A second-grade teacher's unique homework policy is going viral.
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Horizon Organic

Back-to-school time has many parents rejoicing.  

‌No more paying for expensive summer camp, yippee! GIF via "Anchorman."‌

The one thing we don't love about this glorious time of year, though? Yup, you guessed it: homework.


And that's a bummer, because a lot of students these days are getting more and more homework — far more than the recommended amount, which is about 10 minutes per grade level.

That's led parents all over the country and world to write about how unpleasant it is to see their little ones stressing out over piles and piles of math problems, pulling late nights, and missing out on time that could be spent reading, playing outside, or hanging with the family.

Plus, we parents sometimes have to help answer questions about subjects we haven't studied in decades, which hurts our brains.

But one second-grade teacher from Texas wants to try something new with homework: not giving any.

Brandy Young kicked off the new school year with a note for her kids to pass on to their parents. When it made its way to social media, it quickly went viral:

‌‌

The note reads:

"Dear Parents,‌‌‌‌After much research this summer, I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year.‌‌‌‌Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. 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.‌‌‌‌Thanks,‌‌‌‌Mrs. Brandy Young"

Her note struck a powerful chord with parents everywhere.

So far, it's been shared nearly 70,000 times by moms and dads who are tired of playing "homework police" or just want a little more quality time with their kids at night.

Brandy Young is right: The research on the effectiveness of homework is a mixed bag, especially for kids as young as second grade.

That's not to say developing good study habits isn't important, especially as students graduate to much more difficult subjects like advanced math. Because it is!

But imagination, social skills, family bonding, and even just getting enough sleep are also important. It's nice to see a teacher who recognizes that a lot of different things go in to making a well-rounded kid.

Students "work hard all day. When they go home they have other things they need to learn there," Young told CBS News. "I'm trying to develop their whole person."

Educating our kids is a seriously important job, and there are a lot of different ways to get that job done right.

But it's not hard to see why people are getting excited about Young's approach: More reading and playtime for our kids and fewer brain-busting long division problems for us to help with.

That's a win-win.

Back-to-school time has many parents rejoicing.  

‌No more paying for expensive summer camp, yippee! GIF via "Anchorman."‌

The one thing we don't love about this glorious time of year, though? Yup, you guessed it: homework.

And that's a bummer, because a lot of students these days are getting more and more homework — far more than the recommended amount, which is about 10 minutes per grade level.

That's led parents all over the country and world to write about how unpleasant it is to see their little ones stressing out over piles and piles of math problems, pulling late nights, and missing out on time that could be spent reading, playing outside, or hanging with the family.

Plus, we parents sometimes have to help answer questions about subjects we haven't studied in decades, which hurts our brains.

But one second-grade teacher from Texas wants to try something new with homework: not giving any.

Brandy Young kicked off the new school year with a note for her kids to pass on to their parents. When it made its way to social media, it quickly went viral:

‌‌

The note reads:

"Dear Parents,‌‌‌‌After much research this summer, I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year.‌‌‌‌Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. 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.‌‌‌‌Thanks,‌‌‌‌Mrs. Brandy Young"

Her note struck a powerful chord with parents everywhere.

So far, it's been shared nearly 70,000 times by moms and dads who are tired of playing "homework police" or just want a little more quality time with their kids at night.

Brandy Young is right: The research on the effectiveness of homework is a mixed bag, especially for kids as young as second grade.

That's not to say developing good study habits isn't important, especially as students graduate to much more difficult subjects like advanced math. Because it is!

But imagination, social skills, family bonding, and even just getting enough sleep are also important. It's nice to see a teacher who recognizes that a lot of different things go in to making a well-rounded kid.

Students "work hard all day. When they go home they have other things they need to learn there," Young told CBS News. "I'm trying to develop their whole person."

Educating our kids is a seriously important job, and there are a lot of different ways to get that job done right.

But it's not hard to see why people are getting excited about Young's approach: More reading and playtime for our kids and fewer brain-busting long division problems for us to help with.

That's a win-win.

True

When Molly Reeser was a student at Michigan State University, she took a job mucking horse stalls to help pay for classes. While she was there, she met a 10-year-old girl named Casey, who was being treated for cancer, and — because both were animal lovers — they became fast friends.

Two years later, Casey died of cancer.

"Everyone at the barn wanted to do something to honor her memory," Molly remembers. A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but Molly knew that there was a bigger, more enduring way to do it.

"I saw firsthand how horses helped Casey and her family escape from the difficult and terrifying times they were enduring. I knew that there must be other families who could benefit from horses in the way she and her family had."

Molly approached the barn owners and asked if they would be open to letting her hold a one-day event. She wanted to bring pediatric cancer patients to the farm, where they could enjoy the horses and peaceful setting. They agreed, and with the help of her closest friends and the "emergency" credit card her parents had given her, Molly created her first Camp Casey. She worked with the local hospital where Casey had been a patient and invited 20 patients, their siblings and their parents.

The event was a huge success — and it was originally meant to be just that: a one-day thing. But, Molly says, "I believe Casey had other plans."

One week after the event, Molly received a letter from a five-year-old boy who had brain cancer. He had been at Camp Casey and said it was "the best day of his life."

"[After that], I knew that we had to pull it off again," Molly says. And they did. Every month for the next few years, they threw a Camp Casey. And when Molly graduated, she did the most terrifying thing she had ever done and told her parents that she would be waitressing for a year to see if it might be possible to turn Camp Casey into an actual nonprofit organization. That year of waitressing turned into six, but in the end she was able to pull it off: by 2010, Camp Casey became a non-profit with a paid staff.

"I am grateful for all the ways I've experienced good luck in my life and, therefore, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. It brings me tremendous joy to see people, animals, or things coming together to create goodness in a world that can often be filled with hardships."

Camp Casey serves 1500 children under the age of 18 each year in Michigan. "The organization looks different than when it started," Molly says. "We now operate four cost-free programs that bring accessible horseback riding and recreational services to children with cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses."

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