Homework over Spring break is hurting students’ performance


Brendan Johnson

A student lays out at a pool while doing homework on his laptop during a Spring break vacation.

Jacob Young, Social Media Editor

Michael wakes up in Puerto Rico ready to take on the sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. He plans out his day, deciding where he will go and what he will do. He is ready to take on his Spring Break vacation.

But first on his list: homework.

A break is an interruption in a normal routine. For students, Spring break is an interruption from waking up early, spending half of their day in class and, above all, doing homework. Some teachers fail to recognize that assigning homework over break diminishes the whole purpose of the time off. In fact, it is counterproductive to their overall performance. Students look at Spring break as a time to focus on anything other than deadlines for school. They just want to be kids. In addition, teachers are, or at least should be, considering the happiness and wellbeing of the students and their parents. Think of the look on a parent’s face when their kid tells them that they cannot go to the beach just yet because they have homework to do on the vacation that they paid a lot of money for. So sure, performance in the classroom is important, but so is the satisfaction of students and parents.

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Homework over break forces students to take time out of their vacations to keep one foot in the door of the routine that normally wears them out. Keep in mind that that last quarter of school is the most important for grades. It cannot be a bad thing to let students take a break from the stress of school and homework so that they come back refreshed and ready to finish the year strong. No homework over break is helpful and refreshing to the students, and teachers are likely to see better-performing students in their classrooms in the weeks that follow a worry free break.

If the goal of homework over break is to help students retain information, teachers should understand that it takes a lot longer than a week off for students to forget what they learned in weeks prior. If they do, then the break is not the issue. It is because the students are falling short because they are restless and zoning out in class, which is ever more reason for them to have a refreshing break.

If necessary, teachers should plan ahead next year so that their lesson plans include a day for their students to get a refresher on the material after Spring break. It is probably best for everyone if they do not feel like they need to hit the ground running when they get back from a week of relaxing. Ideally, teachers can finish up their lessons right before the break to cap off the quarter, allowing the students to start fresh with new material when they get back.

Overall, assigning homework over Spring break is, in fact, counter-productive. There is more to being a good student that tirelessly learning classroom material. Sometimes time to kick back and relax is much needed. Giving students that time requires some buy-in from teachers that should be prioritizing the wellness of their students as well as their ability to learn and continue learning.