The myth of ‘no HPTQ’ weekends

A whole weekend with no homework, projects, or tests and quizzes to study for? It almost sounds too good to be true. Well, that’s because in a way, it is.

A “No Homework, Tests, Project, or Quiz” (HPTQ) day, in theory, gives all students time to observe a religious holiday or simply enjoy sleep and de-stress. With no assignments due the day they return to class, students should be able to enjoy their free time and return to school feeling even more productive and ready to learn.

Great idea, but what about the five-page paper due just one day after the no HPTQ day? Now, the no HTPQ weekend would suggest I shouldn’t even look at my outline. Forget about opening my computer and producing a draft. I don’t have any “real” work this weekend, I might remind myself.

But wouldn’t that be irresponsible of me to not use my time more wisely? Inevitably, I feel obligated to write a few paragraphs during my treasured “free” time.

We are taught at school to manage the limited free time we have well. With this in mind, reading all 40 assigned pages in one night does not sound wise. So, we open the book on our one Sunday of the month that was supposed to be free of tedious assignments. We sigh and shake our heads as what could have been an opportunity to read a book of our own choosing disappears before our eyes.

Please understand: our problem is not that we don’t want to learn. We are just busy with classes, clubs, sports, and other extracurriculars, and appreciate having a few extra days to shift our focus away from schoolwork towards hobbies and relaxation.

We understand that no HPTQ days can negatively affect teachers too, as they often have long syllabi and not enough time to get through all of the material in the first place. Perhaps giving teachers greater notice or increasing their involvement in the process of selecting no HPTQ days would allow them to adjust more easily.

If we students were to enjoy a true no HTPQ weekend–without assignments just pushed back a day or two–we would be able to return to school more rejuvenated and eager to learn. The strides we would make in learning would outpace any benefit from an assignment over the weekend.

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