Essex Elementary Bans Homework
Every kid’s fantasy of a ban on homework has become a reality for students at Essex Elementary in Massachusetts, as the school decided to eliminate homework in early September 2016. According to The Boston Globe, it has been not only a relief for students, but most parents, too.
Elementary school students typically range from age five to twelve – crucial years where kids create a foundation for how they approach academia. Society expects children to be free, happy, and curious, but this can be difficult to expect when the only thing on a preteen’s mind is stress.
Spending time doing homework after having been in class for an average of six to eight hours is exhausting, especially at an age where you’re still growing and learning to function as an individual. Overwhelming feelings can easily consume students, impacting mental or physical health as well as leaving a negative impression on their experiences with school.
“The side effects of homework are destructive because it can lead to anxiety and depression for students and parents alike,” said Robert Pressman, director of research at the New England Center for Pediatric Psychology in Rhode Island.
One study from the Duke University found that there was a better correlation between homework and achievement for secondary students than for elementary students.
Instead of spending isolated time studying or doing homework after school, Essex Elementary states their mission is to let kids use that time to play outside, make memories with friends and family, or discover hobbies.
The Globe reports that Principle Jacqueline Glasheen was motivated to implement a no-homework policy after surveys concluded that parents, students, and teachers showed tremendous support towards the idea.
At the end of the school year, the superintendent said they will decide if a homework ban could be beneficial at other schools as well.