Canadian Elementary School Bans Homework

Welcome back to Stop Homework.

And what better way to start off the school year than with encouraging news from an elementary school in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, north of Toronto, which just banned homework. Among the reasons:

    * there is no clear link between homework and academic achievement
    * poor students are at a distinct disadvantage
    * homework causes problems for families, including contributing to marital stress

Read about it here.

With a lot of hard work on our part, we can get other schools and districts to follow suit.

In upcoming posts, I’ll let you know what parents are doing in their communities to change the tide.

7 thoughts on “Canadian Elementary School Bans Homework

  1. I wish they would do that here in Chicago, pre-school is already giving my 4 year old homework. I would much rather spend our together time doing learning activities, like going to the zoo and seeing those letters and numbers and learning to write thank you notes for gifts received and doing math by figuring out how many carrots she will have left if she eats two, instead of printing the letter “H” over and over and over again, even though they already did it in school. I guess one major issue is that there are some parents who don’t (can’t? won’t?) do that.


  2. You know, Laura, just a thought. You don’t need to do preschool. If you can manage it, why don’t you homeschool preschool? It’s become very popular.

    I agree that writing the letter H over and over again is counterproductive. Children at this age benefit far more from play, imagination, walks in the park examining flowers, being read to endlessly, building, drawing, coloring, exploring. And of course playing with other children. Play is a child’s work.

    Even if the child is very gifted (which mine is), her hungry mind can be fed in a language rich environment with frequent trips to the library and puppet shows, plays, concerts, even opera, yep we did that!

    You don’t need a formal program, actually. If your work schedule permits, why don’t you consider finding other homeschooled preschoolers and doing it yourself? I didn’t but looking back, I wish I had.

    Your four year old shouldn’t be doing mandatory homework. Fortunately, my daughter’s preschool didn’t assign any but my child was doing academic pursuits of her own choosing anyway all afternoon, when we were in fact home. She’d come home, write books and do all the illustrations! We did so much reading, she wrote, nature centers, tons of art, math as part of life (took her to the grocery store for weighing and measuring, baked muffins together as she measured, always counting her toys, walking through DC and studying the city grid system, learning cardinal directions by pointing to the Capitol and telling her that’s east and the Monument is west and then having fun testing her as we walked towards Air and Space).

    My daughter is very visual spatial so lots of leggos and kinex. For science, check out some science experiments on line or get a kit, or just use your own imagination and you can shoot a rocket up into the sky by mixing vinegar and baking soda, I think! If you live close enough to museums, there are enough hands on activities so you don’t have to go out and buy any of this stuff. The zoo is wonderful!

    You are only limited by your imagination. It’s not worth paying pre-school tuition, only to be aggravated. Me, I’d vote with my feet and high tail it out of there! And oh, no charge for the advice. This time :).

    Yes, I’m a huge fan of homeschooling. Any wonder why, given today’s oppressive educational environment? I’m not a zealot. I just know I can do it better! My simple goal was to raise a happy healthy inquisitive vibrant child whose appetite for learning would be insatiable. I have to say with a contented smile that at least that part I got right. You don’t want to extinguish the spark so early in a child’s life.



  3. I completely agree with this. Homework and academic achievement are unrelated. Personal study to help an exam, or doing assignments at home, may be counted as homework but this weekly stuff teachers give as extra is just not welcome. I don’t get much, but I am completely against it, and other things about school., if you agree with this about homework maybe you’ll also agree with some of the things I have to say.


  4. So why is it that teachers feel the need to assign homework if there is no clear link between homework and academic achievement? Doesn’t it just make more work for teachers to check all of that homework when they could be presenting an engaging lesson instead?


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