Homework has always been a controversial topic, but when it's assigned over the holidays, it can spark even more debate. Let's take a look at why holiday homework assignments are just not worth it.
While homework may have its benefits in certain situations, in others, it's simply not necessary. One of these 'others' is during holiday breaks from school—a time for students to take a break from their studies, spend time with family, and enjoy the true meaning of a holiday. Some teachers might think that holiday homework assignments are a good idea and a way to keep kids' brains sharp over a break, but in reality, kids typically get more than enough homework during the rest of the school year. In fact, a 2015 CNN article indicates that elementary students are often given three times more homework than what is recommended by the National Education Association.
Reasons to Nix the Holiday Homework
Here are some reasons why holiday homework assignments are not worth it and should be nixed.
1. Spending time with family is important.
Unfortunately, family time today often comes in limited amounts; with work, school, sports, and everything else that life throws our way, it's certainly easy to see why. So when a holiday rolls around, it provides the perfect chance for family members to get together and forget about the hustle and bustle—even if it's just for a couple of days. If kids are stuck working on homework assignments, it can drastically reduce the valuable time they get to spend with their families. It would be kind of a bummer if your son or daughter couldn't spend time with family simply because he or she was stuck working on some big homework assignment that was given right before a break.
2. Kids learn every day.
Here's some food for thought: kids are absorbing more information on a daily basis than we could've ever imagined. Considering their use of smart phones, televisions, laptops, and tablets, kids probably see and learn more things than we even realize. Instead of assigning homework assignments over the holidays, teachers might want to remember that students can easily put those gadgets to good use. With all the learning apps and games out nowadays, kids can spend a couple of minutes here and there reviewing their math or reading skills without it interfering with holiday time. And even if some students don't have access to these gadgets, chances are they're still absorbing information and learning new things. Regardless, teachers should automatically plan a little time for review after each break to get kids back in the swing of things.
3. Many families travel during the holidays.
Holiday breaks equal traveling for many families, and traveling does not provide the best atmosphere for completing homework assignments. If a family is going to be stuck in a plane, train, or automobile for any amount of time, kids will simply not have the time to do their homework. It's really not fair to assign holiday homework assignments when some kids may not even have the opportunity to get them done. This is actually another time when gadgets might come in handy; they are portable and offer dozens of learning apps that kids can use to their advantage during holiday breaks.
4. Plain and simple, students deserve a break.
With all of the rigorous education standards and policies that are in place these days, students work very hard and deserve a mental break from time to time. Holidays are a great time for this! Instead of being loaded up with homework assignments, they'll be able to catch up on their rest and relaxation. Also, by taking a mental breather, they may be more apt to return to class recharged and ready to learn!
5. Many parents don't agree with it.
As if there aren't enough reasons to forego the holiday homework assignments already, here's another: many parents simply don't agree with them. If parents are not on board with the whole holiday homework concept, they are probably not going to force their kids to do assignments over the holidays. Assigning holiday homework may also lead to parents (and students) withdrawing their support for the teacher(s), and this support is generally not easy for the teacher(s) to regain.
The Final Word
After reading through these reasons, you may be thinking that holiday homework assignments are not worth it. Not only can they get in the way of family time and proper rest, but also make it hard for traveling students to even accomplish. Remember that kids learn each and every day—whether they're in school or not. A break from schoolwork over the holidays probably isn't going to make or break a student in the long run.