California School District Abolishes Homework for Elementary and Middle School

The Helendale School District in California is instituting a no-homework policy for students in K-8th grade beginning this fall. According to vvdailypress, “First- through sixth-graders will complete any independent work during daily lessons, while seventh- and eighth-graders will get an added ‘homework time’ class period.”

Which school district will be next?

37 Comments on “California School District Abolishes Homework for Elementary and Middle School”

  1. Somebody With a Cerebrum says:

    It seems like every state (and parts of Canada and the U.K.) are committed to actually caring about kids, except mine. If anybody wants to know why things are going incredibly slowly in terms of change, go to http://www.johntaylorgatto.com. And, go to http://www.nicolefilms.com and watch the 4th Purpose Promo. We can’t change things as well unless we know the causes.!!!!! They are very interesting!

    May 9th, 2009 at 2:25 pm
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  2. Sara says:

    To me it’s not very smart to abolish homework from a school district because then how will the students get extra practice. There is a point where a student can have too much homework, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop them from having it. You will most likely see a change a grades, so BEWARE!!

    May 12th, 2009 at 12:55 pm
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  3. Sara Darice says:

    I’m terribly sorry if you think that the message above is Sara Bennett, this is Sara Darice.

    May 12th, 2009 at 12:58 pm
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  4. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s a great idea. As a parent. It gets annoying when your kids come home from school and all they do is sit in their room for hours doing homework. Sure I want my kids to get good grades but I also want them to have a social life outside of school. In my opinion, homework is taking away my kids ability to even leave the house let alone have a social life. Believe it or not people, we learn more outside of school then we do inside of school.
    I believe that if homework was abolished in schools, students would have much higher averages and be a lot less stressed out. Even the teachers and parents would be much less stressed. Everyone bennifits from this. Not just students.

    November 9th, 2009 at 1:09 am
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  5. Banana says:

    I am a student and I don’t think that homework should be abolished. It is very important for extra practice. However, I think there is such a thing as TOO MUCH homework.

    January 27th, 2010 at 11:12 pm
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  6. Craig says:

    I believe homework should be abolished. We should have classwork instead.

    January 27th, 2010 at 11:55 pm
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  7. Craig Henry says:

    I believe home­work should be abol­ished. We should have class­work instead.

    January 27th, 2010 at 11:56 pm
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  8. Sharon says:

    I feel homework is damaging to a childs self esteem. Children are in school for too many hours. I work in the Law enforcement field and too many child are failing due to homework. Most children are so overwhelmed when it comes to homework. Our society is no longer geared to give children time to do any work at home. Children are too stressed to get everything done in one day. Homework puts stress on the family. There is not enough hours in the day to work, go to school, and force homework on childen. Ultimately the homework grade should be given to the parent. My daughter has two small children and kindergarten and second grade. They spend 2 hours on homework. It is a fight everyday. The kids I see everyday give up on school because they are not successful doing their homework. Their grades are worse due to not doing home work. I am an advocate to abolish all homework including in high school. We forget that not all kids will go to college. The kids that go to college do not have homework and if they do it is their responsibility to complete it and their parents are exempt from the negative atmosphere and fighting.
    I want to do what ever I can to stop homework in the U.S. Children and parents can take the stress. We talk about children in our country being obesse well lets get them out side. We can do that by letting them play instead of spending 2 hours on homework. What can we do?

    February 3rd, 2010 at 10:40 pm
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  9. Anonymous says:

    I teach 7th grade middle school math. I agree that students shouldn’t be spending hours on homework–10 to 30 minutes per subject, depending on their age. We tell parents that if their child is spending more than 2 hours on homework, clearly there is a distraction (TV, Facebook, etc.) While at school, students are able to explore new concepts, have group discussions, etc. However, it is essential that students practice those topics that they learn during the school day. Homework should be just that–practice. It shouldn’t be a surprise or too difficult. A good teacher will assign homework that reflects what they did in class that day.

    In response to the stress that homework gives students, there are many other factors that contribute to that. Some parents put stress on their children to get straight As while some parents put stress on their children to be great at sports. Sadly, some parents are not involved at all. If students didn’t have homework, there is no guarantee that kids will be outside playing or that their parents will be spending time with them. The unfortunate reality is that many parents are not involved in their kids’ lives.

