No Homework!

I’ll admit it. My children attend a high-performing school district. We chose our neighborhood because of the strength of its local elementary school and the overall performance of the school district as a whole.

The experience, to date, has been quite interesting. At a recent parent/teacher night at the school, parents were jockeying for the right to talk to the special education teachers, believing there might be another educator or another source of learning for their children. It was of no concern to them that their children would never be classified as “special ed.” It appeared to be a resource available to the school, and they were going to take full advantage of it. These aren’t just involved parents, they are involved parents on steroids with the helicopters waiting in the parking lot.

So it was refreshing to get a note home from the superintendent declaring, “No Homework Nights.” For my kiddos, it is a evening almost as worthy as celebration as Christmas. It means more time playing outside. Some screen time on the iPad on a school night. A night the homework folder stays closed. And for the edu-wife, it is a day absent of the typical fights and struggles to get all the homework done, and done at the level of effort expected from the district.

The note itself, though, is worth sharing. So I do so below:

This year, XXX will be initiating four No Homework Nights.  While there is tremendous value in engaging in meaningful homework assignments that reinforce concepts and skills taught during the school day, there are times when we need to collectively have a break from the responsibilities of homework and enjoy time with family and friends.
The first No Homework Night will be held on October 22, 2014 . For planning purposes, this means that students would not have homework on this night, and no assignments, homework, reports, or tests scheduled for Friday, October 24, 2014. [October 23, 2014, is a professional development day for teachers and staff; there is no school for students.]
We believe No Homework Nights will have positive benefits for all of us. No Homework Nights give students a night off from preparing homework and projects and studying for tests. It also gives students an opportunity to spend time relaxing with family, enjoying outside activities, and attending XXX sporting events.
Moving ahead, here are the other dates for No Homework Nights in XXX: December 16, 2014; February 10, 2015; and May 8, 2015. Please mark your calendar for these dates!

While I’m thrilled that the school district recognizes the value of free time for our kids, should I be a little disturbed that we have only four No Homework Nights all school year? Particularly when there is weekend homework already assigned? Time will tell. All I know is that next Wednesday, it will be party time in the Eduflack house.

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