Vacation: Can we just skip the homework?

Vacation: Can we just skip the homework?

Students who participate in sports and who take accelerated classes can agree: we are ready for a break when vacation comes around. The only thing is, with early morning practices and homework in every class, we don’t get as much of a break as we need.

The word vacation is a noun meaning: a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel.  However, it seems that most teachers and administrators have a different definition of a vacation.

English teacher Nichole Charbonneau said, “I can understand how we call it a vacation for a reason, but I think homework within reason is beneficial, especially in English.”

For us teenagers, we would like to stick to the dictionary definition: the true meaning of a vacation.  Teens of all grades, ages, and genders seem to agree on a general consensus: homework over vacation is a big no thank you.

History teacher Elizabeth True said, “I think it depends on the class you take.  If you take an accelerated class, you should expect homework.”

Some students understand this point of view because they are aware that homework over vacation will help them in the long run.

Senior Parker Remy-Miller said, “At this level of our education, we should realize we will have homework over vacation.  It stinks, but if it helps us further our learning than it is definitely necessary.”

Senior Allison Beauregard said, “Vacations are called ‘breaks’ for a reason.  It’s a time to recharge our batteries and relax a little.”

Relaxation is exactly what teenagers growing up in this fast-paced society need.  Beauregard later added, “If teachers assign projects, research papers, and massive amounts of homework, students have no time to do anything else.”

Junior Annie Nguyen said, “Most academics agree that busy work does little to increase learning.”  It is best not to assign packets of worksheets if they do nothing to help the student learn.  “You also don’t want to waste valuable time grading meaningless paperwork,”  said Nguyen.

When asked about the homework dilemma, senior Jacob Pereira said, “Vacation is a time to de-stress from education.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Freshman Allison Silvia brought up an interesting point when she said, “It’s hard to enjoy your ‘vacation’ from school when you spend your time doing take-home work.  You still get work, you just don’t have to show up to school.”

Junior Nicholas Rego said, “I find that it’s unfair to have homework over vacation.  Our vacation is a time to get away from school, sports, stress, and to relax.  I understand that if we don’t have homework, after vacation we might forget some stuff, but teachers should maybe give just a brief lesson recovering what we learned before we went on vacation.”

The thing is, even if teachers give a load of homework on a lesson that was just taught, when the students return back to school, teachers usually need to go over the material again anyway.  What’s the point in giving unnecessary busywork if the teacher will only have to reteach the lesson?

Junior Glenna Forgue said, “We are the most stressed-out generation, and we can’t really look forward to vacations because all our teachers still give us loads of work.  And why would they give us more work for them to grade?  Do they not want a break too?”

She brings up a valid argument.  Vacations aren’t just for the students, they’re for the teachers too.

“Three hours of homework out of the entire week isn’t a lot to ask,” said Ms. Charbonneau. “I do a lot of schoolwork over vacation, too.”

However, while that may be true, three hours from every class adds up.

Plus, how do teachers honestly expect students to complete their homework assignments if they are traveling over the break?  If they were to go on vacation, would they be grading papers while sunning their buns on a beach in the Caribbean? I’m assuming the answer would probably be no.

Nguyen also brought up a valid point. He said, “Assigning less homework makes it easier for families to have time together.  Also for students who travel during break, homework may impede learning on their trip.”

Many students have complained that practices for sports are too early in the morning, while others have said sports should be cancelled altogether during vacations.  Silvia said, “Vacation is supposed to be a time where you can sleep in, have friends over, or just stay in your pajamas all day.  But that’s pretty much impossible when you have practice at 8:30 every morning.”

Agreeing, Sophomore Austin Vincent said, “The workload of having homework and sports during a vacation is ridiculous.  A vacation should be enjoyed, not dreadful.”

However, there are also others that are fine with the homework and extracurriculars during the vacation.  “I think sports should continue if you’re important to the team’s success,” said senior Zach Borim.

Pereira said, “Well I can understand sports.  It’s almost an out of school commitment that is, inherently, extracurricular, so we have to commit to it on weekends and over vacations.”

Senior Brian Raposa said, “Sports and music programs need the extra practice time over vacation.  Plus sports and music are something the student chooses to spend their time doing.  If that’s how they want to spend their vacation, it’s their choice.  Homework isn’t an option.”

Remy-Miller agreed, “As for sports, when you sign up, you make a commitment to the team for the whole season and that includes vacations.  If you stop for the whole vacation then everything you’ve worked for to that point in the season will go down the drain, and you’ll have to restart.”

With the February Break quickly approaching, those of us who are against receiving work better cross our fingers and pray for a relaxing vacation.  To those of you who don’t mind the extra workload: more power to you and good luck.