‘No-Homework Policy’ Of Texas Math Teacher Gets Mixed Reaction From Parents

'Kids need to be kids. Family time is what they need,' says Richelle Terry.

a child doing science homework
Casey Fleser / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0 Cropped and Resized)

'Kids need to be kids. Family time is what they need,' says Richelle Terry.

A Texas elementary math teacher has instituted a “no-homework policy” for her students, and not all parents are on board, Yahoo Lifestyle reports.

Richelle Terry says she got the idea to ditch assigning homework after seeing the toll it was taking on her own sons. Specifically, she says that the energetic lads just wanted to be kids — horsing around, playing outside, and doing kid stuff. Instead, she said, the family spent interminable hours pouring over homework assignments, and it took a toll on parent and child alike.

“We’re mad when we go to bed, we’re upset and defeated,” she said.

So when Terry got assigned to teach second and third grade math at Evadale Elementary School, she decided that there would be no homework. Her superiors have her back, saying that as long as the kids learn the assigned material, it doesn’t matter to them whether or not there’s homework. In fact, Terry claims that Evadale ISD Board of Trustees President Jim Love agrees with her, saying that “homework has outlived its usefulness.”

“He agrees with the whole thing and thinks that it’s going to be a great way to get kids excited to reach out about learning,” Terry says of her boss.

a young boy doing homework
  Randen Pederson / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Not every parent is convinced Terry’s on the right track, however.

Some Facebook users, for example, pointed out that kids who don’t have homework in elementary school are going to get quite a shock when they get to college.

“This is a great idea until they get top college and they haven’t learned to manage homework time into their lives, they’ll have no study skills. College is all ‘homework’ and lecture in class with the exception of science labs,” one Facebook user wrote.

Another accused Terry of mollycoddling the kids.

“Quit making excuses for them and be a real teacher. You can never climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket,” they wrote.

Others, however, agree that the time when kids aren’t at school and the parents aren’t at work should be family time.

“I like this concept because it takes the stress away, and they have an expert to ask questions of instead of having to rely on their parents who may or may not know the answers,” said another Facebook user.

Is Homework Going The Way Of The Model T?

Richelle Terry is not the only teacher to ditch homework. In fact, as Today reported in 2018, some whole districts are doing away with homework for a variety of reasons. Some point to its dubious effectiveness. Others point to the stress it puts on parents and kids alike. Others note that kids these days have so much else going on outside of school, such as dance classes or sports — that homework is just one other thing eating up family time.

However, old habits die hard, as they say, and teachers and schools that don’t assign homework remain in the minority.