Student Life: The debate over holiday homework

The question as to whether or not homework should be given has been long debated.

Considering that our two-week-long winter break has finally arrived, how fitting would it be to bring up the topic of homework as I believe a majority, if not all of us, have most likely been assigned some sort of project to be done over the holidays.

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There are two valid, relatively realistic sides to this story, number one being that homework helps teach students responsibility and discipline. Number two is that students have a right to their free time and have a life to live after school.

Furthermore, if a decision is to be made, or a side is to be taken, both points of view must first be explored.

The first argument to be discussed should be that of pro-homework. Why do some believe homework is a beneficial exercise for students? Perhaps because it makes us develop skills of independence, teaches us responsibility, as well as discipline that will supposedly come in handy later in life.

For those who will go on to become self-employed, learning these abilities is almost essential. Although, that’s not to say we can’t necessarily develop those skills on our own or through other experiences.

On the flip side, homework can be seen merely as added weight to the struggles of student life.

It almost seems as though it has been forgotten that students have lives after school as well. We must juggle a social life, family life, after-school activities, and some of us have jobs. It can be very difficult, not to mention exhausting at times, to get through our day of seven-hour schooling, followed by whatever else we may have to do after 3:30 pm.

We wouldn’t necessarily ask an employee to bring their work home with them. Why? Because they have a right to their personal free time.  

For some students, it can be difficult to compare the importance and responsibility of homework to something like a job. The difference is that we are paid for our labour when we work, but the reward of completing an assignment in our free time isn’t so physical.

In the end, we should ask the question: how healthy is it really to expect students to complete a workload over the holidays, especially when they’re busy spending time with family and celebrating? It’s merely another stress added on top of our to-do list.

A break should mean a break. Although the rules might change if a student is severely behind in assignments, the two weeks given to us so we may relax should not be used as an opportunity to cram in the remains of a semester’s work.

Editor's note: Macy How is a grade 11 student at Brooks Secondary School.

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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