Today, Frank Bruni, the moving force behind Toronto, Canada’s family-friendly homework policy, writes about how the year-old homework policy is working. You can read Frank’s earlier entries here, here, here and here.
My Thoughts on the Anniversary of Toronto’s Adoption of its New Homework Policy
by Frank Bruni
April 16, 2009
It is one year today that the new homework policy was adopted in Toronto and it has been in force since September.
Amazingly, (forgive the sarcasm) the sun still rises in the morning, the birds still sing, and our kids have not become duller.
What has happened is that Toronto students have more time. More time with family, more time for extra curricular activities, more time to be kids.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still challenges. The new policy is a work in progress and there may be individual educators that are having a tough time adjusting. In addition, like most new policies in any organization, now that it is not front and center, it quickly becomes part of the background noise that is our everyday lives.
Still there has been much progress.
In my own case, I have noticed a marked change in my teen’s attitude towards homework. While most kids would, I think, prefer no homework, he is more engaged in what does come home because the busywork has all but disappeared. The number of nights where there is no homework has increased dramatically and he reads, every night, he reads for pleasure. Because the homework that is assigned is done so in blocks, my son has had to learn time management, surely a good thing.
And no homework on vacations – pure heaven!!
Yep, things are good in Toronto, not perfect, but better.
For those of you fighting this battle in your own communities don’t give up! There is currency at the end of your struggle, the most important currency of all – time.