NY district's monthly homework-free school day is a hit

Some students say homework is boring and research has shown it may not be as helpful for younger students as educators hype it up to be. East Quogue is the latest Long Island school district to amend its homework policy.

Students in kindergarten through 6th grade get no homework on the first Wednesday of every month. These are called Family First Wednesdays.

"We do suggest the children make some time for reading but there's no formal expectation for homework that night for the children," said Robert Long, superintendent and principal for the East Quogue School District. 

"They get done what they need to get done in class and it's a good opportunity to bring back true family values," said Janet Fratello, a parent who believes the night off gives kids time to decompress. 

Last year, the Long Beach School District in Nassau County announced a no-traditional-homework policy for its elementary schools.

Hofstra University professor of education Alan Singer wouldn't be surprised if other schools adopt similar ideas. 

"Young children need to develop creativity and social skills," Singer said. "These come from playing and interaction with people, not rote homework assignments."

While advocacy groups that support homework believe it is a way to track students' progress, Family First Wednesdays have worked out so well in East Quogue that the local Board of Education just brought up the idea of a second homework-free school day.

"I honestly received nothing by positive feedback from my families, from my community and my teaching staff," Long said. "Given the success—that's what's caused us to look into a second day." 

Students we spoke to give the initiative an A+. 

"I just like a little homework so I can get a little smarter," said one student.

"I could spend time with my family, hang out with my brother and my parents," said another. "It's really good."