Elementary School Pays Attention To The Research And Does Away With Homework
An elementary school in San Diego, California will assign no homework to students this year
If arguing with your kids over doing their homework (or, let’s be honest, doing it for them so you can all just go to bed already) is the worst part of your school year routine, then you might want to consider grabbing some boxes and moving to California, like, right now.
McKinley Elementary School in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, CA recently announced they will not be assigning homework for students this year. That’s right. No more lost worksheets, no standing over your kid’s shoulder while they whine, no screaming matches. No. More. Homework. (Cue choir of singing angels.)
After parents made sure this wasn’t some genius scheme thought up by the students themselves after reading one too many Judy Blume books, most of them were thrilled.
Although some, like parent Elizabeth Newlin, told Fox5 they weren’t so sure about the no homework policy. “I have mixed feelings. I do think for some kids it’s a struggle and I would hate for parents to go through that, but I also like to prepare them for middle school. I kind of liked having 15 to 20 minutes a day but when it got over that I was frustrated.”
But students at McKinley aren’t free to spend their all of their after school time playing video games or walking around building Pok-e-Craft or whatever it is that kids do instead of eating Dunkaroos and watching Ducktails like we used to after class. Parents are expected to read with their child for at least 20 minutes each night, finish any work not completed in class, and support their child’s learning outside the classroom.
While the idea of no homework is exciting to kids, in many ways it’s even more thrilling to parents. Frustrated parents across the country lost their minds with joy and jealousy last month when Mrs. Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher in Texas, announced that she would not be assigning homework to her students this year to give them more time with their families in the evening. Some parents aren’t waiting for their school district to follow McKinley’s lead but rather are taking the decision to opt out of homework into their own hands, and for good reason.
While proponents of homework claim it helps students learn both responsibility and prepares them for the infamous standardized tests they’ll take all too soon and too often, there’s been no research that suggests any benefit from assigning homework in elementary school. You can get a young kid to focus on homework after an already tiring day of listening to their teacher for about 15 minutes, after that it’s just begging, pleading and threats in a voice that sounds progressively more like Batman as you grow more tired and exasperated. The question, “How many times will mom ask me to finish this math worksheet before she finishes it for me and sends me to bed?” isn’t going to be on their upcoming exam.
Kudos to the educators at McKinley for being brave enough to shake up the status quo in the name of doing what’s best for their students. Here’s hoping other schools across the country start following their example, the sooner, the better. And if not, well, San Diego can add “common sense homework polices” to it’s already long list of reasons why it’s a great place to live.
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