Back to School: No homework policy helps local students feel more confident
No homework: It’s a child’s dream. They banned homework in some schools in Florida, and it’s reality for a local fourth grade classroom, too.
Researchers at Duke University say homework helps with academic success, but not for elementary-aged students.
Homework time at Beth Bomar’s house is like going into battle.
"It was a fight almost every night," says Bomar.
It was the same routine from kindergarten to third grade.
"It would be two hours to do something that could have easily been finished in 10 minutes," says Bomar. "That’s a drag on the family time in itself, because you know, as a mom, I’m trying to get the dinner going, get laundry folded and make sure everything is ready for the next day and instead. We’re sitting at the dinner table in tears."
Bomar says it all changed when her daughter, Allison Tabers, and step-son, Daniel Bomar, started fourth grade at Sharpe Elementary School.
"Their teachers tell us all at the same time, ‘We’re eliminating homework for the year,’" says Bomar. "The kids start cheering, the parents start cheering. We’re all really excited to know that part of our day wasn’t going to happen."
Allison and Daniel are in the same grade, but Bomar says they don’t learn the same way.
"We got to spend more time working on what he actually needed versus doing what was assigned, because that’s what the teacher said we had to do," says Bomar.
Abby Griffy is the instructional supervisor for Marshall County Schools.
"The problem with homework is probably with the quality of the homework," says Griffy. "You know, we’ve seen and heard the stories where ‘My child didn’t know how to do this and was sent home with this homework, and so they worked on this homework for an hour and did it wrong for an hour.’"
Griffy says then there are the students who’ve mastered the assignment and need a new challenge.
"I feel like that allowed Allison to flourish there, and then Daniel got to just enjoy school," says Bomar. "It was definitely a confidence booster, definitely."
Bomar says not having homework also opened up more free time with the family.
Instead of homework, Allison’s and Daniel’s teachers met with students one-on-one several times a week. Griffy says that helped keep the teachers updated on each student’s progress.