Back To School: Homework Ban, Anyone?

Back To School: Homework Ban, Anyone?
25 August 2016

Look. Teachers do an amazing job. I wouldn't last five seconds in a classroom full of other people's children, and I don't want to fuel the whole 'them and us' mentality that seems to develop between teachers and parents. That helps no-one.


A teacher in Texas has basically won the hearts of parents everywhere by banning homework.

I think I love her.

One of the parents of a child in teacher Brandy Young's class shared a picture on Facebook of a letter which Ms Young sent home at the start of the school year.

It read:

"After much research this summer, I am trying something new,' the letter reads. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year."

She added:

"Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early."

Now I understand the case for giving kids homework and I get that banning it in favour of family time only really 'works' for those kids whose families do things like reading together or having a family meal – and that's not every child.

But even if you see the value of setting homework for children - it teaches them how to work independently and can consolidate what's learned in the classroom setting - I just love that a teacher is willing to try something new and keep an open mind about the results.

One of the things that frustrates me as a parent is the sense that school life is a treadmill and my kids just plod the same path year after year. Things rarely seem to change, be that the school dinner menu or the topic and homework plans from one year group to the next.

So, yes, I wholeheartedly welcome the idea of abolishing homework in favour of something that might better impact on a child's overall wellbeing and academic progress.

But what's your view? How would you feel if your child's teacher sent home a note like this at the start of the school year?

Would you celebrate the homework ban or do you think it's important that kids are given homework? Leave us a comment below or join the debate over on our Facebook page.


  • Jayne T.

    How patronising!

    • Louise M.

      My thoughts exactly, always someone trying to be a hero lol

    • Helen H.

      There is always someone easily offended :joy:

    • Kerry D.

      Not patronising at all in this day and age when unfortunately not enough families bother to do those things!

  • Lindsay G.

    This is in America surely?

  • Rebecca T.

    We do that every night. But not easy for everyone what if you work nights or one of you works aways.

  • Karen R.

    This note says to me: here is the work your child didn't finish during the day because your child is not getting the support they need at school :cry:

  • Laura S.

    Would love it if my kids school did this.

  • Emmanuell A.

    Finally some common sense! Well done!

  • Amy S.

    Need more of this! Xx

  • Jo S.

    I think it's fab idea not to have any homework in primary school or not as much-1 piece and a school book to read maybe? My 7 year old needs to read 3 times a week, 3 pieces of homework a week plus 5 pieces of project homework a term which are topic related and usually includes junk model building, researching in library, writing stories/letters etc. My 12 year old gets maybe 1 piece every fortnight which usually takes no more than 20 mins! If your working and have other kids it's hard work fitting it all in, I dunno how those with a houseful cope cos I struggle working part time with 3 kids. But doing homework together does encourage you to make the time to sit together so for some families it's a nice excuse to chill for a while.

    • Annie S.

      It's ridiculous the amount of homework my daughter gets. She's 9 and gets 3 times as much each week as my 14 year old step son gets! I don't mind sitting with her to do her homework just not so much when it takes so long!

  • Chenice P.


  • Emma B.

    Brillant idea the homework that my daughter comes home with she some times she hasnt even done it a school we all hate homework :joy::joy:

    • Annie S.

      We're the same, the number of times my daughter complains she doesn't understand the homework because they haven't covered it at school and I then have to try and explain it to her, easier said than done sometimes when I know it but not always sure how to explain it in a way she will get it!

  • Gemma C.

    what do you guys reckon?

  • Sharon S.

    I believe we have at least 2 teachers at our that don't believe in homework!

  • Maria W.

    I think its a good idea , the amount of times my son has been in tears cause they have set homework he has not learned in class , and his nan does not always undestand it , plus with my shift patten s im not always there to help him

  • Joanna H.

    Fine if families actually spend the time together

  • Alison B.

    Fab idea I am a very busy mum of 4. I have two at school and find finding time for homework really difficult. My husband is a HGV driver and sometimes works till late so I am on my own. To try dot down one at at time and do homework is difficult with two toddlers running around. This along with out of school activities (one does dancing one has pony) looking after our two family ponies and getting ready to go out to work (I am a bank health care support worker for NHS so can be working night shift or coming home at tea time from work). The amount of homework some weeks is ridiculous. Reading is fair enough we do that at bedtime. I do agree with them having to do any work they have not finished in school however

  • Jane D.

    Family time is precious x

  • Nicola H.

    Wow! Absolutely fantastic! If only every school would do this...

  • Danielle-Natasha C.

    Works in Denmark!

