calorically dense macronutrient, meaning it provides more calories per gram," says Rueven. "Consuming any food in excess, especially those high in fat like cheese, can cause weight gain if your overall calorie intake exceeds your daily requirements." If weight loss is your main goal, don't miss these <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/simple-ways-to-lose-weight-according-to-science/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed">Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight Immediately, According to Science</a>.</p><p><em>Read the original article on <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href="https://www.eatthis.com/too-much-cheese/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed"><strong>Eat This, Not That!</strong></a></em></p>

12. You might gain weight.

So here's where some common misconceptions about cheese really work against us.

"Because people tend to think of cheese as a 'low-carb' food or one high in protein, they add it to many menu items like salads, sandwiches, and omelets, and enjoy it for snacks," says Shapiro.

The problem? One ounce of cheese contains about 100 calories and eight grams of fat, she adds, so it's not the "healthy" food many people see it as—instead, it pretty quickly increases your overall fat and calorie intake.

Over time, your cheese habits can lead to weight gain.

"Cheese is high in fat and fat is the most calorically dense macronutrient, meaning it provides more calories per gram," says Rueven. "Consuming any food in excess, especially those high in fat like cheese, can cause weight gain if your overall calorie intake exceeds your daily requirements." If weight loss is your main goal, don't miss these Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight Immediately, According to Science .

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The biggest moments of the 2024 Oscars

From ‘oppenheimer’ to emma stone to, yes, a naked john cena. and of course: ken..

The most shocking moment of the 2024 Academy Awards on Sunday night? The ceremony ended on time — technically, a few minutes early.

The telecast was slated to conclude at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, and just after 10:20 p.m., presenter Al Pacino arrived onstage to award best picture and went about it in the most confusing way possible: “Only one will take the award for best picture … and, uh, I have to go to the envelope for that. And I will … here it comes. And my eyes see — ‘Oppenheimer?’”

The audience seemed baffled, but then roared. Because as expected, “Oppenheimer” — a sweeping epic detailing the creation of the atomic bomb — took home the show’s biggest prize, capping the night with seven trophies, including actor (Cillian Murphy), supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr.), director (Christopher Nolan), cinematography, editing and score.

“I think any of us who make movies know that you kind of dream of this moment,” producer Emma Thomas said, adding: “The reason this movie was the movie that it was was Chris Nolan. He is singular; he is brilliant. And I’m so grateful to you.”

While “Oppenheimer” was the predicted juggernaut of the night, earlier in the show, “Poor Things” had all the momentum, picking up wins for costume design, production design and makeup and hairstyling — and that was far before best actress was announced. Below are more highlights from the telecast. (See the full list of winners here.)

Inside Christopher Nolan’s 57-day race to shoot ‘Oppenheimer’

Emma Stone won best actress

Emma Stone beat Lily Gladstone in a tight best actress race, surprising those who consider the Screen Actors Guild award — which Gladstone won for her role in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which wound up getting shut out at the Oscars — to be a notable predictor for the Academy Awards acting categories.

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Stone gave a charming speech while accepting her win for “Poor Things,” the Yorgos Lanthimos film in which she plays a woman whose brain is replaced with that of her unborn child. She singled out Gladstone while acknowledging her fellow nominees and expressed gratitude for the experiences they shared throughout awards season: “Lily, I share this with you. I’m in awe of you,” she said.

Lily Gladstone’s moment is here. It’s a lot to carry.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph gave one of the night’s best speeches

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, in the first category of the telecast, kicked the show off with a tear-jerker. The 37-year-old former opera singer, who won best supporting actress for her role in “The Holdovers,” did not hold back on the Oscars stage. “You know, I didn’t think I was supposed to be doing this as a career. I started off as a singer,” she said.

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Randolph opened up about how impostor syndrome was dampening her awards-season excitement. But when accepting her trophy in a custom pale blue Louis Vuitton gown, the actress released all that pent-up emotion. “For so long, I’ve always wanted to be different, and now I realize I just need to be myself. I thank you for seeing me,” she said as the tears flowed. While onstage, the actress also made sure to spotlight her Yale Drama School professor Ron Van Lieu. “When I was the only Black girl in that class … you saw me, and you told me I was enough.”

