At the Waldorf School of Baltimore, students are assigned homework beginning only in the middle of third grade. Even then, the work is designed so that it usually requires only minutes to complete. As our students progress through the grades, the workload gradually increases. This reflects one of the important tenants of Waldorf Education – that the curriculum has to be developmentally appropriate. In other words, that it should match the developmental stage of the students. Indeed, a rich body of research suggests homework might benefit older students, and, even then, that there is no strong evidence that homework improves academic achievement (as discussed in this article from the Center for Public Education).
The topic of Homework in general, and its place in Waldorf Education in particular, was recently explored in this newspaper article. The blog entry from JHU’s School of Education is also relevant and interesting.