‘New Homework Policy’? Teacher’s ‘Dear Parents’ Letter Goes Viral, Promotes Family Time Over School Homework

What if a teacher enforced a new homework policy that eliminated the time-consuming burden of homework overall?

Essentially, it would be a school homework policy about not giving students any school homework. Even though it may seem like a far-fetched pipe dream, a “new homework policy” that removes excessive homework from the grade school equation went viral on social media on Sunday.

The homework policy is addressed within a letter allegedly addressed to parents by a woman named “Mrs. Brandy Young,” who very well could be the students’ teacher.

“After my research this summer, I am trying something new. 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.”

homework policy
(Photo Credit: Twitter & Reddit)

Mrs. Young continues her letter to parents about school homework (or the lack thereof) by alluding to research in reference to it. According to Young, “research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. “

Instead of allowing their children to spend countless hours week after week doing homework during the school year, Mrs. Brandy Young encourages families to use that time for other pursuits. Perhaps the running theme for most of her suggestions is the concept of spending quality time together as a family and making sure that the students get enough sleep.

“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.”

The now-viral photo of this teacher’s letter to parents about a new school homework policy is making waves on Twitter. It also became a trending post on Reddit on Sunday.

homework policy
(Photo Credit: Kamira/Shutterstock.com)

Does there need to be a real homework policy change occur across the board in all schools?

A November 2012 article published by the Washington Post focused on a study that concluded “no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school.” Other studies have shown that a moderate amount of homework does, however, benefit older students — such as middle school and high school students.

According to Edutopia, studies show that doing homework on a regular basis has its benefit for students – especially at a high school level. However, one study showed “decreased benefits for middle school students and little benefit for elementary students.”

The key to assigning homework, based on those studies, is to assign it in moderation instead of completely removing it from the student’s daily routine.

“While assigning homework may have academic benefits, it can also cut into important personal and family time… Assigning too much homework can result in poor performance… The goal shouldn’t be to eliminate homework, but to make it authentic, meaningful and engaging.”

Based on the report, a concept known as the “10-minute homework rule” was recommended by the National Education Association and National PTA.

“Jane Danbi Lin gets 60 minutes of homework; she is in 6th grade and that’s the 10 minute per grade rule,” I say.

— HannahBubbles00 (@HannahHeejung) November 8, 2015

This theory consists of 10 minutes of homework per grade level on a nightly basis. As the student progresses from elementary to high school, the 10-minute rule raises the bar of time allotted for homework each night progressively. For example, a first-grade student would have 10 minutes of homework while a fifth-grade student may have 50 minutes of homework to complete each night.

By applying this particular rule to all students, the highest amount of time spent on school homework each night would be two hours (or 120 minutes) for 12th-grade students.

The “new homework policy” photo may very well represent a pipe dream for teachers and parents alike that will never actually be enforced within all school boards and districts. However, at the very least, the now-viral photo will more than likely spark conversations and get people talking about the ongoing issue of assigning excessive homework to students of all ages.

[Image via Wave Break Media/Shutterstock.com]