Goodbye to homework?

Students, teachers give opinions on importance of homework.


Courtesy of Athena Miransky

Freshman Athena Miransky works hard on her homework for class.

For students, weekends are breaks from school and a time to see friends. 

But for some students, weekends are for homework assignments that have to be turned in by 11:59 Friday or Sunday night.

Beginning in 2018, Kirkwood High School, South High’s neighboring district to the east, started including one “no homework weekend” each semester on the school calendar. On those weekends, teachers were not allowed to assign any homework, so students could spend more time with their families. 

Freshman Carter Crook believes that having certain weekends where teachers do not assign any assignments would be good for students at South. 

“I think it would be a nice change and it would reduce stress upon students,”  said Crook.

Freshman Finnley Wright also believes not being assigned a list of assignments over the weekend would be a nice change not only for students but also for the teachers.

I think having built-in no homework weekends would be really good for students but also teachers. It gives teachers a break from grading, and kids need those weekends to just have time to relax from school so having no homework on weekends would be a really good idea,”  she said.

Chemistry teacher Ryan Steele agrees that giving students weekends with homework would be great for students.

“Homework-free weekends are a great idea but come with a lot of challenges; we actually had these in the district I taught at formerly. Obviously, making sure we don’t overwhelm/overload students is something that most teachers consider while giving out homework but sometimes it is necessary,” he said.

Steele also believes that giving students homework-free weekends could have some challenges and also negatively impact them.

“Having the district decide when we can/cannot give homework could negatively impact students by not allowing us to give them the practice they may need to develop or maintain skills, or by having teachers require the work be turned in during class and placing more of a deadline on students that may need to work at a slower pace,” he said.

Steele believes that for the subject he teaches homework is a necessary part of mastery and gives students opportunities to improve their skills. 

Algebra teacher Colleen House disagrees with giving students “homework-free weekends.”

“I feel that homework is where students get a chance to practice completing the skills learned in class independently. We do a lot of example problems in class and then the homework is a practice meant to reinforce what was learned in class,” said House.

House said she believes that giving homework to students helps them have a better understanding, and gives them a chance to find questions that they have about the material.

Then they can come back the next day and ask questions about whatever they didn’t understand,” she said.

During the week many South students have homework every night for their classes. Crook says that he’ll spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours on it. 

In House’s class, she tries to give her students time at the end of the class to complete their homework.

“I try to limit the amount of problems that I give students to complete for homework. I also give about 30 minutes in class to get started, so if students are using their time management skills, they should not have a lot left to complete when they get home,“ she said.

In Steele’s class, he gives homework out almost every day. He said it’s important to him that his students can get the extra practice so they can understand it to their best ability.

“My aim is to have the majority of students working outside of class for thirty minutes or less each day. To do this I often give plenty of work time during the class and try to give larger assignments several days ahead of their due date so students can budget their time,” Steele said.

Teachers believe that homework is important so they can understand the material but can also give students stress if they have a load of homework each night.

Crook said giving no homework on weekends could be a nice break for students. Sometimes students can feel overwhelmed with all of their assignments and remembering when they are all due.

“It would help them have a relaxed weekend rather than spending their only free time doing school work,” Crook said.