Opting out of homework means going into your school and negotiating a no-homework arrangement for your children. While not many people have even considered this, shouldn’t children’s time at home belong to them and not to the school?
Need some backup? While I don’t know of many people who have tried this, here are two schools that have adopted homework opt-out policies. (If you know of any others, please let me know.)
A school in Australia has written an opt-out clause into its homework policy:
[I]n recognition of other demands on our students, we support individual students, with parent support, formally “opting out” of the set homework.
A school in Alberta, Canada also has an opt-out clause in its homework policy:
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.
Home work will continue to be offered by the school. The homework will be created with the express intent of supporting student learning. Should a parent wish to limit or eliminate homework for a child they are invited by teachers to meet to identify the level of homework that will be done at home.
Students are not to be penalized in any fashion for this parental choice. Student responsibility for assigned activities that can be completed in class will remain.
And then there’s the Milley family of Calgary, Alberta, which negotiated its own differentiated homework plan. You can read all about the Milleys here.