    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:12 pm
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  10. Disillusioned says:

    Anonymous- With all due respect, why is it “essential” that 12-14 year olds spend two hours on homework after a seven hour school day? Yes, practice makes perfect. However, these kids do need some down time. Your comment re: other factors in their lives causing stress proves our point. How much stress does a 12-14 year old need? In response to your comment re: parents who are “not involved in their kids’ lives”; how is this germane to homework?

    March 2nd, 2010 at 11:29 pm
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  11. H-work Burner says:

    I think that homework should be banned! I understand projects like science projects and leftover schoolwork, but Going to school is sort of like doing homework for seven hours. I NEED A LIFE! I haven’t been with my friend for almost a month because we both have too much homework. My piano is suffering, I haven’t learned anything useful from homework, and I find myself depressed every day! It is Sunday, and I am working on my homework while my family goes out and has fun. Then I wake up early, go to math, English, ect. for 7.5 hours, after 8 hours of sleep, ( I need at least 10) come home, want to paint, or learn how to build a bow and arrow, but am suck doing my h-work. I rush through it, because I do so much of it a day. I have the ability to be a straight A student, great ERB and star test scores, but am a B and C student due to late homework. I am usually up till 9:30 but don’t want to go to bed, but have to.

    March 14th, 2010 at 1:13 pm
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  12. Sarah M. says:

    I agree that homework is pointless. As a 3rd grader I remember doing three pages of math homework a night, it took hours. Why was it necessary? I believe that I could have had better grades in high school but I was living on my own and working 30 hours a week to pay the bills, there was no time to do the two to three hours of homework assigned so my grades suffered do to homework not my test scores.

    March 27th, 2010 at 2:28 pm
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  13. HomeworkBlues says:

    Sarah, you hit on a seminal point. What the kids who must work to support the family or themselves, the ones who can’t afford an entire computer infrastructure at home complete with Power Point and high speed internet? What about the older kids who must watch the younger ones? In the old days, homework was clearly pointless too (that is why adults remember so little of it. It was taught the wrong way and didn’t stick) but the amount was reasonable.

    How did we get to this point? How did homework eat up our children’s lives so that those who can’t devote all afternoon get penalized?

    It’s like that Huffington Post piece I posted yesterday. High school teachers overload for several reasons but the main one, I’ve always felt, is to look good to parents, to not look lazy. It has nothing to do with all the sacred reasons we are fed.

    The dirty little secret I discovered while homeschooling is how easy it is to find assignments on the web. I can’t believe hyper-competitive parents still judge teachers favorably by how much homework they send home. Wouldn’t it be better if parents questioned, wait a minute, if she’s sending it all home, just what happened at school?

    March 27th, 2010 at 3:26 pm
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  14. Anonymous says:

    Homework is pointless!

    May 6th, 2010 at 3:52 pm
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  15. Jo says:

    I think homework in moderation is okay. My son is in kindergarten and he is at school for 6 hours then has appx 6-7 pages of homework due every friday. He is also in special ed for mild to moderate autism and its very hard for me to get him to do his homework and I do think it’s overwhelming for him.

    January 18th, 2011 at 11:33 pm
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  16. KJB says:

    The government wants the kids watching more TV so they can be better & more uniformly proganized.

    July 5th, 2011 at 3:20 pm
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  17. Juan Slayton says:

    Regret that I haven’t had the opportunity to read your book. Might be that the answer to my question is already there. But I’m wondering, are you aware that in California, from the late 1890s to about 1916, it was illegal to give homework to anyone under 14 years of age?

    September 18th, 2011 at 10:44 pm
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  18. Anonymous says:

    Homework, to me, is exceptionally pointless. I am a good student, and always finish my homework on time, but often I have to give up studying for an upcoming test in order to finish. I have other sports I am involved in, and because of practice, I often have to stay up very late in order to finish. Don’t colleges like it when a kid is well-rounded? Well, how am I supposed to be well rounded when I spend all of my time doing homework. MY grades are suffering due to the fact that I am up all night doing homework for other classes instead of studying. I do think some homework is okay…but homework on weekends? That’s just stupid.

    October 16th, 2011 at 1:59 pm
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  19. Anonymous says:

    Hello, I am anonymous

    I think there is no point in homework because if parents help at home, then the parents are the ones doing the work. homework is pretty pointless and I am a student at __________ ________ Middle school. homework adds overwhelming pain and hi guys! I forgot what we were talking about. HAHYAHAHAHS!!!

