When I was in seventh grade, I remember coming home to mounds of Math homework every single night. It was the first time in my academic career that homework took more than an hour to complete and it was overwhelming to me. After a couple of months, my mom phoned the teacher to discuss the workload. The instructor explained that her teaching philosophies followed Japanese educational foundations which required a minimum of two hours of practice every evening. My mom had a few choice words for this teacher... We'll leave it at that. I'm still not very good at Math.

When my sister-in-law posted a message to Facebook this morning from a teacher who asked parents to spend "homework time" doing something more enriching like family dinner or play time, it made me think about that very long year of Math class.

After a bit of research, it turns out that a few schools are popping up here and there that issue a "no homework" policy.

According to a recent blog from scarymommy.com,

A Massachusetts school district is abolishing homework for students attending its elementary schools. The district was declared “chronically under-performing” and getting rid of homework is one way they’re hoping to bring about improvement in the upcoming school year.

The school has also shifted the school schedule from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for K-8. So, kids complete the work while they are at school, under the supervision of teachers, and the evening hours are left open for kids to rest and recharge.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! If you think about the pressures and demands put on kids, it's absurd that they should have hours of homework. The last thing I want to do when I leave my job is to go home and work. It's counterproductive and leads to so many negatives.

Now I'm not saying there is NO place for homework. Plenty of research has offered up both positives and negatives to evening learning time. I vividly remember my mom quizzing me on spelling words over dinner and breakfast - nothing wrong with that. And, I spent many evenings at Books-a-Million in Owensboro begging kids like Matt Field and Nimit Maru to tutor me in Algebra and Stats which helped me so much more than watching the teacher throughout the class period. (Remember, I stink at Math.) But, there are plenty of kids out there who are either not offered or will accept help from parents. Their parents aren't quizzing them over pancakes. They aren't spending their Tuesday night sucking down coffee and hanging with the class Valedictorian with the sincere hope of finally understand the meaning of X. These kids will benefit the most from this alternative schedule.

Hopefully, some of our local schools will catch on and reasses those few prescious hours we have in the evenings.