school without homework? yes!

the following two links describe, very briefly, what an elementary school, k-2, without homework looks like. i hope this gets wheels and rolls out in other cps schools. little kids. do. not. need. homework.

they need to be kids.

this is going down at hamilton elementary school.

from a parent:

School is back in full-swing and Ellis is enjoying first grade so far. We’re very lucky that his school has become the only school in Chicago to institute a PDF Homework policy for K-2. PDF means Play Time, Down Time, and Family Time. That’s it. No assigned homework. For more about the policy and the thinking behind it, check out our principal’s blog. Most of the response to the new policy that I’ve seen has been positive. However, in a few places, I’ve seen people express concern that without homework, our kids won’t be learning at home. I beg to differ. Kids are always learning. Just because they aren’t doing worksheets doesn’t mean they aren’t doing “homework.” Here’s what our homework looks like.

http://www.jenrothke.com/blog/our-homework

from the principal. 

I listened to the advice of Malachi Pancoast and took a lot of vacation time (21 days!) this summer. It allowed me time to be with my family, read and THINK. It was definitely my best summer ever.

My four year old daughter attends pre-school at Alexander Hamilton where I am principal and she loves school. As a principal and a parent, I hope that my daughter:

1) Never stops loving school

2) Reads for pleasure

3) Doesn’t grow up too fast

There is no doubt my perspective on education has changed slightly since my kids were born. It has also been nudged along by progressive educators and parents at Hamilton.  I spent much of my summer vacation reading the work of Madeline Levine atChallenge Success as well as other studies on homework for elementary students.

I have decided to implement a new K-2 homework policy at Hamilton this year. Homework will be PDF – Play time, down time, family time. That’s it. Our teachers will not assign homework to K-2 students.

Play time — be outside, play with legos, play dress up, dance, be a kid…

Down time – Decompress, read a book, be alone, draw, relax, screen time(?)…

Family time – spend time with your parents and siblings doing whatever your family does. Read to your parents, have them read to you, play a board game, have a family dinner, go to a museum, go for a walk…

http://principalgray.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/pdf-play-time-down-time-family-time/

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