For the first time since I can remember, I didn’t have homework over the winter break. Considering all the homework I have on a daily basis during the school year, I expected my teachers to load us up, leaving me longing for more days off. Instead my break was spent relaxing, catching up on sleep, reading for leisure, visiting with family, and doing little things and enjoyable projects I don’t normally have time to do. I even went outside and took several walks to enjoy the nice weather. Has something finally shifted? Only a couple of years ago my fellow classmates and I struggled every holiday break to complete time consuming middle school projects. Spending ample time doing something fun or going on vacation was not a realistic option for someone hoping to get a good grade. For this recent break, I was not the only one with leisure time. My impression was that this was the case for most MHS students, as well as for my brother who attends middle school. At long last, kids are finally able to take a real break to unwind, sleep in, and do fun things that we normally don’t have time for. Sarah, a 10th grader, said “having no homework gave me time to relax and enjoy being with my family, which is exactly what the break should be about.” Another sophomore, Lauren D., said, “this break was a very relaxed one just based on the fact that we literally had no work to do! I can’t say that for everyone though.” Unfortunately, not everyone at MHS had a homework-free break. Lisa, a sophomore commented that, “with no homework, my brain was fully rested after the week of no school. All my friends that did have homework were not in the mood to go back to school, I didn’t want to go back either, but because I had time to rest, I was prepared to learn.” Coming back to school today, I was even more appreciative of having had a truly work-free break as teachers reminded us that midterms are just around the corner.
Perhaps some new unannounced district-wide policy is now in effect to limit the amount of homework that is assigned over school breaks. If so, I hope that the Montclair school big-wigs will go the next step and follow in the footsteps of the Piscataway Public School system in adopting homework-free weekends and holidays. Until that happens, I plan on sleeping in extra late on the weekends in hope of recapturing a bit of our 2012 winter break bliss.