Elementary schoolchildren in one Florida school district are living every kid’s dream; the Marion County Public School District has banned homework for elementary school children under the premise that it’s a hindrance to actual learning.
According to the Washington Post, the superintendent of Marion County Public Schools, Heidi Maier, has unilaterally put an end to homework and instead, wants children to read for 20 minutes each night.
Maier said her decision was based on “solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students.”
The non-required 20 minutes of reading can be anything that students choose: reading on their own, or having a parent read to them.
Maier stated that students “would get help from teachers and school libraries. For those children who have no adult at home to help them read…volunteers, audiobooks and other resources will be made available.”
This removal of homework raises serious concerns about county officials meddling with teachers’ preferred teaching methods. Under the new policy, which affects 20,000 students in Marion County, teachers will be forced to adapt their teaching habits and work assignments. It also raises a serious concern regarding children’s first exposure to homework. It’s much easier to prep students for a middle school workload by easing them into homework during elementary school.
It remains to be seen what effect, if any, this action will have on Marion County’s young students. In the meantime, they may enjoy reading Dr. Seuss.