Where Is The Weekend?

While weekend homework can be beneficial, it seems to swamp students more than helping them learn.

Addy Bennett, Editor of Student Opinion and Features and Extras

I have to admit that I just don’t understand it all. Every weekend, students are given another piece of work, another new task, another confusing exercise and it’s affecting us. I understand that teachers are trying to help us be responsible and take care of ourselves, but I don’t think they’re doing it in the right manner.

I spend my Saturdays doing chores and watching TV and generally being a teenager. I don’t often go outside of my house, although I have occasional visits with friends. On Sundays I go to church and then I panic. I panic a lot, and it’s all because of homework. My weekend is no longer a sweet little relaxation-retreat from the indescribable amount of stress I go through every week. As a middle schooler in high school and big-time honors courses, as well as the school play, I hardly have time to spend for myself during the week, and now my free days are also drained of their repose.

I know work is my responsibility and my extracurriculars were my decision, and I don’t regret any of it, but could the teachers lighten the load? My weekends are a strange blur of me staying up late to get my assignments in and losing it over all the work that’s laid out before me.

Eventually, I just want to give up, and I wonder why some teachers are making me go through this. I’m already going through high school-level pressure in middle school, and it’s not having a good effect. I’m more irritable, tons more sleep deprived, always tense, and typically not enjoying learning. And I want to enjoy it, because I know it’s a privilege.

Studies from the National Education Association show that homework has increased in the past twenty years, especially for lower grade levels. In a survey from NBC News, it also shows that teens are becoming more stressed than adults and I truly believe it’s due to the amount of unnecessary homework we receive. That’s not fair. I thought that we should have some time to be kids.

Call me crazy (or lazy), but I want to be gradually introduced to the toil of adult life. Because of this work over the weekend and the lack of a break, many students feel as if they are shoved into the middle of the freeway. We should be cultivating knowledge, not shoving it down kids’ throats.

Denise Pope, Stanford lecturer, says that homework should be “relevant and purposeful.” I completely agree. So sure, students should always be growing in each new skill they learn, but teachers also need to remember to teach the curriculum they develop instead of leaving their students to fend for themselves. With the increase of assignments, everything not done during class is spilling over into Saturday and Sunday, and there are times when kids are left with little to no direction or understanding,

I thought the weekend was my time. It should be, I think. But what about all the work I pour in through the week itself? Don’t I deserve some sort of pause so I can get myself back together?

Really, I’m fine with projects that extend over the course of multiple days (and if it falls on the weekend, that’s okay too). But if I’ve got another new set of assignments, I’m not gonna be happy. If I’m not designated anything else, it’s more likely that I’ll be glad to work ahead if I can, because it’s my choice. As for now, I’m not given a chance to prove myself.

Maybe they could start giving out less time-consuming weekend homework. Simple questions that I can answer without extensive research are a blessing. And really, we’re not being taught anymore. We live in the time of the DIY, and while doing stuff for yourself is good, I’ve never known how to teach myself math formulas or how to annotate for a video. I can’t grasp the concept without more explanation and examples.

So I don’t mind homework. But I just want two days to myself to de-stress and not have to freak out over my numerous assignments. I should be fighting to work hard, but it’s a battle I can’t win if I have all this tension in my shoulders.