Homework During Vacation: Another Oxymoron

October 28, 2007
By Matt Kwan, West Newton, MA

Homework During Vacation: Another Oxymoron
Matt Kwan
Imagine a warm, sunny day in May. All your friends are outside and Frisbees are taking off. You go out to enjoy your vacation, but here’s the thing. You just keep remembering those Worksheets-From-The-Deep and can’t relax with any of your buddies. It’s like trying to run with bricks as shoes.

See, weekends and vacations were intended to relieve stress but homework during that time contributes to it. A good example of this is the all-wonderful summer vacation. Summer vacation is carefree and most importantly, work-free. What a coincidence that summer vacation is the vacation that we usually remember the most. If only all vacations were like this, then all of us kids would be smiling more than a toothbrush commercial and Barney together. And imagine weekends like this; staying out nice and late like you might have done on the night before on Saturday. This also means no more having to come home extra early because there’s nothing to come home extra early for. So now the parents of the kids are at ease, too – yet another happy customer.

There isn’t a lot of knowledge being stored away when completing those worksheets, or that bookwork, or that independent reading, or anything because any learning you have to do by yourself instead of with a teacher just won’t as informational. So is the homework really worth the loss of sleep? Many kids lose a lot of great times they could have had and remembered, just for these worksheets that keeps poking us from the back of our heads all day, all to be forgotten about next week! This is why I don’t think the system is all that it’s cracked up to be.

Now, teachers say that homework during break times helps because it keeps your brain from forgetting everything. I think they’re underestimating us. As a kid myself, I’m pretty sure that I could remember close to everything after a week-long break. I just need to see some of the unit’s material again to jog my memory. I think schools could manage that.

Also, I believe that a student could probably learn equal to or maybe even more the amount with the homework than the amount without. I say ‘more’ because usually there is a person that can’t manage his or her time well. He procrastinates and procrastinates during his weekend or his vacation and then ends up starting it at 10:30 at night. He finishes hours later and then goes to sleep when? Too late, or maybe even during! Odd, odd hours we have in this age, and all for just practice? This kid ends up weary, sleepy, drowsy, and unable to focus in class which means he can’t register what the teacher is saying. If you haven’t already caught on, this means the student will take more time doing homework, which means that the process starts once again. His grades are rolling down a jaw droppingly steep, absolutely gigantic hill. All of this just because of those assignments on Saturday and Sunday.

I hope teachers would at least try a little bit without homework on our time to relax. I think they’d be surprised on how well we can handle it. A vacation with homework just isn’t a vacation at all.

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