And despite Oscar announcer David Alan Grier’s instructions to keep speeches short, Randolph made sure to sneak in an honorable mention for her publicist, whose name we still don’t know — but who we do know is going to be very busy following Randolph’s big night. “I pray to God that I get to do this more than once,” she said.

Jimmy Kimmel didn’t make too many enemies

Most celebrities are wary of hosting awards shows these days (it’s generally a high-risk, low-reward situation), but ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel returned for a fourth time and delivered a monologue that shouldn’t make anyone too angry. Among his targets:

Sen. Katie Boyd Britt (R-Ala.): “Emma [Stone], you are so unbelievably great in ‘Poor Things.’ Emma played an adult woman with the brain of a child, like the lady who gave the rebuttal to the State of the Union on Thursday night.”

Robert Downey Jr.’s past substance abuse: “This is the highest point of Robert Downey Jr.’s long and illustrious career — well, one of the highest points.” As Downey touched his nose, Kimmel went further: “Was that too on the nose, or was that a drug motion you made?” (At this point, Downey motioned for the host to move it along with the jokes.)

Bradley Cooper’s tradition of bringing his mother to award shows: “It’s very sweet, but I guess the question is, how many times can one bring his mom as his date before he is actually dating his mom? Are you working on a movie about Freud right now and not telling us?”

Robert De Niro and his girlfriend’s 35-year age gap: “In 1976, Jodie Foster was young enough to be Robert De Niro’s daughter. Now, she’s 20 years too old to be his girlfriend.”

But at the end, Kimmel turned sincere, leading a round of applause for all the workers behind the scenes who didn’t cross the picket lines during the Hollywood strikes last year.

Multiple winners got political

One big question was how political the show might get: It’s a big election year globally, not just in the United States, and the wars in Gaza and Ukraine have no end in sight.

Arguably the biggest political statement of the night happened on the road to the Oscars — literally. Guests heading to the awards had to be rerouted after a protest calling for a cease-fire in Gaza shut down streets. Some attendees of the ceremony wore orange Artists4Ceasefire pins.

But on the Oscars stage, politics appeared to take a back seat to publicists, for the most part. That was until “The Zone of Interest” filmmaker Jonathan Glazer accepted the award for best international feature. The English director said the striking Holocaust film depicts how dehumanization “shapes all of our pasts and present”; he then directed the audience’s attention to an Israeli “occupation which has led to conflict for so many people.”

“Whether the victims of October 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack in Gaza or the victims of this dehumanization,” he continued, “how do we resist?”

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Next was Mstyslav Chernov , who won best documentary feature for “20 Days in Mariupol,” which chronicled Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Chernov pointed out that it was the first Oscar ever given to a Ukrainian film.

“But probably I will be the first director on this stage to say I wish I never made this film,” Chernov said. He said he would give up the award in return for “Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities” and not killing tens of thousands of his fellow Ukrainians.

Chernov then called on the room to commit themselves to telling the truth about the past: “Because cinema forms memories, and memories form history.”

Backstage, Chernov told reporters that he didn’t believe his statements were political: “This is a humanitarian emergency and a matter of supporting the civilians that are being attacked and being killed.”

“I don’t know how I can fix it, and I don’t know whether we should try,” he added. “But I hope that this win will just elevate this story.”

Best actor winner Cillian Murphy also alluded to war in his speech: “I’m a very proud Irish man standing here tonight. We made a film about the man who created the atomic bomb, and for better or worse, we’re still living in Oppenheimer’s world, so I’d like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere.”

There was one more political moment

Toward the end of the show, Kimmel informed the crowd he received a review of his performance and read it out loud: “Has there ever been a worst host than Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars? His opening was that of a less than average person trying too hard be something that he is not and never can be. Get rid of Kimmel and perhaps replace him with another washed up, but cheap, ABC talent, George Slopanopoulos. He would make everybody onstage look bigger, stronger and more glamorous … blah, blah, blah, make America great again.”

