A Nightmare Before Christmas


Jack Stenger

Sophomore Adrienne Mason has grown weary of projects during holiday break.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas: stores are replenishing their supplies of eggnog and gingerbread, suburban dads are getting out ladders to cover their homes in strings of lights and you leave school with a week’s worth of homework. Nothing ruins a break quicker than the realization that you have three worksheets, two papers and a project due the day you return to school, especially when you are supposed to be relaxing.

Christmas is a time meant to be filled with joy and cheer but enjoying time with your family and getting into the holiday spirit proves to be a difficult task when your Grinch of an English assignment is sitting in your binder just waiting to be completed. Breaks are meant to help students relax and recover from a taxing semester at school. Yet, with more and more homework being assigned over these so-called breaks, it feels less like Christmas and more like summer school.

Most students at North Atlanta can hardly wait for the school bell to ring on Dec. 16, because that sound signifies two weeks of freedom from schedules, assignments and quizzes. This freedom, however, does not extend to homework assignments, which students are sure to have an excess amount of. We have always learned that there is a time and a place for certain things. You don’t address your parents the same way you speak to your friends. You don’t shout in libraries and you certainly don’t act the same in school as you do at home. So why should students be forced to do schoolwork during a time meant to be a break from school?

It’s no secret that school can be difficult. With eight different classes to juggle and various tests, assignments and projects to be completed for each one, it makes sense that students often stress about schoolwork. In the same way that an athlete needs to take a breather after a rigorous workout, students need time to recover from a hard semester at school. Breaks are a necessary accommodation for students. In fact, I always feel the most refreshed after a break and often see this reflected in my grades and the overall quality of the assignments I turn in. Yet, the benefits of breaks cannot be conveyed when hours of homework take up the majority of a break.

Some teachers argue that students need homework over breaks so that they do not forget what they have learned in class. It is true that students might forget some important lessons over long breaks such as summer. However, I highly doubt that students will forget the skills they have learned in school in a week and a half. This excessive homework is not necessary and, in most cases, it has not proved to be very helpful either. Students deserve to have a week or two away from school and all that it entails.

Recently, APS decided to side with the students and sent out an email asking teachers not to give homework over the holiday break. Although some teachers have assigned homework despite the email, this is still a win for students and teachers alike. Students no longer have to do the assignments and teachers no longer have to grade them. Hopefully, we can all enjoy our time with our families and get into the holiday spirit without having to worry about an uncompleted assignment. Whether you are traveling to visit family or staying home for the holidays, try to find time to recover from your semester at school and take a break because you’ve earned it.