Valentine Bookmarks and "No Homework" Coupons
'No More Homework' for Elementary Students
Happy Valentine's Day I created Valentine's Day Bookmarks and 'No Homework' coupons. Just click the link above to get yours FREE. Enjoy! Valentine's Day with read alouds, writing, bookmarks, no homework and no sugar! Does your school have a 'no homework' policy? Recently, educators and parents are thinking of adopting a "No homework!" policy for elementary school students. I vote YES! It's time to rethink activity for small children. Their bodies are growing and most would agree that part of that important growing means exercising, especially the large muscles. Legs and arms.
Running, hopping, skipping, jumping, climbing... After school is a good time for physical activity needed for growing bodies. Parents who encourage their children to be active know play is important to children. If children do not have homework, the hope would be more time for play and creativity. There is a wide range of activities that will help children both academically and emotionally. We can cook in the kitchen, we can work in a garden, we can travel to places, we can take walks, we can participate in activities such as swimming, skiing and other sports. We can also encourage creativity indoors. Art, music, and work jobs all can benefit children in those after school hours. All activities will need parent supervision and permission but as time goes on and with practice, children will be able to participate in a wide range of learning activities that may not require a 'sit down' pencil-paper situation. Recent research has shown that young students do not always benefit from homework tasks. Replacing homework tasks with reading for enjoyment can be a win-win. Teachers and parents who model reading and writing as an enjoyable lifelong pursuit are wise. Children who enjoy reading and writing usually will engage in the world of literacy. Children's literature teaches life lessons and can improve academics and social attitudes. Reading opens a child's mind to new worlds. It takes some thought and courage to change a routine, after all, homework assignments were there for a reason. So to change your homework policy, attention and careful thought should precede any changes. Here are some questions you might consider:
Do you believe in the power of play and the importance of letting children be children?
Did you do your research? How do nightly homework tasks benefit children academically?
Should young children work on academic tasks during school AND after school? Would they benefit more from another activity? i.e. physical or creative?
Will parents be in favor of no homework? Will they enjoy extracurricular activities with their children more often?
Do brains get smarter if given a wider variety of activities? [academic, creative, and physical]
Can we ask parents to spend after school hours and evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success? Eating dinner as a family, reading together, playing outside, and getting enough sleep?
Recently, Heidi Maier, the new superintendent of Marion County in FL, which has 42,000 students made national news because she not only is banning homework, but is replacing it with 20 minutes of reading per night. Studies clearly show that young students gain from reading nightly, being read to and picking books of interest to them. Mark Trifilio, principal of the Orchard School in VT, eliminated HW last year and suggested replacing it with nightly reading, playing outdoors or even eating with your family. He reports students haven’t fallen behind, but now they have “time to be creative thinkers at home and follow their passions” (The Washington Post, Feb 26, 2017).