“Town” Night Off, SOLC 2015, 13 of 31

Last night was “Monty Night Off” in my town – no homework, no meetings, no practices – family time. Phew. After a week of three late night meetings in a row, last night was a welcome reprieve, one, just to be home, and two, to be home without the stress of homework or studying with my kids.

I think sometimes we forget how stressful the ins and outs of our days really are. So to be given a “homework pass” last night was delightful. A colleague of mine, Principal Jane Hsu at PS 116 in NY, just eliminated homework all together from the school. There has been national attention on this decision and it even was featured on the local news and YAHOO News! I love her bravery and admire this decision.

A few years ago, my school embarked on a HOMEWORK study. Research shows that homework isn’t really all that we think it should be nor does it always do what we hope. We didn’t eliminate homework at that point, but we did redefine our homework philosophy to be: “Design what you assign, quality over quantity, make it meaningful and relevant, prioritize.” This has worked. Some teachers have moved to weekly or monthly packets that give students and parents choice about when to do assignments – more family friendly, rather than a daily due date. We have also gotten good feedback on this. It has helped students learn how to plan their weeks and homework around sports practices and other evening activities.

In a time where homework is heavy and assessment is heavy, last night was sure a welcome night off.

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2 Comments

  1. elsie said,

    March 13, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    A night off is a treat. Why can’t families be treated to that more often? I’m not a fan of “home worksheets.” Wouldn’t reading together as a family be more fun?

  2. mrssurridge said,

    March 14, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Ugh. We have had this discussion so many times. We decided to nix homework on the weekends, which is good. I love the idea of reading together. It seems to me that worksheets are mostly busy work, just to say you assigned homework. I sure love the nights that I don’t have homework.


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