No Homework During School Vacations…Seems Like A No-Brainer?

I received this video embedded in an e-mail from Vicki Abeles and the folks at Race to Nowhere which talks about schools that have decided that there will be a no homework rule during school vacations.  After watching the short clip and listening to the rationale, it seems like a no-brainer to me.   Why shouldn’t we do this?

For more on the topic of homework from the Race To Nowhere site, I encourage you to check out Homework in the 21st Century.

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14 Comments

  1. Lisa Dabbs said:

    We are people not just students! Love that! I’m in full support of this and would, have worked to implement this policy were I still an admin.
    My boys suffered, so much over the years having to do all these ginormous
    projects over their vacations to the point of extreme stress and
    physical illness.
    We need to step up, speak out and institute this in our schools nation wide!
    Thanks for sharing.~L

    December 4, 2011
    Reply
    • camilaina toronfront said:

      I hate homework. i always have to do so much! I really feel like i cannot do anything fun anymore. i want help. i want homework load to less up alot! i am in 6th grade and do an average of 3 hours of homework per night! i go to sleep around ten in order to get it all done! help!
      camilaina

      January 12, 2012
      Reply
      • SamanthaRichards said:

        I truly hate homework because it’s stressful. My teacher is mean the whole day on top of that many test in one day and then when I get home I come home to homework.I have homework passes for every subject I can only use once and I used once for math and my teacher didn’t except the homework pass cause she is mean so I got a zero so I have to do the work I wanted to do a homework pass on s I’m just busy but my teacher is nice enough to give us no homework on Friday.

        January 7, 2013
        Reply
  2. Whenever people object to the idea of students having homework-free vacation time, I ask, “What would you do if your boss handed you a PACKET of work to do on YOUR vacation?”

    December 5, 2011
    Reply
    • Mary Miller said:

      Interesting conversation and I completely agree that students should have the liberty to enjoy their vacation and spend quality time with their friends and family. It’s already hard enough trying to do that during the school year. At the same time, students like anyone else can think more clearly and feel more energized when they are well rested… Free from the demands of work in general!

      December 5, 2011
      Reply
  3. Jacqui Hills said:

    I am very pleased to see this aspect of education examined and acted upon. The students in the schools I work in are often weekend and night managers, with partime positions of responsibility in small businesses and fast food chains – they have other obligations beyond school – they need more living space and schools need to recognise what is meaningful to them and direct their time and effort into the Monday to Friday of school terms.

    Great to hear this kind of debate on the website.

    December 5, 2011
    Reply
  4. Robert Godley said:

    Refreshing view. I think we always struggle between working harder to get better and finding the right balance. People seem to think we are preparing our kids for ‘the real world’ by assigning this type of homework but I don’t recall any boss giving me a major amount of work on a Friday and being told to have it done by Monday. Yet teachers do that with kids all of the time. If it does happen to people in the work force, I have to beleive it is an exception, not the norm.

    December 5, 2011
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    • Thanks for all of the great feedback! Anyone else going to push for this in their school or community?

      December 5, 2011
      Reply
      • Robert Godley said:

        Hi Patrick,

        I have shared this with our Director and ES Principal and we all agree that this is something we are going to share with our faculty members. Count us in.

        December 7, 2011
        Reply
  5. Grant Lichtman said:

    I think “no brainer” may be a bit oversimplified. We had a great discussion last year about Race to Nowhere and there are important reasons to really watch how much time school is taking up in students’ lives. But as a school group we did not adopt the message as much as some others have. In fact, many of our own students felt that the tone was overly reactive.

    I think there is a real difference between overwhelming students during a break with major projects and having some homework. A few chapters of the novel they are reading for English? Checking out some websites on that topic in science? Posting to a wiki on a subject about which they are passionate? These are homework assignments as well, and I think would not be cumbersome for a vacation period.

    The most important point is that schools should have intentional discussions about this issue (and a host of others that define their respective value propositions) and decide how best to meet their own missions. I am not a fan of silver bullets, and “no homework over break” smacks a bit of this to me.

    Thanks for the provocative post.

    December 5, 2011
    Reply
    • Thanks Grant! It is definitely nice to get someone to bring in an alternative point of view on this conversation. I think you make a great point about having discussions that fit the needs of each school. I agree on the caution about silver bullets and struggle to think about any one thing that we should apply to all schools.

      I share your feelings on steering kids towards their passions! We need to make sure we allow for that.

      December 5, 2011
      Reply

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