Teacher’s back-to-school note announces no more homework
At the beginning of the school year, Mrs. Brandy Young – a second grade teacher in Godley Texas, a small town near Fort Worth – sent her students a letter informing them that there would be no homework during the school year.
“After much research this summer,” Mrs. Young wrote, “I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year.”
The letter was first shared on Facebook by Samantha Gallagher, whose daughter is in Mrs. Young’s class, and in just one week the letter has been shared more than 65,000 times.
Mrs. Young’s letter to parents goes on to state that research doesn’t support a positive correlation between homework and performance, and she is encouraging families to instead spend their evenings “doing things that are proven to correlate to student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.”
Gallagher told Scary Mommy that last year, when her daughter was in first grade, she received about an hour of homework each night and her daughter is excited about the new no-homework policy.
The homework/no-homework debate has been waging for the past several years. Alfie Kohn, an expert on education and human behavior, told The Washington Post, “no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school. In fact, there isn’t even a positive correlation between, on the one hand, having younger children do some homework (vs. none), or more (vs. less), and, on the other hand, any measure of achievement.”
According to Healthline, “both the National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) support a standard of “10 minutes of homework per grade level” and setting a general limit on after-school studying…But the most recent study to examine the issue found that kids in early elementary school received about three times the amount of recommended homework.”
Homework can lead to family stress, and many parents will tell you that homework is one of the things they dread most about the school year. My school age children both get about 15-20 minutes of homework a night (in addition to any recommended reading time), and I can tell you that those 15-20 minutes of “homework time” are often the worst part of our day. My kids whine, I nag, and we all end up frustrated with each other. Not to mention the fact that, on more than one occasion, I needed to pull out a calculator to help with my son’s second grade homework and seriously considered taking up day drinking.
Not only is homework a total pain in the ass for just about everyone, out-of-school assignments can be even more detrimental for some families than others. According to Healthline, researchers reported family fights about homework were 200% more likely when parents didn’t have a college degree.
Standing ovation to Mrs. Brandy Young for her “unconventional” decision to ditch the homework and, instead, let kids be kids. She has not only earned the gratitude of her students and their families, but is making other parents around the country absolutely green with envy.
“Time will tell how the policy plays out for us,” Gallagher said, “but it definitely has started the school year off on a positive note!”