Chances are you invested a lot of time on homework during your school years—but what if instead of spending your evenings memorizing multiplications, you could have spent them doing good deeds for your community? That’s the idea behind an initiative led by Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin, an elementary school in Clonakilty, Ireland. During the month of December 2019, teachers decided to ditch all homework and assign kids “acts of kindness” instead.
This isn’t the first time Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin has implemented the brilliant idea. According to a Facebook post from the school, the students have been doing similar activities in December for three years running. The post reads, “Building on the overwhelming success and positivity of last year’s ‘Dialann Buíochais' (Gratitude Diaries), when children and their families documented the small things they were grateful for in their lives, this year they are asked to take a proactive approach and undertake little acts of kindness that could make a big difference in somebody’s life.”
On the weeks leading up to the end of 2019, kids at the school were tasked with a different act of kindness for each day of the week. On Mondays, they were asked to reach out to an elderly person, on Tuesday they were tasked with helping parents with house chores, Wednesdays were for any random act of kindness, and on Thursday, children were encouraged to do something for themselves, as an act of self-love. Kids kept a “Kindness Diary” to document their experiences, and the school also created a “Kindness Bucket,” where students deposited notes to boost the self-esteem of their peers. On Friday mornings, the notes were read aloud for everyone to hear, as a way to help boost students’ self-esteem.
“In this world, consumed by social media, where our young people are constantly experiencing pressure, there is no better way to show them the way forward in the world than by practicing kindness,” say the school. “We all know that helping others makes us feel good about ourselves…. What’s not to love about that?!?”
Like this idea? Why not use part of your evening to do something kind, too.