When most people think about elementary school, they remember playing outside during recess, learning via games, and sweet, encouraging teachers.
What most adults don’t remember is hours and hours of homework when they get home at night.
If I recall correctly, when I went home from elementary school in the afternoon, I would play with my friends and little brother, spend time with my parents, and relax with a good book or television show.
Well, that’s what Bunmi Laditan remembers about elementary school, too. But as a mom of some young children, Bunmi has realized that elementary school expectations have changed.
Bunmi’s daughter, a 10-year-old, is in elementary school. But when she comes home every night, she has hours and hours of homework to do.
The crazy workload she has as a child is stressing her out — and Bunmi, like any parent, doesn’t like it. So she decided to do something about it.
What do you think of this letter to her daughter’s school? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments!
Sick of how much homework her 10-year-old daughter was being assigned, this concerned mom wrote an email to her daughter’s teachers, then made a Facebook post about it.
Her Facebook post immediately went viral, with over 62,000 reactions and almost 17,000 shares.
In the post, Bunmi 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 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily so someone please explain to me why she should have 2 to 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.
I want to state that I’m in no way blaming her teachers.
They’re incredible and I know they have to do things a certain way.
This system just isn’t working for my family or my child.
I can’t watch her unravel anymore and be filled with so much stress at age 10.
Her dad (who is a very good behavioral therapist) and I have worked hard to reduce her stress, but there’s just too much work.
I don’t talk about my kids much because I try to respect their privacy but I felt like I needed to get this out there.
Something has to change.