A County Cork primary school has decided to do away with all homework for the whole month of December, instead replacing it with “acts of kindness.”

Instead of spending the dark winter evenings memorizing times tables or reciting the Modh Coinníollach, schoolchildren at Clonakilty’s Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin will spread the true meaning of Christmas by performing acts of kindness for friends, family, and the community.

Children have been given a task of kindness for every weekday in the weeks leading up to the holidays. They are asked to communicate with an elderly person on Mondays. They make life easier for a family member by taking over a chore or assisting without being asked on Tuesdays. Wednesdays are for any kind of random acts of kindness, and Thursdays are for doing something kind to take care of their own mental and emotional well-being.

It’s the third year in a row that the school has replaced homework with something unique— it was gratitude last year, where the children and their families recorded all the things they were grateful for in a Dialann Buíochas (Gratitude Diary).

The children were asked to document their acts of kindness in their Dialann Cineáltais (Kindness Diaries) this year, either in writing or in pictures.

And then, every class will put their heads together and come up with a class-wide project that can help the community during the seasons of Christmas-great!

Vice-Principal Íde Ní Mhuirí spoke through a post on Facebook about the idea behind the initiative, “We are encouraging our pupils to think of the real spirit of Christmas, the spirit of kindness and giving.”

Our message to the children is very simple, “They can be the reason somebody smiles today and they can definitely help make this world a better place for others and for themselves.”

How lovely. Less homework and more kindness all around, please and thank you.

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