    February 24th, 2012 at 12:44 pm
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  20. Kate says:

    yes

    May 31st, 2012 at 4:55 pm
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  21. kimberlina says:

    i have a strict rule with my 6th grader this year of no homework due to the pressures she endured over the past 5 years from the schools mandating (overloaded) homework my question is i live in Bakersfield California can the school or the district do anything legaly about me putting my foot down and making a strict no homework policy. so i guess im asking can i so to speak get in to trouble for my right as a parent to put my foot down about this stricty no homework policy i have put in to place- thank you so much for any and all help

    August 17th, 2012 at 11:58 pm
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  22. California Lilac says:

    To Kimberly,

    If you find out the answer to your question, what is your right as a parent regarding homework, I would love to know. I have a 3rd grader in Los Angeles Unified School district. It is a very good, high scoring charter school. However, the homework and the academics are off the charts. My daughter curled up in a ball and covered her face with her hands after a night of homework. She said she couldn’t do anything else, and all I asked her to do was come sit down for dinner. (5 minutes earlier she said she was starving!)

    August 21st, 2012 at 8:09 pm
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  23. Marilyn says:

    Too much stress has been forced upon the children. From schooling, to homework, to sports…adults are making more homework, more practices, more games, more traveling games, more and more pressure some adults are putting upon the children and their families as a whole. Parents are rushing children from place to place, and the family unit is overwhelmed and not relaxed. This past year I took my daughter out of her school for a variety of reasons and homeschooled as we looked for another schooling option. As I homeschooled I learned that homework was for the most part completely unnecessary. A bit of review,, and a special project once in awhile, but the rest could be done while in school.. After being in school all day, children do not want hours of homework….they want and need to be able to play and be children…Just as after a long day at work adults want to play. rest, and relax. They don’t want to go home and do more hours of work either. Children need a childhood. They should be learning and playing sports, but in moderation. Many have gone overboard…and what is the point?? I was an honor roll student, could pass tests with A’s, could memorize, answer the questions right….but how much do I remember, what did I retain…not much. Was it fun? Not much. I am completely against much homework. What needs to be accomplished for learning can be done during the time at school. The children are there long enough. Homework on the weekends and during breaks….awful!!!!! Those days are supposed to be free of such things, And now Saturday and Sunday, all weekends, are for sports. Too much…we have made the choice to not comply to such things…and life is MUCH BETTER!! Everyone needs to slow down and stop being so competitive.

    August 18th, 2013 at 5:49 pm
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  24. Greg says:

    This is nothing more than another way of taking any responsibility out of the parents hands and put it back on the school. Parents it time you start putting in your fair share at home and not blaming someone else because your child failed!!! You need to take ownership and work with your kids. That is the problem why kids fail at school. Teachers are doing their best and can’t do it all. TAKE THE TIME TO BE A PARENT, and you might even learn something. But that’s asking way to much from parents anymore. You just keep being their friends, fighting their battles, and blaming everyone else other than your child and see how that works out for you. I do homework with both of my 7th grade and 3rd grade children every night. That’s after working all day, coaching their sports teams, and they are very well adjusted and have a great social life. Its not that hard if you care.

    September 17th, 2013 at 3:50 pm
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  25. Anonymous says:

    Work on the oxnard school district please

    May 3rd, 2014 at 12:21 pm
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  26. Anonymous says:

    Do any of you people who want to ban homework ever wonder why Asian and Indian kids do so much better in our school systems. Keep drinking the kook aid and believe your kid is destined for a good life. With hard work, anything is possible. Without it, not much.

    October 20th, 2014 at 8:00 pm
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  27. Anonymous says:

    Homework must be abolished. The reason why America is so behind in education is because they disregarded all of the studies shown in Europe. Europe stopped give elementary schoolers homework and they boomed in test results! With homework, health also can drastically deteriorate. I, myself, am an example. Because of excess homework, not only did I lose all social life, but I also lost nearly all my health due to severe and chronic sleep deprivation. Teachers have taken this too far. I am only sixteen and I have gotten many diseases and illnesses from lack of sleep alone.

