By Olivia Scaglione
As you walk through the hallways of Byram Hills, the smell of coffee fills the air, you see students with bags under their eyes, and you often hear students exclaim, “I am so tired!” Most high school students around the country are sleep deprived as a result of having too much on their plates. Sleep deprivation can lead to forgetfulness, lower test scores, and all-around poor mental health. Despite the stress highschoolers in the 21st century are under, they have one solace at the end of the week to look forward to: the weekend. However, homework over the weekend can inhibit students’ ability to unwind after a long week, reduce much-needed family time, and impede a student’s healthy social life.
Every student in the high school, regardless of his/her grade, is under tremendous academic pressure. Freshmen are getting adjusted to the workload of high school classes, sophomores are beginning to think about college, juniors are taking advanced placement courses and preparing for standardized tests, and seniors are beginning to submit their college applications. As a result, the weekends are crucial for students to decompress and relax after a stressful week. Junior Emma Trembone explains that she uses her weekends to “take a break from school and catch up on sleep.” Emma adds that homework should not be given over the weekend because “the weekend is supposed to be a student’s two days of the week in which they can rest their brain.” Sophomore Rebecca Frieden agrees with Emma, and adds that high school is a very stressful time and that “homework over the weekend takes away what students look forward to all week.” Due to the high stress levels high schoolers are exposed to, the weekends should be dedicated to relaxation.
Think about your own family: how often do you guys sit down for a family dinner with all family members there? When is the last time all your family members were able to relax and spend time with each other without any interruptions? With all the extracurriculars students around the high school are participating in, the weekends should be dedicated to family time without the intervention of homework. Junior Alexa Jindal says that when her brother came home from college she couldn’t spend that much time with him because she was “overwhelmed with homework during the weekend he visited home.” Chloe Sampere also explains that during the week, it’s hard to spend time with her family because she has sporting and academic commitments. Chloe brought up the point that sports still have games and practices on Saturdays and therefore, homework usually gets pushed back to Sundays, “which is supposed to be a family day where everyone spends time together.” Homework that is assigned over the weekend interferes with family time, which is already limited due to students’ extracurricular activities.
Finally, homework should not be given over the weekends because it can reduce the time students spend with their peers. Having a healthy social life can help teens form connections, learn about other cultures, and learn to work in group settings – all crucial skills to have when joining the workforce. However, many students are given too much homework over the weekend and this can hinder a healthy social life. Ariel Sheinberg notes that “sometimes [she has] so much homework over the weekends that [she] can’t hang out with [her] friends.” Ariel continues that some of her teachers give extra homework over the weekend because they know the students will have more nights to complete it. Students should not have to sacrifice socialization to do homework!
A student’s weekend should be dedicated to relaxation and spending time with family and friends. Homework disrupts these necessary activities. Thus, students should be given homework Monday through Thursday, but should not be required to complete it over the weekends. Reducing homework by one night will not make a significant difference in teachers’ lesson plans, but it will make a significant difference in student’s lives. Should homework be given over the weekends? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.