Homework takes the ‘happy’ out of happy holidays


School books and holiday decorations do not make a good match. Maybe they should stay separate.

Breaks are designated to encapsulate important and sacred holidays. Furthermore, they are meant to provide time for families to spend together.

However, homework is becoming a replacement for this family time. Physics teacher Caroline Stilwell believes that homework can be a distraction from the true meaning of the holiday season is some cases.

“I actually believe that teachers shouldn’t assign homework over breaks like Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Stilwell said. “Thanksgiving and Christmas are very family oriented holidays—students travel a lot so they don’t have access to computers and most of their usual resources.”

During these breaks, many family members travel in order to meet up for the family reunion. Homework can cause students to become isolated from the rest of their family and not get to completely enjoy their break.

“A lot of people travel for Christmas to visit family, so it can make it hard to have time to get a lot of work done,” senior Lauren Pollock said.

The isolation that homework can produce leads to parents becoming agitated that their child isn’t spending more time with a family member that they hardly ever see.

“Families get very frustrated if they got together for family time—traveled long distances—and the kids in the family are spending their time doing homework rather than socializing with relatives that they don’t see very often,” Stilwell said.

In addition, Northwest is known as a very competitive school. Students take multiple AP classes and many take extra classes as a zero period as well. These students most definitely need a chance to relax, which should be the breaks provided.

“I think that students need a break. Many of the students at Northwest are taking five or six AP classes and need to rest their brain,” Stilwell said. “It’s been well-proven that actually taking a break from it can improve their performance.”

Although I believe that homework should not be given over Winter Break or Thanksgiving Break, I feel like it is understandable if homework is given over Spring Break as it is a less family oriented break.

“I think it’s fair to give homework over Spring Break—especially in the AP classes because it’s immediately before the AP exams,” Stilwell said.

Overall, breaks are meant to be a chance to relax and time to spend with your families. Homework causes a disruption to these significant times of the year.