No more homework for some Quebec students

School supplies
Margoe Edwards/CJAD

The 339 students at College St. Ambroise, an elementary school in Saguenay, will be carrying lighter backpacks this year.

That's because management decided to stop assigning homework.

Commissioners at Jonquiere School Board thought long and hard before starting the experiment.

Spokesperson Marie-Eve Desrosiers, said "The reality of today's children has changed. Often they are already in daycare at 7 am and arrive later at home. The homework time was not pleasant for some families."

There will also be fewer lessons, class time will be reorganized so that children do not fall behind.

Most parents are pleased with the news. But others are skeptical and fear for the success of their children, especially those who have learning difficulties.

Meanwhile, management in collaboration with the school board, will make a full assessment at the end of the school year to determine if the pilot project was successful.

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  1. Mark posted on 08/30/2014 11:06 AM
    Great! Let's keep our children dumb. What a perfect opportunity to rename the school "The Robert Bourassa school for aspiring politicians."
  2. Brenda Henry posted on 08/30/2014 06:15 PM
    I agree with this concept. There should be enough time in a school day for students to complete all assigned work. Most of my former teaching colleagues kept their doors open at recess and lunch to assist students.

    The school library was always open and used by students at recess and lunch. Also, senior students who wish to assist teachers can earn a credit by volunteering in a classroom and earn a credit.

    Who enjoys homework battles?

    I am Brenda Henry, author of Jive Chalkin, a comedic memoir of teaching in public schools.
  3. Ronnie posted on 08/30/2014 10:33 PM
    Homework should not exist period. I agree with some reading but that's about it. Most "normal" adults do not bring "extra" work to finish at home. Why should our kids? Homework is a breeze for my 11 year old (Brainiac), but such a pain for my 7 year old who is totally drained after school. I'm a stay at home mom, we get home before 3pm and it's still a very unpleasant time of our day, can't even imagine what it is for families with 2 working parents!

    I agree with Jonquiere School Board, but I would agree with a tiny bit of work if my child did not finish a specific assignment.
  4. Chris Ford posted on 08/31/2014 02:35 PM
    An interesting idea. If you really want to make sure the kids in Quebec don't fall behind (in life), make sure that learning English is on the curriculum.
  5. Richard posted on 09/01/2014 08:53 AM
    We all had homework every night and we all managed to survive Now the everyone gets a trophy generation are having kid and they think little Johnny is special and should not be bothered with something so trivial as homework

    Learning takes practise and you need homework to practise what you learned that day

    fewer lessons, with class time will be reorganized so that children do not fall behind is penalizing the kids who don't fall behind
    1. Tim Williams posted on 09/01/2014 04:21 PM
      @Richard Yes, you had homework every night - and are you a genius? Nope. In fact your generation's academic ability is on average behind that of today's.

      What does this tell you...?
  6. Bruce posted on 09/01/2014 11:08 AM
    This is an imbecilic experiment. I am a university student and although I agree homework is a pain, it is also essential. Homework is given with the purpose that children put into practice what they have learned in class and ensures that they have retained the information and understood it. It also instills time management skills which are essential to everyday adult life. They learn how to balance extra curricular activities with their work load along with other tasks they may face. They learn to prioritize and focus on whats important. Just because you do not like the work or the thought of doing homework, does not mean it should be removed. You do not extract something from the curriculum because a few students find it unpleasant. Real life is not 9-5.
  7. Tim Williams posted on 09/01/2014 04:20 PM
    Just thought I'd point out to the ignorant naysayers: recent research is very much behind the idea of no homework. It has been implemented with success around the world - Quebec is by FAR not the first.

    The reasons behind the benefits are many. Key to this is the idea that unstructured play is of massive benefit to development, especially in areas of social integration and the development of curiosity... and subsequent, later, love of learning.

    Homework has ben repeatedly shown to have ZERO impact on academic grades or learning speed. Sound strange? Not really. There's a limit to what one can come to grips with in the average day; a limit which is greatly influenced by real neurobiological factors. You can't stuff infinite amounts of learning into someone by force.

    The naysayers might wish to read up before spouting off with ignorant, outdated myths.
  8. Drew posted on 09/02/2014 01:07 AM
    What the hell who needs homework anyways. Our school system is in a mess.
    School starts at 8:30 and finishes at 2:00. recess 30 minutes lunch 45 so the kids get 4 hours of school a day is that enough????? School should start at 9:00 and finish at 5:00 Homework is done in school between 4 and 5. Oh I forgot school teacher do not work that long but get 2 months off paid in the summer 2 weeks at Christmas a bunch of ped days ect ect.
    1. Think then talk posted on 09/02/2014 07:38 AM
      @Drew I can't believe what I'm seeing yes today's school system is a mess and bashing teaching is part if the problem. Teachers don't work that long ??? Teachers do not only work in the classroom, between planning, correcting, tutoring on their lunch breaks and participating in multiple committees in order for children to have extra curricular activities, most teachers I know have trouble keeping their personal lives a float because of their professional lives. On top of that these people spend 4 years in university to have average paying jobs because they love kids and care about giving children a fair education only to be blamed for every problem that occurs . Everyone wants to complain about the school system but no one wants to pay anymore taxes in order to fix things it's easier to blame teachers!
  9. Cat posted on 09/03/2014 04:00 PM
    Homework at high school? Yes. Homework at elementary school? No. It's not needed. My home country has higher achievement levels in education than in Canada and homework is never given during the equivalent of elementary school. Let children enjoy being children instead of swamping them with pointless exercises. If children aren't understanding concepts during the hours they spend at school then the schools need to look closer at the teaching methods. Children have plenty of years ahead of them to bring home homework as teenagers and uni students and then do overtime once they're working.
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