  • Siobhan M.

    I have to admit last year my daughter didn't have that much to do. She would get 2 books a week but they were never very long. 1 A4 sheet of maths and 1 activity of spelling. For the week! She got them all on a Tuesday and had to hand them in the following Monday, she got to chose when and what she did. Most of the time she would sit do it all in 1 night then have the rest of the week off. It would maybe take her 40 min- an hr depending on how much attention she was paying. That was primary 3. Not had any yet since she started back primary 4.

  • Jo-Ann M.

    Nooo, we love homework!

  • Kerry D.

    Fantastic idea!

  • Margaret B.

    I know some kids who would love this

  • Joanne B.

    No thanks I like homework allows me to see what they are doing even if it is just a book or a small page doesn't need to be loads.

  • Denise S.

    Parents are so busy working they need family time not homework time well said x

    • Kirstin S.

      How is reinforcing what a child has learnt at school not family time? How is helping a child not family time, how is sitting down with a child and helping them understand something family time? How is helping a child develope not family time?

      I'm so confused by all these comments. What I'm getting from them is that people don't want to have to come home from work and have to think.

    • Denise S.

      Because kids need fun family time too not homework that that takes up precious time

  • Kevin C.

    Homework threatens the teachers job by dumping it on to the parents at night to teach . We pay you to teach !! If we ( the parents ) have to do it we don't really need teachers now do we??

    • Elaine H.

      Homework is consolidation of work they are learning and the opportunity for perhaps further/deeper research or learning. No parent is asked to teach their child homework

    • Kevin C.

      Elaine Haldane you theory is not the reality just the intention . After raising 4 kids over 30 years I have spent many many hours over the years helping kids with useless homework !! And so have most parents I have talked to about this . Most parents get less time with their own kids than they like to have. It creates a huge amount of family tension and is just not worth the grief!! Non time constrained homework I'm all for !! Like a book they can read before bed at their leisure ..

    • Adam L.

      The vast majority of educational research demonstrates that homework has no positive effect on achievement or progress until around the age of 14. Most schools set homework because it is what parents expect.

  • Nikki R.

    Great idea!! After 6 hours at school I think kids should be able to come home relax have their dinner and play like kids! Mine go to bed at 7 on a school night by time you get home about 4 sort them out do dinner doesn't leave much time anyway!!!

  • Emma E.

    Would be more than happy with this!

  • Melanie T.

    This will only help the families who actually care about their kids. There are loads of families who don't bother with their homework and won't bother spending quality time together

  • Rebecca B.

    It's important to practise spellings and to read at home.

  • Rebekah C.

    Brilliant. At ladt-some common sense!

  • Jo D.

    Unfortunately banning won't necessarily bring more family time in some households !

  • Tina C.

    When I went to high school I had homework to do but I never had homework from primary school ...what's that all about? They are still kids let them have fun and be kids while they are still young, kids are growing up way to fast these days as it is

  • Helen M.

    I love this!! Home time is for reading, playing and family.

  • Trevor H.

    Love it no homework for grandad :books::thumbsup:

  • Ruth D.

    My children in the 70s and 80s brought home books to read and flash cards and things like that never called it homework. It didn't do them any harm and there was plenty time for play.

    • Victoria C.

      Yeah ok but it's not just reading and word cards now tho. They get so much it's stupid and one of mine is in year one and she gets as much as older one

    • Ruth D.

      None of my neighbours seem to mention this, but my grandson just started school last week so will be interesting for me to find out. Thanks for the info. The parents were asked to scrap any extra curricular activities I think at night until they got into the routine. The reason I think is because they get soo tired.

  • Victoria G.

    Yay I can play with my kids or bake or sculpt. My boys are so tired when they get home. By time they have eaten then done homework it's bed time and we don't get to have fun . Feel sorry for kids who get it every night. Spend 6+ hours at school to theb do more on a night and weekend

  • Rachel M.

    If only teachers in the UK had the power/authority to assert a no homework policy! (Or any kind of independent idea.) Dream on, lol! I love this. But teachers here just have to do what they're told, including dishing out homework when you disagree with it.

  • Chris U.

    Great idea imo. Hated nothing more than homework when I was a kid.

  • feef

    I think our kids spend long enough at school during the day, without having extra work once home. I mean 9-3.30 Monday to Friday (longer at secondary) they put in a longer day than some adults!  I'm not a great believer in too much homework but parents have to take some responsibility for continuing forms of education at home, even if this is just reading a story book before bed or helping to count out how many apples you want at the supermarket. 

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