“Now, see if you can guess which former president just posted that on Truth Social,” Kimmel said dryly. “Well, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for watching, I’m surprised … isn’t it past your jail time?” The audience roared with applause.

Cord Jefferson won best adapted screenplay for ‘American Fiction’

Cord Jefferson, who took home the award for best adapted screenplay, used his speech to call attention to Hollywood’s aversion to taking chances on new talent and new stories.

Jefferson, a former Gawker blogger, found acclaim as a TV writer on shows such as “The Good Place” and “Watchmen” before adapting Percival Everett’s novel “Erasure” for his first feature film, “American Fiction” (which Jefferson also directed). He acknowledged that he had spoken a lot this awards season on how many people passed on the movie — a point he made not to be vindictive, he said. “It’s a plea that there are so many people out there that want the opportunity I was given,” Jefferson said onstage.

Backstage, Jefferson said he hoped to convey in his acceptance speech that there’s interest in a variety of Black stories.

Cord Jefferson’s rise from Gawker blogger to Oscar contender

Some of the presenters were … actually pretty funny?

After host, presenter has to be the most thankless job in Hollywood. If you do it badly (and so many do), you’ve got an embarrassing highlight reel (or worse, an everlasting meme) to haunt you until the end of time. If you do it well? Well, who does that? At this year’s ceremony, there were some real contenders.

First up with a bit that was actually funny and not an eye-rolling time suck were “Beetlejuice” co-stars Michael Keaton and Catherine O’Hara. As delightful a pair as always, they went back and forth about all the incredible things that happen in the makeup trailer. “The last thing we want is anyone knowing what we really look like,” O’Hara joked.

Another refreshing matchup was “Barbie” co-stars Kate McKinnon and America Ferrera, who managed to make the Oscar for best documentary short film funny with a long-running punchline about whether the “Jurassic Park” films were in fact documentaries. (Hint: They were not). And somehow this innocent joke roped in Oscar winner Steven Spielberg, one Jeff Goldblum and “tasteful nudes” from McKinnon.

The bronze medal goes to the fake “Barbenheimer” feud, which came to a laughable head when “Oppenheimer” star Emily Blunt and “Barbie” star Ryan Gosling became the odd couple of presenters. Blunt called Gosling’s hello “frosty.” Then the actors spent a minute or so shading one another with sick burns about who won more awards this season (“Oppenheimer”) and who brought back the summer movie (“Barbie”). “This is insane, Emily,” Gosling fake-demanded. “We have to squash this!”

And we don’t even know how to categorize John Cena showing up naked (yes, naked) to present best costumes.

Messi showed up to the Oscars

German actress Sandra Hüller gives a stunning performance in “Anatomy of a Fall” as a woman suspected of murdering her husband, but we’d be remiss not to mention the film’s other star: Messi, the border collie who plays the family’s service dog, Snoop. Snoop deals with all sorts of nonsense — the poor thing also has to listen to that steel-band cover of 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P,” after all — but at one point is accidentally poisoned. Messi stuns.

And luckily, he was in much better spirits at the Oscars. Although there were reports that he might not show up because others were worried he could steal the spotlight, Messi appeared a few times in the audience (including during Robert Downey Jr.’s best supporting actor win).

Messi clapping at the #Oscars See the full winners list: https://t.co/IctYZ9WO3B pic.twitter.com/2ufh8qihFX — DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 11, 2024

Ryan Gosling crushed ‘I’m Just Ken’

In the most anticipated performance of the night, Gosling performed “I’m Just Ken,” the earworm Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt created for “Barbie.” He began the performance seated in the audience behind co-star Margot Robbie, who beamed as Gosling revealed his bedazzled pink suit. He strode to the stage, where a bunch of dancers in black cowboy hats performed choreography similar to that of the film’s whimsical fight scene. Joining Gosling onstage? Simu Liu and Kingsley Ben-Adir, two of the other Kens we love to hate. A cute little reunion!

