USA, no homework but 20 minutes of reading with mom and dad

USA, no homework but 20 minutes of reading with mom and dad

In a Florida county, children will be able to say goodbye to homework, replacing them with 20-minute reading sessions a day

Primary schools without homework. It happens in Marion County, Florida, where teachers and parents have decided to experiment, starting from the next academic year, a new method to improve the academic performance of young students.

The idea came to Heidi Maier, who since November has taken the position of superintendent of the elementary schools in the district. The goal is to bring about a significant change that will involve parents and teachers of young pupils. In practice, children will be able to say goodbye to homework, which mom and dad will replace with 20-minute reading sessions a day. The student himself will choose the book to read.

The measure is inspired by a 2006 research, conducted at Duke University by the professor of Psychology, Harris Cooper, which has shown that elementary school students who regularly perform homework do not perform better at school. Conversely, reading a book aloud can get higher marks in school.

Furthermore, according to the study, a healthy daily reading, carried out with mom and dad, helps to strengthen the bond between children and parents. The measure that will be adopted by schools in Marion County, Florida, has also thought of children who do not have adults who can help them, who can count on the help of volunteers and audio books. Teachers and school libraries will also be encouraged to participate in the program which will replace homework with reading. Those who prefer to follow the classic method, assigning traditional tasks, will be able to organize for their young students elementary projects that stimulate imagination and creativity.

For some time now, parents, teachers and pedagogists have been wondering about the usefulness of homework for elementary school children. Almost everyone agrees on the need not to overload students with extra-curricular work, while for the most part the tasks should be abolished, because they are harmful and of no use for learning.

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