Work/life balance is a serious concern in the 21st century. Every adult I know is trying to find a way to have a life while climbing the big old success mountain. But what about kids? Don't they deserve a little work/life balance themselves? Well, when this mom told a teacher that her kid was "done" with homework, perhaps it was a major step in the right direction.
Bunmi Laditan, an American writer living in Quebec, was worried about her 10-year-old daughter Maya. In a recent Facebook post, Laditan noted:
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 went on to point the finger at the ridiculous amount of homework Maya was getting at the end of every school day.
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?
Her child wasn't getting any family time, any down time... or any time to just be a kid and goof off. Which is hugely important. And so, Laditan rather brilliantly fired off an email to her kid's teachers. Letting them know Maya would be drastically reducing her homework load.
Maya will be drastically reducing the amount of homework she does this year. She's been very stressed and is starting to have physical symptoms such as chest pain and waking up at 4AM worrying about her school workload.
She pointed out that her daughter is doing well in school. And in her Facebook post, she explained that she doesn't want to turn her daughter into a "junior workaholic." Laditan wants her daughter to grow up well-balanced, with an understanding that work is truly not everything.
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.
Other parents agree; her Facebook post has been shared more than 18,000 times, and parents flooded her wall with similar comments about their children getting bogged down with homework. But perhaps most interesting were the notes from teachers who said they understood and applauded this concept.
Facebook user Katie Chavarria wrote:
As a fourth grade teacher, I fully support this. In fact, I have not given my students the first night of homework this year, and their academic growth has been just as much or more as I've seen from other classes in the past. Not to mention the fact that they seem much less stressed and ready to learn when they walk into my classroom.
User Kim Tang also wrote:
I teach 8-9 year old's and I don't assign any homework. I have them all day, when they are at their best for learning. If I can't accomplish what I need to in those hours, I need to re-evaluate my teaching.
Perhaps the idea of homework has simply seen its day. Perhaps it's time to go for walks, eat ice cream, swim at the beach... or do whatever you want for a few hours a day. Because that's the whole point of being a kid, right?