Ryan Gosling and the cast of "Barbie" perform "I'm Just Ken" at the #Oscars . https://t.co/UNgGySGz3r pic.twitter.com/00hd0Jw8cy — Variety (@Variety) March 11, 2024

… but ‘Barbie’ got (mostly) shut out

It’s hard to think of a movie last year that sparked more conversation and excitement than “Barbie,” but with eight nominations, the Greta Gerwig film received only one award. (Billie Eilish and her co-writer/producer/brother, Finneas, won best original song for the ballad “What Was I Made For?.”) This wasn’t a surprise — even Kimmel reassured Robbie and Gosling during his monologue.

“Ryan, Margot, I want you to know that even if neither one of you wins an Oscar tonight, you both already won something much more important,” he said. “The genetic lottery.”

Everything you need to know about the Oscars

The 96th Academy Awards came to a close, but you can catch up with everything you missed from the 2024 Oscars and get the minute-by-minute highlights from our live blog .

Winners: Check out the full list of Oscar winners , which include Emma Stone’s surprise win over Lily Gladstone, Billie Eilish’s victory for her heartbreaking “Barbie” song and Robert Downey Jr. winning for his portrayal of Lewis Strauss .

Firsts: Wes Anderson won his first Oscar , for the short film “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” and while Gladstone didn’t win she is still the first Native American woman to be nominated for best actress.

Red carpet: See our picks for the best celebrity Oscar looks , or click through the photos from the star-studded night .

  • ‘Arthur the King,’ with Mark Wahlberg and a cute dog, is a royal letdown March 13, 2024 ‘Arthur the King,’ with Mark Wahlberg and a cute dog, is a royal letdown March 13, 2024
  • ‘Problemista’ injects absurd humor into an immigration nightmare March 13, 2024 ‘Problemista’ injects absurd humor into an immigration nightmare March 13, 2024
  • ‘Love Lies Bleeding’: Kristen Stewart in a radically ripped romance March 13, 2024 ‘Love Lies Bleeding’: Kristen Stewart in a radically ripped romance March 13, 2024

effects on too much homework

IMAGES

  1. 😊 Negative effects of too much homework. Infographic: How Does Homework

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  2. Too Much Homework

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  3. 😊 Negative effects of too much homework. Infographic: How Does Homework

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  4. The Effects of Too Much Homework on Teenagers

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  5. Too Much Homework in College: Effects and Tips to handle them

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  6. HOMEWORK HAVOC: How Much Homework Is Too Much??

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VIDEO

  1. Why aren't you doing your homework?

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  4. Y&S TV Film: Too Much Schoolwork!

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  6. Kindergarten’s Homework 🥸

COMMENTS

  1. Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

    March 10, 2014 Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework. A Stanford researcher found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress ...

  2. Why Homework is Bad: Stress and Consequences

    In 2013, research conducted at Stanford University found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of ...

  3. More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research

    A Stanford education researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter. "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," wrote Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a

  4. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health ...

  5. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. "Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's ...

  6. Is homework a necessary evil?

    Even when homework is helpful, there can be too much of a good thing. "There is a limit to how much kids can benefit from home study," Cooper says. He agrees with an oft-cited rule of thumb that students should do no more than 10 minutes a night per grade level — from about 10 minutes in first grade up to a maximum of about two hours in high ...

  7. Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

    Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That's problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.

  8. Homework: An Hour a Day Is All the Experts Say

    This second study found that too much homework can be counterproductive and diminish the effectiveness of learning. The negative effects of lots of homework can far outweigh the positive ones.

  9. Key Lessons: What Research Says About the Value of Homework

    Too much homework may diminish its effectiveness. While research on the optimum amount of time students should spend on homework is limited, there are indications that for high school students, 1½ to 2½ hours per night is optimum. Middle school students appear to benefit from smaller amounts (less than 1 hour per night).

  10. What's the Right Amount of Homework?

    As young children begin school, the focus should be on cultivating a love of learning, and assigning too much homework can undermine that goal. And young students often don't have the study skills to benefit fully from homework, so it may be a poor use of time (Cooper, 1989; Cooper et al., 2006; Marzano & Pickering, 2007). A more effective ...

  11. (PDF) Investigating the Effects of Homework on Student Learning and

    Homework has long been a staple of the education system, but its effectiveness and impact on student learning and academic performance have been the subject of much debate. Proponents argue that ...

