The school has been doing this for three years now with the focus on 'Gratitude' last year. After witnessing overwhelming success, they decided to theme it around 'Kindness' this time around. Kindness is better than homework around the holidays, anyway!
Come December, there is magic in the air. We are all wrapped with feelings of love, togetherness, kindness, and celebration. It is also the giving season where we all take time off our busy schedules to give it to our family and friends, and not the forget the present exchange! This is probably why an elementary school in Ireland decided to stop giving their students homework this December and assigned 'acts of kindness' instead. In the weeks leading up to the holidays, kids at Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin, Clonakilty have been given a kindness task for each weekday, according to The Irish Post.
On Mondays, the students have to reach out and communicate with an elderly person. Tuesdays, they take over a chore or help out without being asked, and make their parents' lives easier. Wednesdays are for random acts of kindness to anyone they want to help, and Thursdays are for doing something kind for themselves to take care of their own mental and emotional well-being. Students must keep a note of their kind deeds in their Kindness Diary.
Furthermore, the school has also created a kindness bucket where students can write down and deposit positive observations and affirmations to boost the self-esteem of their schoolmates. On Friday, a random selection of the notes are made and then read aloud for everyone to hear. In addition, each class will cooperate in a collective act of kindness for the community based on the students' own brainstorming as a team. Now, this truly is the holiday spirit.
According to a Facebook post by the school, they have been doing this for the past three years. Last year, the focus was on Gratitude, which resulted in "overwhelming success and positivity." Vice Principal Íde Ní Mhuirí wrote in the post: "We are encouraging our pupils to think of the real spirit of Christmas, the spirit of kindness and giving. With such an emphasis on the materialistic and commercial aspect of Christmas, we often tend to overlook what it's really all about...Goodwill!
"Unfortunately not everyone is in a position to be able to enjoy Christmas, some are lonely, some are sad, some might yearn for what they do not have and some might simply not enjoy the festivities. But there is nobody in this world who wouldn't benefit from an act of kindness, and the joy of kindness is that it costs nothing." This seems like something schools across the world could pick up on and share the joy with everyone during the holidays.
The school noted on Facebook: "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. We all know that helping others makes us feel good about ourselves. What's not to love about that?!? That feel-good factor we experience form helping others cannot be quantified. 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." It's always a good idea to have more kindness and less homework during the holiday season, isn't it?