BY SABRINA WONG
For many years, students attending a Broward County Public School (BCPS) have only received the second half of the school week off for Thanksgiving break in November. After working nonstop for nearly three months, students deserve to have at least a full week away from the learning environment to celebrate the holiday. Thanksgiving is an important day to celebrate, and an extended amount of time off would be more favorable amongst the population.
If Thanksgiving break was longer, students would be able to spend more time with their families. When teachers give out so much homework on a daily basis throughout the year, it seems as though family time is always given up for grades and completing numerous assignments. Some students are also still given work to finish over the break, so more time off means more time to figure out how to balance out family life with school life.
Studies have shown that spending quality time with family members is important. According to an article by Michigan State University, “A strong family finds that opportunities for quality time emerge from quantity time: The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of sharing quality experiences.”
Small shared activities such as eating a meal together or talking about the events of the day contribute to building better relationships among everyone involved. A longer Thanksgiving break lets students do just that.
“Aside from weekends, breaks from school are really the only time I can actually hang out with my family,” freshman Izabel Heston said. “I’m always so busy with extracurriculars and schoolwork that I rarely ever get to talk to them.”
After staying up late for endless nights studying or doing homework, students tend to lose many hours of sleep and are often not well-rested. Having more days off from school for the break would give them the chance to catch up on their sleep to ensure a positive and healthy return afterwards.
“Breaks from school are really the only time I can actually hang out with my family.”
As found in a study by the National Sleep Foundation, only 15 percent of teenagers reported sleeping eight and a half hours on school nights. Sleeping is vital for teenagers, and not receiving enough rest each night can be dangerous. If students are not acquiring the right amount of sleep, various consequences can start to happen.
Although nothing can really make up for all the sleep time lost per night, a longer break gives students the opportunity to sleep in for more hours than usual. Not having to stay up late nor wake up early for just a few extra nights can really make a difference in their mental state and overall mood.
But some people might argue that extending Thanksgiving break may cause students to forget everything that they learned before the break began. They may say that too much time away from school can be harmful for their academic growth.
However, students need their minds to rest after making them work so intensely for such a long period of time. In order for brains to reach their highest learning potential, brain breaks are necessary. Signals from the sensory receptors (what students hear, see, touch, read, imagine and experience) must be sent efficiently to memory storage regions of the brain. Stress and overload have been proven to be the most damaging disruptions to these information pathways.
Three days is not nearly enough relaxing time for those who need it. An ideal Thanksgiving break should be at least a week long in order for students to be able to spend time with their families and gain additional hours of sleep. Brains need to take time off, too, to allow for optimal power. Thanksgiving break should without a doubt be extended because it can be very beneficial.
Photo courtesy of Time