Homework has become a staple of current school culture. Although what homework students do and how long they spend on it varies, everyone has established some routine, and most dread doing it on the weekends. We put in the time and effort for four nights each week, and although some may argue that homework is generally good for practicing the skills they learned in class, sometimes its quantity can become excessive.
As for weekend homework, it can be challenging to complete because students are most usually exhausted from the week of school, and still face a weekend of extracurriculars. For students to reach their full potential and have the best experience they can at Belmont Hill, I am strongly in favor of more no-homework weekends.
Based on a recent survey of the Belmont Hill community, more than 85% of people were in favor of having more no-homework weekends. When asked why it would be helpful, many students said they wanted to spend more time with their families. Most students during the week are at school for 9-10 hours a day; when they get home, not only do kids have to complete around 2-3 hours of homework, but they also may have extracurricular activities such as sports practice, music lessons, tutoring and so on. These commitments can leave minimal opportunities to spend valuable time with family, and interactions which they will long for in college.
Additionally, many students cited that having more no homework weekends would help them ease overall stress on the weekends after a long week of school, by spending that time relaxing or doing extracurricular activities. Many students’ weekends are filled with commitments, which can make it hard to complete homework while also finding time to relax. Less homework helps kids discover new hobbies or passions, spend more time doing the things they like in their free time, or engage in important activities, such as community service work. Furthermore, more no-homework weekends could help seniors focus on college applications and the college process in general. Finding what colleges interest a student, writing essays and studying for and taking the SAT or ACT take up a tremendous amount of time.
A survey done by a researcher at Stanford on some of the negative impacts homework can have on students yielded similar results to the one conducted at Belmont Hill. The participants came from 10 elite high schools and totaled 4, 317 students. 93% of these students went on to college. The purpose of the survey was to see what students thought about homework, and how it affects their well-being. The average time these students spent completing homework each night was 3.1 hours. The study found that too much homework may actually be counterproductive and that 1.5 to 2.5 hours of homework is best for students.
I think we could try two ways to accomplish more no homework weekends. First, we increase the amount of regularly scheduled no-homework weekends each marking period. Right now, Belmont Hill only has one no-homework weekend in the entire school year, and that is during the Admissions Open House. However, I believe we should implement at least 1-2 no-homework weekends per marking period. For the first marking period, the no homework weekend would continue as the Open House weekend. In the second marking period, the no homework weekend would be the weekend before Thanksgiving break. In the third marking period, it would be during the mud weeks. For the fourth marking period, it would be during Party with a Purpose. The reason to have these weekends is so that the no-homework weekends are spaced out evenly throughout the school year.
Additionally, we could add on to the test day schedule, so that there are certain weekends when certain classes can’t give homework. While there are benefits to homework, and I am not in favor of fully abolishing homework on the weekends, I think there are some important benefits that come with limiting the amount of homework students have on a properly scheduled basis.