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Irish school trades homework for acts of kindness


Oksana Mizina|Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 01/29/20

The policy helps children focus what is truly important in life.

A school in Ireland regularly adopts a radical approach to homework for at least one month over the Christmas period, as reported in Truth Theory. In fact, Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty has completely ditched homework in favor of their students taking the time to perform acts of kindness.

The idea is to highlight the need for kids to think of others and look after themselves — something lots of children might not think about in their day-to-day lives. It also helps children focus on the true meaning of the Christmas period, although it’s a policy that’s perfect for any time of the year. The initiative does have some structure for the children and teachers to follow:

  • On Mondays, for example, pupils need to reach out to an elderly member of their community and have a chat.
  • Tuesdays is dedicated to helping out around the house by doing at least one chore.
  • Wednesdays gives children the opportunity to participate in any random act of kindness of their choosing.
  • Thursdays is about self-care, with kids taking the time to be compassionate with themselves, or to look after their own mental or physical well-being.
  • There is also a Kindness Bucket” in the school in which pupils have added notes with affirmations and positive thoughts that are aimed at boosting the self-esteem of classmates. On Friday mornings a teacher will pick out some notes and read them out to the pupils.

The children are also encouraged to keep a kindness diary that details their kind acts, and to top it off, children also get to perform a joint act for the good of the community. After a little brainstorming, the pupils come together and build a project that they will carry out together.

The month of kindness has taken place in the school three times in the last few years, with the results having an impressive impact on the kids and the community. You can read more about the school and their wonderful approach to homework in this Facebook post. Now that is homework most parents could definitely get on board with!

Holding Bag

Read more:
8 Secret acts of kindness that anyone can do

Read more:
Your kid is right — homework is stupid

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