A new school year is upon us, and while I’ve not had a stake in the homework debate before now – my kids have been too young for it to matter – I’m officially declaring myself on the side of not giving kids homework.
It’s a no brainer for me.
There will come a time when extra academic work will be necessary and where it can have a benefit. That could come as early as high school for some kids, but certainly no earlier.
Unless kids clearly benefit from doing extra worksheets after school and in the evenings, I see no point in assigning that work.
In his book, Matters of Life and Death: Public Health Issues in Canada, Globe and Mail columnist André Picard says that homework is “counterproductive.”
In a tweet he clarified this:
Research shows clearly that children being active is more important than homework for improving learning and test scores (and health).
— André Picard (@picardonhealth) May 23, 2017
Get that? Kids benefit more from physical activity and unstructured outdoor play after school and in the evenings than any extra academics. Our kids also play board games and read books. Those are great extra curricular activities that are fun and give kid’s brains a rest. Carolyn Trono, former Olympic rower, coach, and advocate of long-term athlete development, gave this a name:
Take a look @S4L_SPV We know this. How about we change the term homework to homeplay & get kids physically active and physically literate
— Carolyn Trono (@carolyntrono) May 23, 2017
I’m going to be sharing this philosophy with our teachers, and encourage you to do so, also.
We’ve learned so much about what benefits kids; it would be a shame to not act on it.