Eliminate homework in elementary school, preserving childhood and family life

There is no evidence to support homework as an educational practice that has benefit in the early grades, and yet it is being given to children with increasing volume, even for the youngest students. Children spend a full “work day” at school and then are being asked to work a “second shift”. Yet there is a great deal of research suggesting that sleep deprivation and chronic stress have negative impact. The problem could be solved by testing a no homework policy in schools, educating parents and teachers about adjusting methods and practices. It would be possible to measure both learning and health indicators across classrooms with and without homework. The challenge would require collaboration between health professionals, educators, parents, and social workers who could advocate on behalf of the children’s best interest. I believe the innovation — releasing children from the homework burden — would free them up to pursue more meaningful and creative and authentically engaging interests and activities.

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