Canadian Parents Win Homework Battle


homework-sm250That headline might be a little misleading.  The parents in question didn’t win the battle with their children over doing their daily homework.  No, these parents went to court to have their children declared legally exempt from being assigned homework in the first place.

Sherri and Tom Milley are lawyers in Calgary, Alberta.  After years of doing daily battle with their oldest son over his reluctance to do homework, they had had enough. When their two younger children, Spencer, 11, and Brittany, 10, began giving them similar fits over homework, the Milley’s decided to do something about it.  

After researching studies on the benefits of homework, Sherri Milley determined that there were none.   Her research revealed that in the younger grades, no clear link between homework and school performance exists.  Armed with that information, she began working with the staff at St. Brigid Elementary Junior High School to revise the homework policy.  When nothing changed, she and her husband put on their lawyer hats.

After two years of negotiations, they came up with what they call a Differentiated Homework Plan.  In essence, as long as their children keep their grades up, get their classwork done and practice their musical instruments and read daily, they will not be assigned homework.

As the parent of a third-grader, I am not sure what to make of this.  While my own child does well in school and I am certain she learns nothing she doesn’t already know by doing homework, I still think it’s a good idea.  If nothing else, it teaches her responsibility and prepares her for the higher grades, not to mention college, where more work will be done outside of the classroom.  However, I know that some teachers go overboard with homework and I can see where that could place an unnecessary burden on parents and students.

How do you feel about the homework your child brings home?

Photo: apdk/Flickr