The End of Homework

I emancipated my students from the shackles of homework nearly two years ago. I began to realize that the burden of homework fell heavy on students and teachers. I had been reading and listening to abolitionists such as Alfie Kohn, Joe Bower, and Mark Barnes for a few years. I began to realize that students had lives outside of school, they learned outside of school, and homework was alienating them from an education they already saw as obsolete and meaningless.

Homework is not worth it. Its not worth enforcement measures, disciplining noncompliance, increasing hatred of "learning" and school, or the TIME. Students come to school for 8 hours. How can we realistically expect them to do 2-3 hours of homework after 8 hours of school work. Sports? Job? What about family time or hobbies? In our culture? Sure, we can fight it, but where does it get us? 

 On the other side of the coin, how many students succeed BECAUSE of homework? How many would not learn without homework? It can be argued that repetition assists memorization. While that is sometimes true, I have very little interest in memorization. Besides, this type of learning is temporary.

I haven't regretted my decision for one second. Students do my work in class. If they waste their class time, they may have to make it up at home. My students are learning at least as much, probably more, as they ever have. I don't believe that assigning students additional work away from the person that can facilitate the learning behind that work is a good way to increase learning. Thanks to Joe Bower, I have a great new saying, "homework should be inspired, not assigned". Many of my students now voluntarily work on their projects at home. Others look up related information and we discuss it in class.


  1. TOTALLY agree! As a mother trying to raise well-rounded children, homework has always taken a back burner to other activities that they don't do in school. I feel that students should have enough time to finish projects in school, and they should only come home if my child has not managed to complete the work in class.
    In fact, the only year we have had homework assigned strickly as "homework" was in grade 5. The reason: "I want to make sure they are ready for middle school where there is a lot of homework." Reality: Our middle school understands there is enough time in school to do work.
    That is not to say that we don't do school work at home. What is done at home is what they are interested in and what to find out more about.

    1. Thanks for you comments. I totally agree with you too! Based on the work of a fellow teacher in my building, I'm trying "home building projects" where students have fun building something and applying what they are learning in class. We have a blog on the way about it. Thanks again!

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