Homework battles have raged for decades, with many parents claiming that the demerits are more than the merits. While it is seen as an integral part of learning, stakeholders say it puts too much pressure on kids.
Author and blogger Bunmi Laditan, who lives in Quebec, Canada earlier in the week, shared a screenshot of an email she sent to her 10-year daughter’s teachers on Facebook over what she described as stressful and unnecessary homework.
She shared the image above and wrote:
My kid is done with homework. I just sent an email to her school letting her know she’s all done. I said “drastically reduce” but I was trying to be polite because she’s finished.
My 10-year-old loves learning. She independently reads 10-12 chapter books a year and regularly researches topics that interest her (right now she’s writing a story about wolves). She takes coding classes, loves painting, and likes something called Roblox that I don’t fully understand. But over the past four years I’ve noticed her getting more and more stressed when it comes to school. And by stressed I mean chest pains, waking up early, and dreading school in general.
She’s in school from 8:15am-4pm daily so someone please explain to me why she should have 2-3 hours of homework to do every night?
How does homework until 6:30, then dinner, then an hour to relax (or finish the homework) before bed make any sense at all?
Is family time not important? Is time spent just being a child relaxing at home not important? Or should she become some kind of junior workaholic at 10 years old?
Did you know that in Finland homework is banned? And that they have the highest rate of college bound students in all of Europe? Children do not need hours of homework time to succeed yet we act like sitting at a kitchen table after a full day at school somehow makes sense. It does not. IT DOES NOT. IT. DOES. NOT.
Children need downtime after school the same way adults need downtime after work. They need to play with their siblings. They need to bond with their parents in a relaxed atmosphere, not one where everyone is stressed about fractions because – SURPRISE- I’m not a teacher. Children need time to just enjoy their childhoods or is that just for the weekends (although we do homework on Sundays also).
My kid is all done with homework. If the school wants to punish her for it, then I guess I’ll have to figure out how to homeschool. I’m very nervous about it because although I work from home, I do work. I also have a 3-year-old who only goes to preschool two mornings a week. And a 7-year-old in second grade. I’ll have to hire a tutor to help me and will need to find a group of parents doing the same thing, but I have no choice at this point.
We all want our children to grow up and succeed in the world. While I believe in education, I don’t believe for one second that academics should consume a child’s life. I don’t care if she goes to Harvard one day. I just want her to be intelligent, well-rounded, kind, inspired, charitable, spiritual and have balance in her life. I want her to be mentally and emotionally healthy. I want her to know that work is not life, it’s part of life. Work will not fulfill you. It will not keep you warm- family, friends, community, giving back, and being a good person do that.
I suppose I’ll hear from her school tomorrow. We have some decisions to make. But going forward, this is a homework-free household and I don’t care who knows it. My kid needs to be a kid.
Bunmi’s meeting with the school management probably didn’t hold the next day, as another post on her page dated April 27, 2017, read in part:
On Monday morning, I’m meeting with my child’s school to discuss homework and a couple of other topics that deeply concern me. Logically, I know they can only do so much. They have a board to answer to. They have their own objectives to meet. The school doesn’t work directly for my family. I’m getting tired of feeling like THAT ANNOYING PARENT all the time but when I know in my heart and mind something isn’t right, I can’t let it go.