Parents

Teacher gets rid of homework; see her message to parents

It's the letter from a teacher that's been read around the world, leaving many parents wishing their own children were in Brandy Young's second grade class.

"After much research this summer, I am trying something new," Young wrote in her note to parents. "There will be no formally assigned homework this year... rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early."

Samantha Gallagher
Samantha Gallagher posted Brandy Young's letter to parents to Facebook, praising the teacher for her "no homework" policy.

Samantha Gallagher considers herself lucky that her daughter, Brooke, is in Young's class. Gallagher shared the parent letter in a Facebook post last week, saying, "Brooke is loving her new teacher already!"

The post has been shared more than 70,000 times, with parents from all over the world commenting that they, too, wish their children's teachers would follow suit and put an end to evening homework.

"We are very familiar with spending exorbitant amounts of time on homework on school nights, and I just knew this would alleviate a lot of weeknight stress," Gallagher told TODAY Parents. "The fact that the post has been shared tens of thousands of times by people in countries all over the world tells you that this is indeed a universal issue."

Samantha Gallagher
Brooke Gallagher with her new second grade teacher, Brandy Young.

RELATED: Here’s why I said no to homework for my elementary-aged kids

Young, who teaches at Godley Elementary School in Texas, has a 3-year-old son of her own. While her son is in preschool and does not yet have formal homework assignments, Young says she and her husband, Klint, spend a great deal of time reading to their son and encouraging his love of books, something she hopes the parents of her second graders will also do with their newfound free time.

Samantha Gallagher
Samantha Gallagher with daughter, Brooke.

"Being that I teach younger elementary students, my focus was on what was most beneficial for them," said Young. "Homework has a place, as long as it's meaningful, engaging and relevant. The weekly homework packet I have given in the past was not fitting that criteria."

RELATED: Too much homework? Study shows elementary kids get 3 times more than they should

Young credits the administration at the school for trusting their teachers and allowing them to make adjustments to their curriculum as necessary.

"The students obviously love the policy; however they understand that doing away with the weekly homework packet is not an excuse to end learning outside of the classroom," said Young. "I hope that my students spend the extra time with their families, developing their whole person and becoming happy, healthy and balanced individuals."

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Welcome to the school where kids have recess 4 times a day

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Welcome to the school where kids have recess 4 times a day

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Heather Shumaker is author of "It's OK to Go Up the Slide... Renegade Rules for Raising Confident and Creative Kids." Shumaker says she knows of many teachers who, like Young, have made the decision to eliminate homework.

"When we push homework on elementary kids, too often it leads to stress and conflict between families," said Shumaker, adding that homework better serves older kids who don't benefit as greatly from time to move their bodies and give their minds a break after school.

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"It's so encouraging to see teachers speak out like this," Shumaker continued. "She gets the points exactly right — research does show that elementary aged kids need play outside, early beds, and time together as a family. Those fundamental rights are getting squeezed out of too many kids' days."

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