Homework or No Homework?

NO HOMEWORKAROUND THE NEK - No homework for the rest of the year— for some, that may sound like a dream come true, but other schools in the Green Mountain State are saying 'no thank you.'



The "no homework policy" is becoming increasingly popular in Vermont. Elementary schools and teachers are saying 'no' to homework and 'yes' to more play time, free time, family time, reading and sleeping. The Orchard School in South Burlington took inspiration from a book called “The Homework Myth” by Alfie Kohn.  Principal Mark Trifilio told the Associated Press, “they’re just kids. They’re pretty young and they just put in a full day’s shift at work and so we just don’t believe in adding more to their day. We also feel that we are squashing their other passions and interest in learning.”  The Orchard School assigns students to read books, go play and eat dinner with their family.

Staff at the Thaddeus Stevens School in Lyndon told News7 that they don’t see the policy doing students any favors.  School Director Julie Hansen said homework is doing more than just strengthening academic skills.  “It does teach their students a level of independence with their work,” Hansen said. “At some point in the day you have to sit quietly and do your work. If you have a question in your head, you have to question yourself, refer to the rules you’ve been given and work through the process of acquiring information.”

Student Ezra McCarty thinks right now he would enjoy the free time having no homework would allow but said, “I know in the long term, homework would definitely help me by learning more.”

Other students seem to have the same idea of thinking less is more. Student Nico Sipples said, “sometimes we’ll have larger amounts of homework, but if we have one or two classes it’s better that way.” Sipples reiterated that a smaller work load would be easier to maintain and would still allow for free time in the afternoon.

The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) has noticed that teachers are not getting rid of homework completely, but instead are assigning a different kind. Nelly M. Ellerson from AASA said the debate discussion continues. She told the AP, “whether it's do away with it or shift to a policy where homework is the classwork they didn’t finish during the day or where the homework of the child is to read with their parents.”

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