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A Teacher Sent A Letter Home To Parents To Tell Them She Was Banning Homework—'Play Outside & Get Your Child To Bed Early'

Photo: Facebook
Texas teacher Brandy Young, no homework policy letter

In 2016, a teacher in Texas made headlines for her unique approach to homework — or lack thereof.

Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher at Godley Elementary School in the suburbs of Forth Worth and Dallas, decided her students had more than enough on their plates without having to worry about the burden of school outside of school hours.

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The teacher enforced a ‘no homework’ policy in her classroom. 

A second-grade class was fortunate enough to have Brandy Young as their teacher because not only is she dedicated to her students inside the classroom, but she also supports their downtime and well-being even after class is dismissed. 

The teacher sent a letter home with parents on the school’s “Meet the Teacher Night” ahead of the school year that detailed her classroom expectations. Upon reading the letter, many students and even their parents were thrilled to learn that Young would be introducing a “no homework policy” in her classroom. 

Having given out homework assignments to students in the past, she came to the important realization that it did more harm than good for students who were already burnt out after a long day of school and forced to do even more work during their downtime. 

One pleased mother shared an image of the letter in a now-deleted Facebook post. 

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“After much research this summer, I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day,” the letter reads. “There will be no formally assigned homework this year.” 

Young argues that her research has been “unable to prove that homework improves student performance.” And Young is correct, research has been finding this same conclusion for decades. A 1989 study conducted by Duke University found that there was no correlation between homework and academic achievement in elementary school students. 

Instead, Young advises her students to engage in other activities once they get home. “I ask you to spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success,” she writes. “Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.” 

“Brooke is loving her new teacher already!” the mother who originally posted the letter shared of her daughter in Young’s class. 

Young hopes that her policy will have a profound impact on her students. “[Students] work hard all day. When they go home they have other things they need to learn there,” she told CBS News. “I’m trying to develop their whole person; it’s not beneficial to go home and do pencil and paper work.” 

Young, who is a parent herself, claims that her district’s superintendent inspired her new policy. “Our superintendent really encouraged us to be innovators,” she shared. “Whether or not it’s popular, I just wanted to see if it would work. You can’t know if it’s gonna work unless you try it.” 

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The teacher may be on to something with her new homework rule. Less homework or no homework at all has multiple positive effects on students, including reduced stress, improved sleep, more time spent with family and engaging in social activities, and enhanced learning skills in the classroom. 

Not being burnt out by homework assignments improves rather than harms student development. Young is hoping to get her message across to teachers everywhere. Some in her own district have even considered adopting her no-homework policy. 

“For any teacher considering anything that might benefit their students I say go for it,” she encourages them. “If something doesn’t work, change it.” 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.