DC area parents ask if students can opt out of homework

Should families in the D.C. region have the choice of opting out of homework?

It's a discussion happening among many parents in several private online chat groups.

Some parents told FOX 5's Ayesha Khan, they want more homework, others want less and some are bothered when they see their child struggle with an assignment.

Some parents with kids in 6th grade and above said, they are getting too much homework on top of already having a long day at school.

"When they come home, I don't think they should be burdened with extra supplemental work," said Aida Gizabi, who has three children, two of whom are enrolled with Arlington Public Schools.

"Children should be able to come home and feel a sense of relief and be able to just hang out and let lose."

Other parents with younger kids like in the second grade said, they don't want to push homework. They believe homework at this age is not shown to be helpful for learning and they don't want their child to hate school.

Some parents say for younger elementary school aged children, playing, or being outdoors and having family time is more beneficial than homework.

"I think that it's too much," said Dora Boullay, whose son attends Montgomery County Public Schools.

"They are giving too much to the kids, and they are not giving them enough time to do the homework. So like to write an essay, they're giving them like two days to do it and that's just not reasonable, and on top of that, they are not the only teacher."

Other parents argue leaving homework alone. Aimee Richardson, a mother in Arlington County said, educators should be trusted to do what's best for the students and that maybe, there should be some restrictions on how much homework is given.

"It's about habits," said Richardson, "we have these habits that we form at a young age and if we get into habit of doing homework even if it's not extensive, it becomes something that we do and then we get to middle school high school and college, if that's your choice, then that habit is formed and it's a constant."

"These are valuable lessons and they aren't always easy," said Graham Dersley, who has two daughters enrolled with MCPS.

"One concern that I have is just sort of the lowering of expectations, I don't really want to see that way now we're going to go from homework to no homework, grades to no grades test to no test and let's just let everybody be happy, like I just I don't think in the end that is going to serve them well when they get out of public schools and go into college."

Khan contacted a few D.C region school districts asking if families are allowed to opt out of homework.

In Arlington Public schools, some elementary schools have a no homework policy, except for 30 minutes of daily reading. There is no opt-out in their policy.

In MCPS, for grades K through 8, homework should be assigned three to five times a week and should be considered the rule rather than the exception to daily activity.

In Loudoun County Public Schools—as a general rule, students in grades 1 through 3 should spend no more than thirty minutes daily doing homework; kids in grades 4 through 5 should spend no more than sixty minutes doing homework.

"I do believe it's useful but right now it's not being applied properly I think it's being applied in a very clumsy way," said Boullay, "they're just throwing things out there."