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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I just found your website and I’m so excited to find out that other parents feel the same way as me. Can you help me? My child brings home….

2. Where can I find your book?

3. I am a student. I hate homework. It’s ruining my life. What should I do?

4. I am a teacher. I hate assigning homework. Do you know of other teachers who have successfully taught without homework?

5. Do you have a sample letter I can send to a teacher?

6. Do you know of any parents who have been successful in challenging homework?

7. Do you know of any schools that have abolished homework?

8. Do you know how principals have explained their decisions to abolish or greatly reduce homework?

9. Do you know of any podcasts I can listen to?

10. If you wanted to get people started on reading about homework, and you knew they wouldn’t read very much, what would you suggest?

11. Are you willing to come to my school/parent meeting/teacher meeting/conference to speak?

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1. I just found your website and I’m so excited to find out that other parents feel the same way as me. Can you help me? My child brings home….

Your first step should be to buy a copy of The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It. The first half of the book lays out, in a readable fashion, the problems with homework. The second half of the book is a step-by-step manual on how to go about advocating for change with your child’s teacher, at your school, or in your District, and how to organize other parents. There’s also a chapter that looks at the most common homework assignments and tells you why they don’t have any educational value. (Be forewarned: after you read the book, you’ll be angrier than you already are.)

2. Where can I find your book?

If you can’t find it in your local bookstore, you should order it from your favorite online source. Of course, you can always buy it on Amazon.

But, as a way of spreading the word, you should ask your local bookstore to order a few copies, and then ask it to prominently display them.

3. I am a student. I hate homework. It’s ruining my life. What should I do?

Take a look at what other students think about homework by browsing through the archives section of this blog, Students Speak Out. Or, take a look at this zine by three high school students, “A Students’ Guide to Taking Back the Classroom”. Copy and distribute it at your school.

4. I am a teacher. I hate assigning homework. Do you know of other teachers who have successfully taught without homework?

Yes. Take a look at this and this and this.

5. Do you have a sample letter I can send to a teacher?

The book has dozens. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the book, take a look at this letter, which was written by a New Jersey parent to her second-grade son’s teacher and principal, or take a look at the numerous letters I’ve posted by parent activists. You can find them by scrolling through Moms (and Dads) on a Mission.

6. Do you know of any parents who have been successful in challenging homework?

Yes. In The Case Against Homework, there are many examples of parents advocating on behalf of their children. And, if you browse Moms (and Dads) on a Mission you’ll find lots of posts by parents who describe, in their own words, what they’re doing and whether they’re having any success.

7. Do you know of any schools that have abolished homework?

Sadly, there aren’t nearly as many as I’d like.

But if you need an example or two, take a look at what this school in Wyoming and these schools in the San Francisco Bay area have done.

In Toronto, Canada, the Toronto District School Board completely overhauled its homework policy. Read the most family friendly policy I’ve seen yet here. Frank Bruni, the parent who instigated the reform, blogged about his experiences on stophomework.com. To see what other parents have done, or are doing, be sure to take a look at Moms (and Dads) on a Mission.

In England, the teacher’s union debated a motion to abolish or greatly reduce homework in April, 2008. In the Fall of 2008, a highly ranked boys’ school near London and England’s newest and largest school either reduced homework or vowed not to have it.

A newly opened school in Australia has included an opt-out clause, which states, “In recognition of other demands on our students, we support individual students, with parent support, formally ‘opting out’ of the set homework.”

8. Do you know how principals have explained their decisions to abolish or greatly reduce homework?

Yes. Here’s a copy of a letter a principal in Wyoming sent to the parents at her elementary school.

9. Do you know of any podcasts I can listen to?

Yes. At BAM! radio, you can find lots of interesting interviews.

I also recommend getting a copy of the DVD of the Fall, 2008, Stressed Out Students’ conference, with keynote speeches by David Elkind, Dr. Ken Ginsburg, Dr. Madeline Levine, and Denise Clark Pope. You can order a copy of the DVD here.

10. If you wanted to get people started on reading about homework, and you knew they wouldn’t read very much, what would you suggest?

I would definitely have them read the fact sheet on pages 259-260 of The Case Against Homework.

I would pick and choose from the following:

    *this article from The Washington Post, where education reporter, Jay Mathews, who had given himself the moniker “Mr. Homework,” calls for the abolition of homework in elementary school
    * this article from The Wall Street Journal, this piece from the National Association of Independent Schools, or this article from Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice (Homework Issue), on the stresses facing high schoolers
    *this article on redesigning homework to create more time for learning from Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice (Homework Issue)
    * this information on the importance of sleep
    * this information on the importance of play
    * this information on how math homework doesn’t help the average student
    * this information on what works in an English class
    * this information on the the trouble with packaged reading programs

11. Are you willing to come to my school/parent meeting/teacher meeting/conference to speak?

I am no longer doing speaking engagements. All of the following are amazing speakers: Alfie Kohn, Susan Ohanian, Etta Kralovec, Denise Pope, Vicki Abeles, and, in Canada, Vera Goodman.