By Michela Tindera
September 19, 2014
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Canadian School Gets Rid of Homework

Growing up I liked a lot of things about school—silent reading time, seeing friends, having the chance to write on my classroom's dry erase board... the list goes on. But one thing I did not enjoy so much was, you guessed it, the homework.

Sure, that project on my family tree was fun, and I always liked my "journal-writing" assignments, but the thing that time-and-again brought on a load of anxiety after school was my math homework.

I spent many nights with my dad at our kitchen table working through question after question of long division and fractions. Unfortunately, these sessions often devolved into a mess of frustration and teary eyes. Math was tough for me, and though my dad was just trying to help, my patience and perseverance capabilities as a 9-year-old didn't leave much room for practicing math outside the school day. And so, like many other kids I'm sure, I often dreamed about what life might be like without homework...

Now, it appears some teachers and administrators in Canada may be having the same dream. According to CTV News, a Quebec elementary school is banishing homework for this school year.

"It's based on research that homework time is becoming more and more difficult," Marie-Eve Desrosiers, a spokeswoman for that school board said in the article. "Often children are away at daycare from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at night, and a lot of families are finding it increasingly difficult, and so we've decided to try this out at a school."

While teachers are still able to assign studying and reading, worksheets and packets are a thing of the past—for now. The ban is just in a trial run for this school year.

Other schools, including some in the U.S., have also decided to do away with traditional "homework" over the past few years. Some have mentioned the stricter Common Core standards in the classroom as a reason to give students more freedom out of the classroom, one Maryland school principal told Today.

This debate has been going on for several years, with the pro-homework side advocating a "use-it-or-lose-it" mindset and the anti-homework side arguing that kids are too busy with extra-curriculars, homework interferes with family time, and that it puts children from a low-income background at a disadvantage because they often lack the resources to do their homework that a child coming from a higher income level might have, according to John Buell and Etta Kralovec's book, "The End of Homework."

"The research is very clear that there's no benefit at the elementary school level," Kralovec said about the school in Montreal, according to CTV.

What do you think? Do you feel like your child gets too much homework? And if you need a little help, check out our readers' best tips for homework success with your kids.

Photo of planner courtesy of Shutterstock.