Despite the compelling data that homework takes away family time and has no advantages for students, children are still given piles of tasks to complete outside of school.
And despite data that small kindnesses can bring a positivity in a community, too many children are being bullied or bullying someone on a regular basis.
Maybe, this is one of the reasons why this Irish elementary school has decided to make a radical change- they implemented a no-homework-for-a-month of December and replaced it with acts of kindnesses for the children to make.
Act of Kindness Replaces Homework
In the weeks leading to the Christmas holidays, children from the Gaelscoil Mhichil Ui Choileain, Clonakilty were assigned a kindness task for every day of the week.
On Mondays, they were asked to reach out and communicate with an elderly person.
On Tuesdays, they helped make one of their family member’s lives easier by taking over their chores or helping them without being asked.
The Wednesdays were reserved for random kindnesses and on Thursdays, they would do something kind for themselves to nourish their mental and emotional well-being.
Each of the students kept track of their kindness acts in their Kindness Diary.
The school workers also created the Kindness Bucket where students can write down positive affirmations and observations to better each other’s self-esteem.
On Fridays, the randomly selected notes were read aloud so that everyone can hear them.
Kindness Isn’t New to this Elementary School in Ireland
On their Facebook page, the school writes that their students have been part of similar programs in December for the last three years.
Last year, their focus was gratitude and it resulted in success and positivity.
According to the Vice Principal of the school, they’re encouraging their students to think about the real spirit of Christmas- the spirit of giving and kindness.
Often times, with the emphasis on materialistic and commercial during the holidays, we have a tendency to forget what it’s all about- good will, explains the VP.
Sadly, not everyone can enjoy Christmas- some people are lonely, others are sad whereas some may yearn for something they don’t have.
However, there’s no one in the world that won’t benefit from a kindness and the joy of it is that it costs zero money.
Today, a lot of the problems our world is facing aren’t much because of low intelligence or knowledge, but rather a lack of common and shared values that will motivate us to care for each other.
We need to found things on human decency and kindness to create a better world for everyone. We totally agree! How amazing it would be if other schools also followed this or similar programs…