A Whole School Year Without Homework? Count Me In!
Why is it that kids like the summer break? I would venture to say that it is because homework is non-existent during those blissful months.
Why is it that parents like the summer break? I would venture to say that, as the actual doers of the homework, parents get a three-month-or-so break from dragging their kids to the kitchen table to get their science project that's due the next day started. (And you thought you were done with homework once you graduated. HA!)
So, yes, the beginning of the school year brings thoughts of obscene amounts of homework, which consequently prematurely ages parents.
However, some of our Canadian friends just north of the border have decided to answer the prayers of students and parents alike and ban homework for an entire year.
An entire year!
Yeah, all 339 students in grades first through sixth at Collège de Saint-Ambroise will be participating in a one-year pilot program that will include a little reading and a little studying (so the entire premise is relatively misleading when they say they are “banning” homework), but it will absolutely not include “four pages of math problems,” as says Marie-Eve Desrosiers, a spokeswoman with the Jonquiere School Board. She also said that the reasoning behind this program was so that parents wouldn't be smothered by so much homework and so the students' performance would increase.
But wait a second. If kids aren't doing homework to drill the remaining knowledge that didn't quite make it to their brain during class, how on earth are they going to learn. I mean, you can't get better at basketball if you dribble the ball a few times and then attempt to score a basket by rolling the ball, right?
Actually, according to an article by Alfie Kohn, “no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school.”
But before all of your kids get all enthused about the end of homework, Etta Kralovec, a professor at the University of Arizona and the author of The End of Homework, stated that only younger children will benefit from the lack of homework, but “at the middle school and high school level, it’s more complicated.”
Think about what you could be doing instead of homework! (The list is endless, so let your imagination wander …)
What do you think? Does this sound like something you'd be OK with, or are you still a little skeptical of no homework?