More Schools Are Banning Homework & We Think They're onto Something

funny crazy girl student with glasses reading books

No matter how exciting the thought of happily booting kids from our homes -- so they can go to school -- might be, there's one common foe both parents and students must face: homework. Needless to say, most of us aren't exactly jumping for joy at the thought of cracking open endless books and navigating page after page of complex equations (without a lifeline), which is why we're applauding a few Massachusetts schools that are saying no to homework.



... At least for a year.

Kelly Elementary School is just one of many public schools in the Holyoke district that's saying "Hasta la vista, baby" to schoolwork that students must complete outside of class -- and instead saying hello to a longer school day. (Classes at the elementary school will run between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.)

Holyoke is noted as being a "chronically under-performing" school district, and educators hope such an unconventional move will result in academic success.

Jackie Glasheen, the principal at Kelly Elementary School, tells Western Mass News:

People watching this interview will say 'Geez, Holyoke's in receivership. They're some of the lowest performing kids in the state.  Kelly School may have some of the lowest performing numbers, they need to do more work.' Well, we are! We are going two hours longer in our school day. We are providing specific instructional intervention to close those gaps

You know what? This could work.

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There has to come a point when we find a better balance in our children's lives -- and that means not piling on never-ending homework assignments that produce hours of frustration and questions parents aren't always equipped to answer. Don't get me wrong, there will be times kids will need to work on projects and study outside the classroom (that's a given), but this whole homework thing is kinda getting out of hand -- especially when it comes to elementary school students.

Maybe this is why more experts are second-guessing the benefits of homework assigned to younger students. And, maybe that's why countries like Finland, noted as one of the best for academics in the world, focus on less standardized tests and homework and see favorable outcomes.

As much as I geeked out at the thought of studying for exams with note cards and color-coding my binder (yeah, I was a dork for school -- sue me), I can't imagine being a kid today and attempting to juggle all the homework that's being assigned, after-school activities, and trying to spend quality time with my family. 

More from CafeMom: Study Shows Elementary Kids Receive Too Much Homework

Hopefully Kelly Elementary School, and others who follow suit, will see academic progress. Extending the school day by two hours just might be the key that allows teachers and their students to not only cover more content, but also provide additional support for those who need help processing it.

Plus, the extra time in the classroom could be a huge saving grace for parents who heavily rely on after-school care. (At least they'll know their kiddos are focused on education.)

As Principal Glasheen says:

We really want our kids to go home at 4:00 tired. We want their brain to be tired. We want them to enjoy their families, to go to soccer and football practice, and we want them to go to bed and that's it.

I can dig it.




Image via Anelina/Shutterstock


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