The school year is back in full swing which means one thing, bring on the homework. Or does it?

A movement encouraging those who teach between kindergarten and seventh grade to give their students remarkably less homework has slowly been making its way into New Jersey schools. With less homework being given, students are encouraged to place a higher focus on learning while at school but then use their free time for their passions, family time, and sleep.

Back in 2013, schools around the country began implementing a 30 minute limit for the loads of homework that students were sent home with each night. Then in 2015, teachers started issuing homework-free weekends.

However, the movement received a massive amount of attention when a teacher from Texas sent home a letter stating that she will be giving no homework to her students for the school year back in 2016.

Not only does this method give students more free time to put focus on other areas of their life, but takes away the feeling of just simply doing the homework to finish it as opposed to soaking in the information and actually learning.

Steven Issacs, who teaches a game design class in Basking Ridge explains that students are being given the freedom to find what their passions are and can spend their free time exploring projects that they are actually excited about.

"It's not about the learning, it's about finishing the homework, and that really bothers me," said Isaacs.

"When a kid has agency and is excited about something, there's a good chance when they come home they're going to continue working on that."

Of course, as students grow older, homework becomes a necessary part of advancing their education. A rule of thumb suggests that first graders should only be given ten minutes of homework. An additional ten minutes is then added each year. (2nd grade - 20 minutes; 3rd grade - 30 minutes etc.)

But it is important to keep in mind that the homework that is given is far from the sole factor in deciding a student's future.

My only question, where was this idea when I was growing up?

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