Imagine homework that doesn’t mean sitting and memorizing math facts and spelling words, but brings your family together in a meaningful way.
One Irish school has come up with a plan to do just this. Each December, students who attend the Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin school in Ireland forego traditional homework to focus on a month of kindness activities.
Each day of the week hosts a different activity for students to try to help them show kindness to their friends and family.
Mondays are for reaching out to an elderly family member or friend, with a phone call or Christmas card or a visit. Tuesdays are for helping their own parents, by taking on a chore to help mom and dad. Wednesdays are random acts of kindness to their friends or classmates, and Thursdays are to take time to do something kind for themselves, promoting self-care.
The students keep a record of their actions in a “Kindness Journal,” and can add observations about their classmates’ acts of kindness to a school wide “Kindness Bucket.” Each Friday, an assembly is held and some of these observations are shared with the whole school, to help share how much kindness matters.
Each class also works together on a larger act of kindness that they can use to make the holiday season brighter for those in their community and students can see the impact of their actions on others.
The kindness homework is a school tradition for the last several years with positive results.
The Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin school shares, “We are very grateful to the parents in our school who have embraced our mental health, gratitude, fitness and exercise initiatives thus far. It is with their continued support that we can hope to make páistí na scoile kind-hearted, proud, happy and well-rounded citizens and equip them with those life skills that shape their being, long after they have left school.”
This shared program helps the students develop empathy and a community spirit, wouldn’t it be wonderful to see other schools adopt this idea?
I personally think this is a fantastic idea and if you do too, check out our Free Printable Random Acts of Kindness Cards.