    May 21st, 2015 at 10:29 am
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  28. Kendra says:

    Look at our country’s test scores, research the effects of homework, I have watched both my kids have anxiety and stress over homework to the point of stomach aches, sleepless nights, and hate school. I researched the effects of homework, and found that most kids in this country are experiencing the same effects resulting in lower grades, when you take away homework, the grades rise, test scores rise, and the kids begin to love school again…I asked my 9yr old what was her biggest problem with school, she said “homework!” She is a fourth grader and lastnight took 3 hours (with help) to not even complete her homework, and went to bed strrssing that she didnt have time to read for twenty min. If we come home from a long days work and continue to go in our rooms and work and neglect our children, then shame on us, our children will grow up alone, stressed and angry. Why in the world do teachers and educators think that these little people should go home after a long day of sitting and learning to go sit and rehash some more?! After school should be for family time, for relaxation after “a hard days work”, these are children, NOT adults! This pressure is too much, there have already been suicides over school pressures, it’s not worth it. Not to mention what it creates at home, parents trying to calm frustrated kids, trying to help their kids when their both tired and should be playing together…educators are overlooking the most important homework to their students overall well being…family time!

    September 3rd, 2015 at 8:29 am
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  29. Araba says:

    “Homework should be abolished and taken out of the American Education System. Why? well for one thing, it stresses us students out. I’m currently in my second year of High School and I’m already taking AP classes and rigorous academic courses. Now imagine a 15 year old.. who stays up until 1am- 3am tops to have all homework done before school(80% of the time cant even complete everything). By now that teenager has about 3hours to sleep since he/she wakes up at 6am, Gets to school before 8:20am spends 8hours in school where lunch breaks are 20-25min and doesn’t get fresh air or time for a mental break. He/She gets home around 5-6pm. Cooks, takes care of siblings,then has 8 different homeworks to do for a subject! IS THIS REALISTIC? Teachers and the system need to realize that we students are only humans not robots. you cant expect a student not to want to drop out or to lose interest in school and the subjects being taught when teachers constantly become inconsiderate with work. STUDENTS HAVE LIVES OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. And students need the mental space to grow especially as teenagers” -Araba

    September 17th, 2015 at 9:38 pm
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  30. Anonymous says:

    Homework needs to stop. We already go to school for 7 hours, do we really need to do more hard work at home, where we need to sleep and spend time with family?

    March 1st, 2016 at 12:40 am
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  31. Anonymous says:

    The first my thing my son does when he comes back from school is go straight to his bedroom. He then battles through homework right up until he goes to bed. I once even found him revising for a history test at 2AM IN THE MORNING.

    March 1st, 2016 at 3:43 pm
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  32. Lydia Lopez says:

    Was wondering if I can get a volunteer speaker that can give our parents more knowledge of the no home work policy . So they can have crarification that it works .

    September 13th, 2016 at 2:31 am
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  33. Rebecca says:

    I totally agree with no homework for elementary & middle school students!!! You don’t really need it till Junior high or High school. Homework was originally created as punishment for students who goofed around in school & didn’t finish classwork. They’ve done numerous studies showing that children would be better off eating dinner with family, exploring outside, and getting a good night sleep than the repetitiveness of doing homework. They’ve also shown improved overall test scores. Why do you think they don’t give homework during the standardized testing?

    September 15th, 2016 at 8:58 pm
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  34. Anonymous says:

    Santa cruz county school district

    November 8th, 2016 at 3:00 pm
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  35. Person says:

    I think homework should stop for elementary and middle school, but i think us highschool students should get less too. I spend my whole life inside my house doing homework and yes even on the weekends cause my teachers send me online homework too. I just want to go out and enjoy my life before i reach adulthood where they have to work a lot.

    February 5th, 2017 at 8:43 pm
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  36. ben says:

    destroy homework all it does is ruin kids childhoods and not let them do anything for themselves I really hope this becomes an official law not just in california but everywhere

    March 25th, 2017 at 9:31 pm
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  37. Anonymous says:

    Though this seems like an older article to me, I still wanted to share my opinion. Homework should most certainly be BANNED in schools. As a student, homework has ruined my life. It has caused severe anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I can safely say the outcome was not worth it. I rarely benefit from homework, not because the homework wasn’t relevant, but because I didn’t need the extra practice. I am a firm believer that students need to take their education into their own hands. I feel teachers should offer optional homework as extra practice so students will have more control over their education. This way, students learn to take responsibility. If they want to succeed, they have to be the ones to take action.

    June 9th, 2019 at 4:54 pm
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