*Wow. Wow! Wow!!! Where in the world was this teacher when I was in school…at ANY grade level!? When second grade teacher Brandy Young wrote a note to parents informing them of a new policy where her students would have no homework for the entire year, no one clapped back. There was no, “What the heck?” No…”Let’s contact the school board”…No phone calls requesting a meeting to vent.
What there was, was a lot of… Hey, we think that’s a great idea.
Who’da thunk it?
The thousands of people sharing a post of the letter Young sent to parents. One of those parents uploaded it to Facebook telling how “Brooke is loving her new teacher already!”
Needless to say, the post has gone viral.
“After much research this summer, I am trying something new,” read the note from Young to parents of her second-graders. “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.”
I hope my teenaged grandson’s school adopts this policy. He works SO hard on homework….hours…even after a full day at school.
But according to research, he is only in the 13-percent category so they may not see it as being that significant.
However, this policy, quiet as it’s kept, is not as novel an idea as you might think. In fact, school districts in Maryland and Idaho have tapped into the idea; with Baltimore County schools even going as far as removing the homework criteria from their overall grading system.
“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 non graded assignment …” reads a report published by the school district.
And principal Terri Vasquez from Homedale Elementary in southwest Idaho told KTVB, “When the kids go home I want them to play, and create and use their imaginations and spend time with family.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, students in three different age groups — 9, 13 and 17 — were asked, ‘How much time did you spend on homework yesterday?’ The vast majority of 9-year-olds (79 percent) and 13-year-olds (65 percent) and still a majority of 17-year-olds (53 percent) all reported doing an hour or less of homework the day before.
“Another study from the NCES found that high school students who reported doing homework outside of school did, on average, about seven hours a week. …
“In that 2012 NAEP survey, 13 percent of 17-year-olds reported doing more than two hours of homework the previous night. That’s not a lot of students, but they’re clearly doing a lot of work.”
Cory adds: “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.”
Personally, I feel there is truly something to this. I totally agree that homework assignments stand to not only deepen a students understanding of the material; but it also allows them the opportunity to express that understanding in a way that lets the educator know it is understood.
I believe this can be accomplished in other, more constructive ways; such as class debates, Q&A’s, dramatic scenes, applications to what is happening in the world today and even the future. All of this, of course, suited towards the appropriate age group.
Then I believe the student would truly enjoy…no, appreciate the lessons. And possibly, even look forward to them.
Check out some of the responses on parent Samantha Gallagher’s FB page.
Your thoughts? Any educators out there?