We are on a break

As the enlightened Garfield once said, “I see it approaching, the much-awaited, deeply desired weekend.” Relatable, right? After a grueling week at school or work, weekends feel like an oasis in the middle of a desert. Unfortunately, for many students at Hinsdale Central High School, this oasis reveals itself to be a mirage, an illusion of tranquility. Instead, this vision of an oasis is replaced with a dune of tasks, such as jobs, studying, competitions, applications, practices, chores, and to top it off, the behemoth that is school homework. With the persistent grind during weekdays for students, not relaxing during weekends is the final straw. Therefore, in order to preserve mental health, students should not be assigned homework during weekends. 

In a survey conducted on Hinsdale Central students, 89% said that they always have school homework on weekends. That means no weekends off, ever. 33% stated that they have 3 – 4 and a half hours of homework, with 11% saying they had over 5 hours. Additionally, almost 90% of students said that school work interferes with their preferred weekend activities. This data goes directly to show that due to large amounts of homework, students are not able to spend their weekend looking after their mental health, since they simply don’t have the time to relax and take a break.  

While four hours of work on a weekend may not sound earth shattering, it is crucial that we keep in mind that students also have other time commitments during the weekends. 70% of respondents said that they were involved in extracurricular activities, 50% stated that they had sports and home chores during the weekend, and 20% said that they have jobs that require them to work on weekends. Accounting for these additional hours, students often have to make the choice between school homework and family priorities. 

Many believe that homework is necessary because it benefits student learning, however, research has been widely inconclusive. Alfie Khon, a Brown University and University of Chicago graduate, has written fourteen books on education and human behavior. Khon once said schools wrongly believe that “students are like vending machines, put in an assignment, get out learning.” In an article, Khon argued that there is no conclusive evidence that homework is a good learning tool, or has a positive impact on student development. Using national data along with Khon’s expert opinion, we can conclude that assigning homework to students on weekends is more detrimental than beneficial. 

Students should not be assigned homework on weekends. Doing so prevents students from enjoying their weekend off, and this severely impacts their mental health. Also, students have several other commitments on the weekend, and homework on top of these commitments elevates stress and adds needless pressure on students. Finally, school homework has no positive correlation with increased learning, therefore making it an ineffective learning tool, and it clearly has unhealthy effects. We must stop assigning homework on weekends to allow students to finally look forward to a stress free break.