No Homework Weekends: A Divisive Topic for Students at CHS

One of the school's few measures to counter student stress proves to be controversial among the student body.

A little over one month ago, I wrote an article about the common feeling among students at CHS that too much homework is assigned and that it proves to be a significant source of stress for students. In that article, I used data from a survey that was taken by many CHS students about their thoughts on how much homework they were assigned, how much time they spent on it, the amount of sleep they were getting, and how often they felt stressed due to the amount of homework they had. Due to the widespread agreement among students that too much homework was given, and data showing that many students also felt stressed due to the amount of homework they had, I suggested that both the school administration and teachers at CHS take action to reduce the amount of homework students were assigned in order to reduce student stress. Although most teachers have avoided any action to reduce student stress relating to homework, the school administration has decided to experiment with the idea of “No Homework Weekends”. The goal of a No Home Weekend is to provide students with more leisure time out of school and to help students relieve their stress by getting their minds off of school work. However, as time goes on, No Homework Weekends are becoming an increasingly divisive topic within the student body.

When the first No Homework Weekend occurred during the 2018-2019 school year, many students were initially excited by the prospect of not having to worry about homework for a weekend. However, students soon found out that No Homework Weekends had strings attached. Instead of having a weekend without homework that would relieve stress, many students found that teachers would simply assign large amounts of work due Tuesday, would assign larger than usual amounts of work the day students returned to school, or would simply ignore the school’s decision to have a No Homework Weekend altogether. The issue of teachers circumventing or ignoring No Homework Weekends continues to be a major one, as nearly 70% of students who responded to a survey about No Homework Weekends said that they had homework during the most recent No Homework Weekend, with half of those responding having homework in two or more classes.

Although No Homework Weekends have proven to be more akin to a reduced homework weekend, around 56% of students surveyed support the idea of No Homework Weekends. Many students in support of No Homework weekends have said that the lack of homework allows students to focus on time with family and friends as well as activities outside of school.  As junior Sarah Cuddahy stated, “I thought it (The No Homework Weekend) was beneficial for students because it allows us to spend time with our families and friends without having the stress that we have to do homework when we get home. It’s also beneficial because some students already have a lot to deal with outside of school, so having no homework takes a lot of pressure off.”  Many students were satisfied with the No Homework Weekend and agreed with the school that it helped reduced stress. Many students said they believed that No Homework Weekends should be more frequent, with one student even saying “Why have homework at all?”  However, satisfaction with the No Homework Weekend was much less common with students who were still assigned homework during a so-called No Homework Weekend, suggesting that many students are forming negative opinions on No Homework Weekends without truly experiencing them. Some students also opposed No Homework Weekends after truly experiencing them, such as Junior William Loughlin who cited the fact that many teachers decide to assign large amounts of work on Monday, stating that “…teachers need to better build their schedules than switching to ‘everything is assigned on Monday’ after the weekend. Until then, No Homework Weekends don’t achieve their real purpose”. At times, the debate over No Homework Weekends between students has gotten heated, with an anonymous senior even stating that “teachers claim they have students who support them disliking the No Homework Weekend, but it’s really just the teachers’ pets who agree with them”. Similar statements have also been made about people in support of No Homework Weekends, with some claiming that those in support are not knowledgeable of the subject or simply don’t want to do work.

As time goes on and more No Homework Weekends occur, the debate over their effectiveness remains and is becoming increasingly polarizing for students at CHS, with students’ views becoming solidified over time. Although many students have yet to experience a true No Homework Weekend due to the willingness of many teachers to ignore the school’s wishes and assign homework, many students have formed strong opinions on the idea of No Homework Weekends. Only time will tell if student opinion will affect the school’s use and approach towards No Homework Weekends.

No Homework Weekend Survey Results: