I was thrilled to see that the Heritage Academy Christian School in Los Altos, California, suggests that their parents read this blog and highlights some of my posts. The School’s homework policy states:
Elementary school children need family time and play time at home. In the upper grades, homework may include nightly reading, necessary review, preparing for the next day’s discussion, project work, or studying for a test. In the lower grades homework may include reading, studying for a spelling test, or finishing a math page.
No busy work will be assigned.
Suggested parental reading:
The Case Against Homework: How Homework is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It (Crown).
2003 NPR report, “Homework: How Much is Too Much?”
Sara Bennett’s StopHomework.com
Telegraph: “UK’s biggest school to scrap homework”
Letter from the principal of Grant Elementary School in Glenrock, Wyoming, explaining that her school is implementing a no homework practice
“Project Student Autonomy: A Student’s Guide to Taking Back Power in the Classroom”
10 thoughts on “Heritage Academy Christian School’s Homework Policy”
While it’s great that this school recognizes that elementary children need family time, the statement is a little vague and still outlines homework. The references are great and would seem to indicate that they are more con than pro.
I’m sure that my school would say the same thing, but the other side of the coin is that there are nightly expectations for work to be done after the school day ends…and supposed family time is limited to about 1 hour, after the necessities of life are covered (eating, bathing, sleeping) with young children who usually get to be by 8. The things this school has listed as appropriate for homework would eat up much of that hour. So there goes the “family time”.
I think the public school system has to wake up to the fact that, for most families, the day doesn’t end at 3:15. It ends at 5 or 5:30. Later than that if there’s an activity after school. It throws a whole new light on time available for “family hour”.
Get to BED, not get to “be”….darn it all.
I agree, it looks vague. And it’s meaningless to say that no busy work will be assigned, when you’re willing to send lower elementary school grade kids home with math worksheets and spelling lists.
If there was truly a recognition of what children’s lives are all about, there would be no homework expectations in any level of elementary school education. There is “zero tolerance” for so many things these days, and while I don’t like the term, maybe it has to be used in this context.
Why should young children take work home? Why should they ever get into the mindset that that’s what life is all about. It’s not. It’s a lie. Life is not about doing your job endlessly to the exclusion of your family and leisure time. It’s a bad habit to get into and I think THAT’S what school should be teaching children.
I saw the write-up in GreatSchools’ email today. Congrats, Sara!
I figured that, given all the links to materials on my blog, the school is pretty much doing away with homework. At the very least, it’s a good start.
Sara, I really hope you’re right. I’ve gotten pretty cynical about these things.
Libertas inaestimabilis res est.
Liberty is a thing beyond all price. (Corpus Iuris Civilis)
In the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government (in this case schools) becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” The latent truth about homework is it affects all three unalienable Rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Under the yoke of the relentless taskmaster that the school systems have become, students are deprived of the chance for a “normal” life. While on vacation, many students hit the books!!! By depriving students of a childhood, schools are depriving the students of a chance to learn in the best way they can; through their own experiences.
One of the greatest concepts that the United States of America was founded upon was Liberty. This right is endowed by our creator and is available to all of mankind…except apparently students. By depriving our students of their liberty through Monday tests and weekend homework assignments, the school system is screwing up the people who are one day going to run the country; our students. Future tax payers everyone of them, the school system is cruising for a bruising. “A school is asking for a tax increase for more funding? Screw you!!! Why should we help you screw with our children like you did with us!!!” is a statement that will become more and more common. “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ”
To the consternation of parents, their children have been communicating less and less face to face. In a futile attempt to shift the blame, parents claim that cellphones and FaceBook and instant messaging are the cause of social deficiency. While the afore mentioned may be contributing factors, students would not use them nearly as much as if they had the opportunity to talk face to face. Students are spending their time studying for tests or working on homework instead of socializing and exercising.
I wish it was true about this school but having had personal experience with a child that goes to this school -read between their lines – they say ‘no homework if the work is finished in class’ turns out a lot of the work is never finished and the class has loads of homework.
how does that saying go? … best laid plans …
your concept is great and definitely has worth however this school does not do as they say in their literature
perhaps it is best for all of us realize there are some guarantees in life
born, eat, homework, taxes and death – keep up the good work, and hopefully one day you will find a school that believes in your theory, and system and sticks to the policy this place however does not – if you don’t believe me just visit the school and ask the children
What happens if you talk to the administration and/or teachers about the homework load? Since they’re pointing to my book and blog as a place to find more information, I’d think they’d be receptive to hearing that there is way too much homework and take steps to eliminate and/or lighten the load.