Every parent of a school-age child has been there. It’s that moment when you say the words, “It’s homework time,” and receive the dreaded response, “Nooooo!” It’s tempting throw in the towel and not push it, considering the battle that’s sure to come. According to an experiment at one elementary school, you might be right to follow that instinct.
After doing some research and finding that homework isn’t linked to better academic performance at the elementary level, one school principal decided to conduct a year-long experiment to determine just how important homework really is. At Orchard School in Vermont all students are enjoying a homework-free year, only being assigned at-home reading. In addition to reading or being read to, the school’s official daily assignment for students is to get outside and play, eat dinner with your family, and get a good night’s sleep.
Six months into the experiment and Principal Trifilio reports to the Washington Post that so far it’s a success. Students have not fallen behind and may in fact be doing better academically because they now “have time to be creative thinkers at home.” A survey of the school’s families revealed that most supported the new policy, since kids had time to pursue other extracurricular activities. While a few parents worried that their kids would not be properly prepared for middle school, most were happy with the results. Many also noted that their kids read independently now more than before.
While the great homework debate might continue on, it seems that, at Orchard School at least, saying goodbye to homework is a no-brainer.
Would you support a no-homework policy at your school? Share your thoughts in the comments.