Student Perspective: Homework and the BFA Homework Club

Students having time in class to work.  Photo credit: Asher Ballantine

Students having time in class to work. Photo credit: Asher Ballantine

Rachel Ledoux, Writer

This is a part of a student perspective series by Rachel Ledoux.

At what point does homework become less helpful and more stressful? This question has been a hot topic of discussion in recent months, especially due to the academic changes brought on by the pandemic. Recently, The Mercury got the chance to see how BFA students feel about the issue.

According to a survey about homework conducted by The Mercury, some BFA students are becoming stressed as a result of high homework loads. When asked to rate their stress level when it comes to homework, on a scale with one being the lowest stress and five being the highest, 37.3% of the 67 students respondents rated it a 4 and 17.9% rated it a 5.

“It’s just a little stressful how much we get sometimes,” Logan Leavitt (‘23) said. Leavitt added, “Kids outside of school don’t always have time to complete all of it.”

This was corroborated by another student, who asked to remain anonymous.

“Some teachers don’t understand [that it can] be very stressful, especially if the students are going through things or they have other stuff like a job and or sport,” the student said.

Sean Baldwin (‘24) added to these points, explaining that he doesn’t see the purpose of homework.

“I think overall homework is fine, and I can most certainly do it, but it’s not something I necessarily enjoy,” Baldwin said.  He added. “[It’s] something I don’t see the point of considering the fact that we only really need to do work for class.”

Many other students reported frustration with how school work can consume their personal time and said that they wish teachers would cover all of the necessary material in class instead of assigning homework.

According to one student, who wished to remain anonymous, “If [teachers] can’t cover [their] material in class, [they should] consider getting good.”

This was seconded by Ian Mackenzie (’24), who commented on the boundaries of home and school.

“We go to school to learn. We go home to rest [so that we can learn the next day]. Not to do more school.”

Some students, like Claire (CJ) Johnson (‘23), stated that they don’t do homework at all.

I don’t do school work outside of school,” Johnson said.

The Mercury also asked students about finding dedicated times and spaces to complete their homework. According to the survey, 50.7% of students feel they would benefit from a concrete time of day and place to do their work with 28.4% saying they already have one. 

What some students may not know, however, is that BFA already offers a place to complete homework if students choose to attend: The BFA Homework Club

According to BFA paraeducator Penelope Gratton, who is the club’s advisor, The Homework Club is a place for students to complete homework and get things done in an academic environment.

“If kids have trouble focusing at home or just want a place to get their homework done, [they should] stop by,” Gratton said. She added, “I’d love to have them.”

The Homework Club meets in the library from 2:50-4:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. It requires no consistent attendance or tasks outside of the group, so students can come whenever they need to and leave once their work is complete.

“There isn’t [any] commitment with this club . . . you can come and go as you please, and you don’t have to come every day if you don’t need to,” Gratton said.

If students are interested in going to The Homework Club to get work done, they are encouraged to stop by. Additionally, if students have any questions, concerns or ideas for how to improve The Homework Club, they are encouraged to email Gratton ([email protected]). 

“I really want to hear students’ input on the club and what we can be doing better to make the club a more welcoming and successful environment,” Gratton said.