  12. Health Hazards of Homework

    Health Hazards of Homework. Pediatrics. A new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and colleagues found that students in high-performing schools who did excessive hours of homework "experienced greater behavioral engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives.".

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    High-achieving high school students said too much homework leads to sleep deprivation and other health problems such as headaches, exhaustion, weight loss, and stomach problems. ... Explore Oxford Learning's infographic on the effects of homework on students. 3. Consider Joseph Lathan's argument that homework promotes inequality. 4 ...

  14. Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

    Source: Phys.org, "Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework," 2018. Negative Effects of Homework for Students. While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. Students with too much homework have elevated stress ...

  15. Infographic: How Does Homework Actually Affect Students?

    Homework can affect both students' physical and mental health. According to a study by Stanford University, 56 per cent of students considered homework a primary source of stress. Too much homework can result in lack of sleep, headaches, exhaustion and weight loss. Excessive homework can also result in poor eating habits, with families ...

  16. How Much Homework Is Too Much for Our Teens?

    In that poll teens reported spending, on average, more than three hours on homework each school night, with 11th graders spending more time on homework than any other grade level. By contrast ...

  17. Should We Get Rid of Homework?

    The authors believe this meritocratic narrative is a myth and that homework — math homework in particular — further entrenches the myth in the minds of teachers and their students.

  18. The Pros and Cons: Should Students Have Homework?

    One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made. 4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication ... By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success. Conclusion.

  19. How does homework affect students?

    Homework is essential in the learning process of all students. It benefits them in managing time, being organized, and thinking beyond the classroom work. When students develop good habits towards homework, they enjoy good grades. The amount of homework given to students has risen by 51 percent. In most cases, this pushes them to order for ...

  20. How Much Homework Is Too Much?

    Experts in the field recommend children have no more than ten minutes of homework per day per grade level. As a fifth- grader, Timothy should have no more than fifty minutes a day of homework ...

  21. Striking a Balance: How Much Homework is Too Much Homework for High

    So, sending teens home with too much homework might actually impair your ability to prepare them for the future or even for the next day's class. Reasons Not to Overwork High School Students Rather than harping on the negative effects of too much homework, educators might be inspired to consider the positive effects of assigning less homework ...

  22. Research continues to reveal effects of too much homework on ...

    The students also said that the burden of too much homework resulted in a lack of sleep, exhaustion, weight loss, headaches, and poor eating habits. In terms of social lives, students reported that they have less time to spend with their families and friends if they have a lot of homework. The negative effects of this result in feelings of ...

  23. Why scientists trust AI too much

    Scientists of all stripes are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) — from developing 'self-driving' laboratories, in which robots and algorithms work together to devise and conduct ...

  24. What is caffeine intoxication and how can you prevent it?

    Caffeine intoxication is more than the headache you get from drinking too much expresso. It happens when people ingest an excessive amount of caffeine. ... The more toxic effects of caffeine ...

  25. Too Much of This B Vitamin Could Be Bad for Your Heart

    However, you can have too much of a good thing—a new study found that high levels of niacin may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. ... "The Tolerable Upper Intake Level, which is the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause harmful effects, is 35 milligrams or 35 NE of niacin" for people 19 years or older, said Bakovic ...

  26. How excess niacin may promote cardiovascular disease

    The findings suggest new measures that may prevent or treat cardiovascular disease and raise concerns about the health effects of too much niacin. Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is found in many foods and supplements. The study suggests that too much may be harmful.

  27. Signs You're Taking Too Much Magnesium

    In general, it's best to talk with your healthcare provider before starting a magnesium supplement, especially if you're taking other supplements or medications. They can make sure there aren ...

  28. 12 Side Effects of Eating Too Much Cheese, According to Dietitians

    Eating too much cheese can set you up for a greater risk of heart disease, says Rueven, since the high sodium levels raise your blood pressure (hello, increased stroke risk) and the saturated fat ...

  29. Oscars 2024: Best moments from Oppenheimer to Emma Stone

    Da'Vine Joy Randolph, in the first category of the telecast, kicked the show off with a tear-jerker. The 37-year-old former opera singer, who won best supporting actress for her role in "The ...