The Value of Homework

While New Jersey’s public schools certainly want their children competitive in the 21st century global economy, they do not agree homework is the way to do it. If your child comes home with no homework from a Trenton or Woodbridge Township elementary school, it may be because the teacher or administration believes that quality time within your family is more valuable than a few extra lessons.

Principal Judith Martino sent a letter home to parents stressing the value of “strong interpersonal relationships” within the family and their role in the formation of pro-social bonds. She wrote that students need need to play, eat, and converse with loving family members on a daily basis. They need to do chores, converse within their family. learn values, and read alone or with family members. Parents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings can do much to improve a young child’s ability to read and write.

The administration now forbids teachers to assign projects due immediately on return from a school break. The same schools do not allow teachers to give tests directly after school breaks or on Mondays following long weekends. A secondary goal is to reduce the stress and pressure on New Jersey’s youngest students.

West-Windsor, Plainsboro, Princeton, and Hopewell schools have anounced similar homework-free breaks. They also deny teachers the right to test students or demand projects from students directly after a holiday. Though new to parents and grandparents, educators endlessly debate the best truly effective ways to prepare young students for the challenges in their future.

Woodbridge Township School District Superintendent Robert ZegaIf challenges parents to remember doing their own homework. How meaningful were your homework assignments? How often did you do without sleep in order to get them done? Did you ever feel compelled to lie to excuse your own missing or incomplete homework?

Parents and care givers have a responsibility to elementary school children to ensure that they use their out of school hours wisely, safely, and productively. The American Journal of Family Therapy also found that elementary school students subjected to daily homework assignments do not like school as much as others do, and they may be less confident.