Con: Excessive assignments over break lead to burnout

When students are assigned work over break it is often at the expense of mental health and family time.

Relaxation, time with family, and personal pursuits: these are the things forgone in the name of homework over holiday breaks. Not only does homework assigned to complete over breaks grow a festering resentful attitude towards school for students, it prevents students from experiencing what a school break should be: a break.
Relaxation, the state of being free from tension and anxiety, is not a state of mind many students experience in a school setting. According to the Mayo Clinic, relaxation has healthful impacts. These impacts include an improvement of sleep quality, reduction of stress hormone activity, decrease of fatigue, reduction of anger and frustration, and increase of confidence to handle problems. The wonderful benefits of relaxation are sadly not experienced by a majority of the student population, however, according to a Pew Research Survey, published on February 20, 2019. The survey found that 94% of students felt that anxiety and depression is a problem among their high school peers, ranking the top concern on the list of other high school demographic specific issues. Holiday breaks are a time that should allow students to reclaim the relaxation their body needs to remain healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The holidays, for better or for worse, are commonly associated with family gatherings. Whether it is travelling to visit family, having family visit, or enjoying the immediate family we may not get to meaningfully connect with frequently, spending time with loved ones is important for all parties involved. Excessive school work places a burden on students’ ability to live in the moment and be present with those they are around.
The holiday break should allow students to pursue interests and experience life beyond academia found within school classes. A break from school work allows students to visit museums, volunteer, keep up on news, hike or spend time outdoors, travel, go on college visits, and discover new passions. The break allows students to experience culture beyond school life, and partake in meaningful life experiences. Schoolwork assigned for over break is counterproductive in growing students’ life experiences.
A lot of work assigned for over break is busy work with little academic value. If students are frustrated with the work, it is unlikely that they will take valuable information from it. Furthermore, if the information is important, students should not be assigned to work on learning the material as they can not contact their teacher with questions, disrupting the learning process. This logically leaves busy work, work that keeps students busy but has little value in itself, to be assigned over breaks. Students should not need to waste time completing busy work when they can be relaxing, spending time with family, and pursuing personal interests.
While some may argue that schoolwork on break can keep students’ skills sharp, the mental and physical health benefits of relaxation are sacrificed, leaving students fatigued, stressed, and frustrated. With the long duration of the school year, mental breaks from work are necessary to ensure the sustainable growth and success of each student.