No More Homework!

No More Homework!

Medically reviewed in April 2021

I mean, best news ever, right? I have no doubt that it wasn’t just the students celebrating when Texas teacher Brandy Young told her second graders that they wouldn’t have homework this year—you know the parents were ecstatic. You would be, too.

But is it best for our kids? Should kids even have homework in the second grade? (Did you and I? I’ll deny it, but that was a long time ago.)

Is homework bad or good? 
Well, that depends. On the plus side, homework teaches responsibility and time discipline, and it’s a good way for kids to catch up on an area in which they’re struggling. On the downside, in some cases, homework can take a long time. And let’s be honest: if the homework is so difficult that a parent is doing the work, it’s not benefiting anyone. 

The bottom line? The sole act of completing homework isn’t what will set your child up for success; it’s how your child does homework and what else they do in their afternoon that will make a difference. 

What exactly makes the difference? Here’s what to do:

  • Prioritize homework: If your child does come home with homework, get it done early. Come home, have a quick snack and get the homework out of the way. 
  • Incorporate physical activity and, if possible, some free play. Structured club sports are a great way to get in physical activity and camaraderie, free play is also a great outlet. Both benefit their academic performance, from better grades, to concentration and attentiveness.
  • Allowing a child to read books they choose has been shown to correlate with school performance. In fact, 3rd grade reading proficiency is one of the most significant predictors of high school graduation and success in a career, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 
  • Do you sit down together at night for dinner? Some nights, I know that it’s just impossible, especially with working parents’ schedules. Eating family dinner together, even if that’s just three to four nights a week, teaches your child healthy food choices to prevent obesity, reduces eating disorders and even yields better social and emotional health. No time? Don’t underestimate the value of heating leftovers, using a slow cooker, or cooking and freezing on Sunday!
  • Kids—and parents—need their sleep. Having devices in their rooms impacts that. One study showed that kids who had a smartphone in their room fell asleep up to four hours later than those who kept phones out of the room. Have a plug-in place and time that’s outside of the bedroom and ends an hour or so before bedtime.

More On

Keep Out! Five Foods to Ban from Your Kid's Lunch Box

article

Keep Out! Five Foods to Ban from Your Kid's Lunch Box
More and more parents are reverting to packing lunches until school cafeterias clean up their junk-food acts -- but here's the catch: It's easy to sab...
Pediatric Emergencies: 6 Commandments of ER Care

article

Pediatric Emergencies: 6 Commandments of ER Care
1. Stay Calm. If you freak out, so will your child. 2. If your child is unresponsive, call 9-1-1 and do the "ABC" check: Check the Airway to make ...
Talking to Your Kids About Drugs and Alcohol

article

Talking to Your Kids About Drugs and Alcohol
Shocking fact: Approximately 20.3 million people in the United States are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, according to 2018 data from the Substance ...
6 Fast, Healthy Recipes for Frazzled Parents

article

6 Fast, Healthy Recipes for Frazzled Parents
"Knowing kids -- and parents -- need to eat healthy food is one thing. Getting them to do it is another. For starters, kids of all ages tend to hate a...
How to Help Your Child Handle Pain

article

How to Help Your Child Handle Pain
It's a bad idea to fib about or downplay the possibility of pain your child may experience when unpleasant tests or procedures need to be done. After ...