Design Thinking

Holidays Are For Families, Not Homework

Today’s memory on my Facebook feed was an article I shared a few years ago. Since winter break is coming up, it’s a good time to share it again.

The Tyranny of Homework: 20 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Assign Homework Over The Holidays

No time to read a long article? Here’s the Cliffs Notes version:

Stop assigning homework over vacations, and let students enjoy time with family and friends. And while they are enjoying time with family and friends, you do the same.

The packets, the grading, the reading logs – those aren’t building lifelong memories, but baking cookies together, or going for a bike ride with friends, does.


  • Tom Mullaney – Tom Mullaney is the Digital Learning Coach at Carroll Middle School in Raleigh, NC. He is dedicated to making school engaging for students and sustainable for teachers. Tom’s public education experience includes Special Education, Social Studies, educational technology coaching, and digital design in New York, Pennsylvania, California, and North Carolina. He is a Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer who has spoken at national conferences including SXSW EDU, the National Council for the Social Studies, and ISTE. Tom contributes to the BamRadio Network EdWords blog. Watch Tom’s YouTube videos on Google for Education’s First Day of Jamboard website and use his TED-Ed lesson to teach your students about the French Revolution. Contact him on Twitter, @TomEMullaney or via e-mail,


    Hi Laura, I could not agree more. We need to honor our students’ family lives and childhood in general. Thank you for advocating for children!

    • Laura Spencer – San Diego, CA – I've been teaching since I was old enough to speak! Former high/middle school English and Yearbook teacher, I am now an edu administrator focused on transformative learning experiences for students and teachers. In my (not so) spare time, I also teach college courses on learning design, Ed Tech, and educational pedagogy.


      Thanks for the support Tom! I agree that we need to honor family. My daughter goes to school until 3pm every day. I get home after 5pm. She then has sports practice from 7-9pm. Factor in dinner, shower, etc and we have maybe an hour together, but it’s consumed by homework. And honestly, most of the time that homework is busy work and really didn’t need to be completed.

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