Stop Homework a resource created by Sara Bennett, co-author of The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It.

Archive for Opt-Out Plan

The Milleys Capture Canada (and the U.S. and U.K. as well)

The day I wrote about the Milleys, parents from Calgary, Canada, who negotiated a contract with their children’s school allowing their children to opt-out of homework, the national press asked me to put it in touch with the Milleys. Since then, the Canadian newspapers, radio, and TV have reported the story, all of the coverage positive and supportive.

I happened to be in Toronto last week and was thrilled to open the Toronto Globe and Mail to discover an editorial, Peace on the Home Front, supporting the Milleys and suggesting that “school boards could easily curtail homework until Grade 9 without fear of educational harm. Younger students could thus be encouraged to read at home, play sports or music and spend more stress-free time with their family.”

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Moms (and Dads) on a Mission – Calgary, Alberta Family Gets to Opt-Out of Homework after a Two-Year Struggle with their Children’s Schools

Almost two years ago, I wrote about Shelli and Tom Milley, the parents of three children in Calgary, Alberta, who were trying to change homework policy and, at the very least, get an opt-out policy for their own children. At that point, the two lawyers had already been discussing the issue with the school for over a year, had gotten the school to appoint a homework committee and had even gotten Shelli as one of the members of the committee. When it was clear the committee wasn’t really going to be very independent, Shelli resigned.

She and her husband, however, continued to seek support for a better homework policy, and were basically a 2-person taskforce of their own, writing letters, enlisting support from community members, teachers, and members of the School Board, and getting advice from Vera Goodman, author of Simply Too Much Homework (and a Calgary resident herself), Jan Olson, the principal of the Barrie, Ontario school I wrote about last week which had eliminated homework, and me.

And now, just yesterday, the Milleys’ tenaciousness paid off. The school finally agreed that their children could opt-out of homework altogether. The Milleys have allowed me to share their opt-out agreement. You can read it here.

Another School With an Opt-Out Policy

I am always looking for schools that have homework opt-out policies, but they seem to be few and far between. Last November, I posted a link to a school in Australia with an opt-out policy.

A reader who has been trying to get opt-out policies at her children’s Alberta schools recently sent me a link to an Alberta school with an opt-out policy.

It reads:

St. Andrew’s School staff and school council spent considerable time reviewing homework. The dialogue was in depth and revealed many ideas and points of view both with staff and with parents.

As a school community, we came to the following understanding. Parents are the prime educators for their children, and as such have important responsibilities as to the personal and educational growth of their children. Thus parents must decide what is in the best interest of their children in regards to home work.

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Australian School Includes an “Opt-out” Clause in its Homework Policy

Here’s a good homework policy from a newly opened school in Australia. The policy includes an “opt-out” clause, a clause I think all policies should contain. It states, “In recognition of other demands on our students, we support individual students, with parent support, formally ‘opting out’ of the set homework.”