Homework And Tests Stressing You Out? Consider Moving To Sweden!

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Photo Credit: Robert Course-Baker via Flickr CC 2.0

While an entire month free of homework or tests may sound too good to be true, that is precisely what the students at Sturenskolan School in Boden, Sweden were treated to in April. What’s more, if the results of the experiment prove encouraging, starting 2019, the middle schoolers will never have to worry about after-school work or tests, aside from the national examinations, which are mandatory for students across the country.

The school’s principal, Petronella Sirkka, who came up with the idea, told Swedish national public broadcaster SVT, “We are constantly receiving new reports that our children feel bad. And that’s because they have a very high-stress level all the time. This is our way of trying to reduce that stress.”

The educator says that while banning homework and tests sounds radical, it makes sense given the changes in curriculum and approach to education. While in the past students were primarily subjected to memorizing and regurgitating facts, learning today is all about reflection and analysis. As a result, it is often harder for kids, especially those with little support at home, to comprehend the material by themselves. Hence, it is only fair to grade them based on their class work.

Image Credit : statista.com/chart/3242/the-countries-where-kids-do-the-most-homework

Sirkka is not the only one who believes after-school work does not help students learn. In March 2018, the principal at École Elizabeth Ballantyne, an elementary school in Montreal, Canada, also decided to do away with homework. They hope parents will spend the extra time reading to their kids.

The debate over how much, if any, homework kids should be given is not new. In their 2006 book The Case Against Homework, authors Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish argue that while there is no proof of the benefits of homework, there is plenty of evidence of its adverse effects. A 2014 Stanford University study conducted on 4,000 students revealed that the daily stress of after-school work not only leads to decreased interaction with friends and family, but also results in sleeping disorders and physical ailments such as headaches.

Image Credit: Afterthemillennials.com

While the long-term impact of the recent decisions made by the two educators remains to be seen, the experiment has already proved successful in Finland. The Nordic country, which is at the forefront of education reform, has done away with homework, grades, and even teaching by subjects for many years. Yet, Finnish students always rank high in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests especially in math and science! Hopefully, it will only be a matter of time before US educators follow their lead and ban after-school work as well!

Resources: yahoo.com,sputnicknews.com, NPR.org

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642 Comments
  • ginnyweasly1
    ginnyweasly1Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 10:21 am
    I always get stressed about homework especially since I am a 5th grader! So much homework!
    • ginnyweasly1
      ginnyweasly1Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 10:17 am
      I have read that book and love it!
      • animereina2020
        animereina2020Friday, May 15, 2020 at 2:15 pm
        Did any of you read this book called The Homework Machine? The book is by Dan Gutman, and if you do have the book, then turn to page 19 and read Snikwad's Ten Commandments of Homework. It gives very good reasons why we shouldn't be doing homework, and I didn't want to post it in the comments because it might be a little TOO MUCH to write down.
        • bsc
          bscThursday, May 14, 2020 at 7:45 pm
          Interesting! I enjoy school, and I think homework is alright, but not my fav.
          • animereina2020
            animereina2020Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7:39 pm
            I would LOVE to live in Sweden! What I think is silly is that they give us work at home after we have been working hard for school for 8 hours! At my middle school, they don't do recess, and it made me mad. At least I don't have school anymore...but still! We work our tails off for 8 hours and they give us more work! It stresses me out, and makes me VERY mad. I want to live in Sweden now!
            • animereina2020
              animereina2020Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7:42 pm
              Me: Mom! I am going to move to Sweden! Mom: *rolls eyes* ok... Me: *Gets on a plane*Mom: 😱
            • augy
              augyMonday, April 6, 2020 at 9:02 pm
              I HATE HOMEWORK SOOOOOOOOO MUUCCCCHHHHH
              • lpsbrooklyn11
                lpsbrooklyn11Monday, March 30, 2020 at 8:04 pm
                LUCKY HAHAAHAHHA I'M GOING TO SWEDEN MUAHAHAHA LOL
                • shinebright
                  shinebrightTuesday, March 24, 2020 at 10:16 am
                  catching the next plane there...
                  • daniel28r8
                    daniel28r8Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 12:05 pm
                    I wish there was no homework
                    • namedame
                      namedameSunday, December 15, 2019 at 9:11 am
                      lol going right now