“The weekend is here again, it’s time to unwind. It’s more than just a few days off, it’s a state of mind.” -The Weekend Guy
6th, 7th and 8th graders all have homework. Most of the time, they have it every night. They also have it on weekends. The subject of homework on weekends has sometimes been a problem because it interferes with the other activities that happen during the student’s two days off. Often teachers assign more homework on weekends because of the increased time the students will have to work on it. However, this is not true in every case. Many students play sports outside of school which can be very time consuming, with out -of -town tournaments and games, etc. Other kids may be preoccupied with dancing, singing, acting or other artistic interests. When a teacher assigns more homework to a student over the weekend, it may increase the anxiety level that the student feels during his or her days of rest. Some teachers take this into account, only assigning work that will be easy to spread out of the two days or not overwhelming to do in one night. The overall point trying to be made here is that weekends can be used in many different ways, doing homework being only one of them.
Homework on the weekends can really get in the way of family bonding. Everyone loves spending some quality time with the family. Maybe go out to the movies, have a family dinner at a restaurant, family game night. But homework can get in the way of that. You might have something planned for a certain time, but homework is unpredictable. You never know how much you will have until it’s too late. And in some cases, those weekend plans are mandatory (grandfather’s birthday, weekend trip to the beach, etc) and then you either have to stay up late, do it the next morning, or not have your homework done. Homework really takes a good hack out of family bonding.
Weekends shouldn’t be filled with homework, and everyone thinks this. Friday school days and Sunday nights are constantly spent telling oneself that each weekend homework will be dealt with on Friday and Saturday, and the weekends can go by doing activities that are enjoyed, not homework. Procrastination is one of the greatest banes of a middle school existence, though most of the time we blame it on too much homework and too much else to do. There’s no one surefire way to stopping procrastination, though slowly working through small chores and homework definitely helps starting off a day of working. Homework should be done away from unneeded distractions, so unless you need a computer, there’s nothing good that comes of doing homework near one. The best thing is to start with little pieces of work, such as a worksheet, making breakfast, anything that gets you focused on work. Planning should also be done for longer projects like essays, after all, weekends are a small part of the week with way too much to do.
Weekends are an important time because they are those special 2/7’s of each week when there is sufficient time to do other activities besides attending school and doing schoolwork. At least, that’s what they’re supposed to be. It is a precious moment for a middle schooler when all work has been completed, even on the weekend. Weekends are meant to be a time to have a break from school, giving students (and teachers) time to engage in other activities that are not school related. Most middle school students have outside activities including sports, music, and other things, in addition to spending time with friends and family. It can add to the already stressful life of a middle schooler to have to fit in writing an essay between a 1:30 piano lesson and a 4:00 soccer practice. All too often the choice must be made between schoolwork and an outside activity, with schoolwork usually winning. Having to miss a favorite, once-a-week activity for “another stupid worksheet” creates additional resentment for schoolwork that could be avoided. The dread of schoolwork that needs to be completed can often make any fun weekend activity less enjoyable. Time on weekends to engage in non school-related activities and interests is very important to “nurture each student’s mind, body and spirit” as the GFS mission statement says. A variety of activities helps good students become well rounded adults. Time out of school to pursue one’s own interests is important because although GFS caters to many types of people, in reality there are many activities that students may wish to do that are not offered at GFS.
~ The Corner Editorial Board 2011-12