Homework during the holidays puts damper on festivities


Photo taken by Audrey Kercher ’23

Homework assigned over the holiday break forces students to focus on school assignments rather than festive activities like decorating a Christmas tree

Imagine there’s only one day left of school before the long-awaited December holiday recess. The only thing that stands between you and endless free time on top of holiday joy is one more day of classes… plus five assignments, two projects and a unit test. Just the thought of the school work you will have to get done by the end of break is even more discouraging. The cheerful feeling of anticipation for the holidays slowly devolves into annoyance over the amount of treasured free time your English and algebra homework will eat up.

While schoolwork over holiday vacations is supposed to be prohibited, teachers should also not pile on work the day before students are dismissed. 

The large amount of assignments usually due right before vacation tends to cause a lot of panic and stress. According to Stanford News, stress can take root in excessive amounts of homework which can even lead to worse health issues, such as headaches, exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

While schoolwork over holiday vacations is supposed to be prohibited, teachers should also not pile on work the day before students are dismissed. 

Furthermore, the boatload of assignments done right before the holidays is ineffective because many students, myself included, rush through what needs to be done. The work was assigned for students to keep up with school over break, but it is often counterproductive because of the mindless rushing (and simultaneous lack of thoroughness) involved in completing the tasks.

I often feel tremendous stress around the holidays, and it’s not just because I don’t know what to buy my family members for Christmas. It’s also because I always have countless assignments due only days, sometimes hours, before the holiday recess. In the midst of an already stressful pandemic, last-minute homework only adds to the uncomfortably. 

Most teachers follow the school rule and don’t assign work over breaks so students can celebrate the holidays fully and relax. But there remains a number of other teachers who do assign work that is supposed to be completed over the holidays. They get away with this by setting official due dates a few days after break ends. However, when a major assignment is due two days after a break, it all but guarantees that a student must work on it over their vacation. 

Overall, students should not have to rush to submit assignments right before vacation and shouldn’t have to do work during vacation, either. Students would be much more relaxed, and completed work would be of better quality if teachers spread out assignments throughout the whole week, both before and after the time off.