Photo courtesy of Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash.com
Photo courtesy of Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash.com

Should Teachers Be Allowed to Assign Holiday Homework?

February 27, 2021

Most students look forward to hard-earned breaks, only to be greeted with mountains of homework to do. And let’s face it — no kid likes to do homework over break. The thought of eventually having to get up and do some schoolwork is no pleasant feeling. Holiday breaks are meant to be stress-free times where we can let our minds wander and watch TV all day. Breaks don’t exist as a time for teachers to assign extra work and get an early start on the next unit — yet some still use it as such.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and teachers have had to adapt their teaching methods to accommodate the new era of online learning that we live in. Most teachers have tried to ease up on the speed at which they teach students information, but that means more homework over breaks. There has also been an increase in the number of off-days due to weather issues, resulting in an increase in the amount of work given to students over breaks.

Nonetheless, students shouldn’t have to worry about the science report due next week while they’re on break. Not only can spending time on extra homework affect students’ social and emotional wellbeing, it can also quite possibly lower students’ academic achievements. A 2006 study by social scientist Daniel Yankelovich found that achievement in reading declined in students as the amount of homework assigned increased.

Homework is unnecessary and wastes valuable time in students’ lives. The United States National Education Association recommends no more than ten minutes of homework a night, however, many students find themselves spending hours per night on homework. If students aren’t interested in doing homework during school weeks, then they won’t learn much by doing homework over breaks.

Assigning work over breaks sends students the message that leisure time with family and friends is incomparable to being “productive” and going the extra mile for school. In fact, people find that breaks allow us to detach from work and provides recovery from the stress of school. But not only do students benefit from vacations without school-related interruptions; teachers benefit from not having to plan lessons and grade homework.

Ultimately, teachers should not be allowed to assign homework over holiday breaks. There is substantial evidence pointing to the fact that homework doesn’t contribute heavily to students’ understanding of topics. It is essential for students and teachers to relieve themselves of the stress of schoolwork while enjoying their vacation.

 

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