Dear Blue Hills Families,
There is an ongoing conversation about the importance of homework for years among educators, parents and students. There are parents and educators who support this practice but there are also those who are not in favor of making students do extra school work at home. There are even some countries that implement a no homework policy. The American Educational Research Association says that "whenever homework crowds out social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities, and whenever it usurps time that should be devoted to sleep, it is not meeting the basic needs of children and adolescents.” The reasons below further outline why homework is not meeting the needs of students or families:
- No homework frees up families to spend quality time together and genuinely connect.
- if students are given the opportunity to have unstructured playtime outside of the school day, they will be more ready to focus during the school day.
- No homework stops the ever-present family argument over homework, decreasing stress between parents and children.
- Families will now have time to visit museums and gardens, play board games, and other activities forgotten over the requirements of homework.
- Homework sent home does not address individual student’s needs. Education should not be a “one size fits all” model.
- Many of our students go to an after-school educational program, creating a 8-10 hour school day. Homework does not need to be added to schedules that are already too full.
- Many students have anxiety and stress over homework which will be eliminated. No homework will also allow students to pursue their passions!
- Homework is not the way to learn what is being done in class. Instead, teachers will be communicating with parents about class activities, events, and curriculum in a variety of other ways.
Based on extensive research and their own experiences, the staff at Blue Hills have decided to modify current homework practices. Beginning early April, teachers will not be sending home homework. Instead of assigned homework, there will be an expectation to read nightly. Studies clearly show that young students gain from reading nightly, being read to and picking books of interest to them. In addition to reading, each grade level will provide a bank of resources to their families. Teachers will be sharing these resources through many different sources such as Bloomz, SeeSaw, and email messages. A page will also be created on the school website under the links “For Families” and “For Students.” The plan is for your to have access to practice different curriculum but nothing will be turned in and no assignments will be given.
The new homework practice will be an adjustment to many folks. In time, the value will be evident and appreciated by all. Your family deserves time to be together, in joyful, engaging ways.
As always, feel free to send me a quick email should you have any questions.
Principal, Blue Hills
“The Battle Over Homework” by Harris Cooper (2007)