H2H: Should Teachers Give Homework Over Breaks?
November 22, 2017
An Assignment or Two Never Killed Anyone
Students dread the thought of homework over the weekend and, of course, over break. However, campus members fail to recognize the benefits of completing assignments over two or even three weeks off of school. Having teachers assign work over breaks will definitely achieve long-term positive results.
An important duty of every high school student is that learning never stops. All students must understand that leaving school campus for the weekend, or for break, does not authorize a right to stop thinking, analyzing and using one’s brain.
According to TIME Magazine, “Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper found evidence of a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school.”
Completing homework shows a positive connection between student achievement and performance at school, which is a crucial factor considering that semester one finals happens only one week after winter break. Every student’s worst nightmare would be returning back to school, only to be faced with finals within a matter of days, but with no knowledge of the past semester’s material.
“[Homework] helps students use and practice their skills and stay somewhat engaged with and connected to content,” Lois Conely said in an article by Susan Riddell from Kentucky Teacher.
Of course, assigning numerous projects or assignments over break would be unreasonable; however, small homework tasks are important for students’ success overall. While many believe that breaks are meant for relaxation, it is important to note that a student’s ultimate job is to learn and continue to seek knowledge. Even a small assignment such as reading a chapter of a novel will prompt students to continue analyzing and thinking outside of a classroom setting.
From the perspective of many parents, students tend to go on laptops, phones or TV screens over break rather than reading a book or spending time with their families
“It [homework] would keep kids from staring at screens all day. Laptops, tablets, video games, movies, TV shows, phones and other screens all conspire to occupy all the hours of a child’s day,” Lauren Connelly said on the website Professor’s House, a website that gives advice for families.
Homework may be seen as a burden but ultimately works to help students succeed in school; therefore, teachers should assign homework over the breaks.
Break the Homework Habit
School years are long. This is a statement that any student will wholeheartedly agree with and complain about. The opportunity for a break comes on weekends, when students can briefly relax before jumping to Friday’s homework and preparing for the week ahead of them.
Some breaks are a few days shorter, like Veterans Day or Thanksgiving break. Winter break is drawing closer, and students are eagerly awaiting it. It is a popular break due to the arrival of Christmas and all the festivities that students get to take part in, without worrying about school. Winter break, at two weeks is the longest break students get aside from summer vacation, and it is a joyous time where they do not worry about coursework.
Nobody enjoys having homework nagging in the back of their minds when they are trying to enjoy their vacation. Students work around the clock, so having to work over one of their few long breaks is a bitter injustice.
“I think only if it’s absolutely necessary and they really need the practice,” spanish teacher Estefani Rios said. “I don’t believe in giving homework just for homework’s sake. A lot of students will put the homework off until the last day, so it is not beneficial to spend two weeks doing nothing and then spending the last day rushing to finish their homework.”
It is not just teachers who feel assigning homework during breaks is unnecessary.
“I use my breaks for spending time with my family and relaxing,” sophomore Caleb Ong said.
Ong, along with many other students, feels that breaks are a time for students to take a break and enjoy some time off from thinking about school.
According to informED, today in what is called “the information age,” students are constantly learning new information thanks to the Internet without the need for an assignment.
Some may argue that homework over breaks helps keep students “sharp” and keeps them from forgetting anything they have learned, but teachers will run refresher courses after long breaks to help reinforce their past lessons, making reviewing over breaks unnecessary.
Teachers who give work over breaks are also forced to grade assignments they gave right after their break, something both teachers and students do not enjoy.
Additionally, assigning more homework does not always lead to more achievement. Giving students work to do at home does reinforce skills they have been taught, but if homework is busywork and does not help the student in any way, it can be harmful and create unnecessary anxiety for the student.