Brandy Young, a teacher at Godley Elementary school in Texas, sent notes home letting parents know that children would not be receiving additional work to take home at the end of their days.
"After much research this summer, I am trying something new," reads a note that was sent home with one student.
"I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your children to bed early."
Brandy Young, a teacher at Godley Elementary school in Texas, sent these notes home with all of her second-grade students, letting their parents know that they would not be receiving additional work to take home at the end of their days.
This note explains that Young is trying a different approach after finding evidence that children actually benefit more from a ‘no homework’ style of policy. And she’s not the only one.
Growing support for such policies has spurred numerous academic institutions to ditch homework almost entirely. For example, Baltimore County schools have done away with homework and conduct as criteria for how children achieve overall grades.
"Homework assignments provide students with an additional opportunity to practice, deepen their understanding, and/or increase progress toward meeting standards and expectations. ... [T]he results from homework should be used to provide feedback, and the scores should be entered as a nongraded assignment ..." reads a report published by the school district.
Homedale Elementary in southwest Idaho has implemented an even stricter no homework policy by banning it entirely for all kids who attend their school.
"When the kids go home I want them to play, and create and use their imaginations and spend time with family," said Principal Terri Vasquez toKTVB news.
Many parents have expressed relief regarding the no homework policy, saying that even their first-graders were swamped with up to an hour of homework each night. While National Education Association standards advocate only 10 to 20 minutes of homework a night for first-graders, with it increasing by 10 minutes for each grade after, many students (and parents) also have extracurricular activities they struggle to make time for.
NPR’s Cory Turner commented on this recent trend, highlighting the fact that there comes a time when students choose whether or not they want to take on a heavier workload:
"The fact is, some students do have a ton of homework. In high school we see a kind of student divergence — between those who choose or find themselves tracked into less-rigorous coursework and those who enroll in honors classes or multiple Advanced Placement courses."
Previous research has found that elementary school students do not benefit nearly as much from homework as students in middle school or high school, and it appears that more and more educators are starting to believe the same.
So, for people like myself, who absolutely loathed doing homework throughout school (but still did okay on exams), I can say that this is a great idea. However, whether or not this practice of ‘no homework’ will stand the test of time remains to be seen!