Bunmi Laditan wants her daughter Maya's school to know that her 10-year-old is done with homework. Effective immediately. In a fiery Facebook post, the disgruntled mama revealed that she emailed Maya's teachers to let them know her kid will be "drastically reducing" the amount of homework she does this year.
"I said 'drastically reduce' but I was trying to be polite because she's finished," Laditan wrote. "My 10-year-old loves learning. She independently reads 10-12 chapter books a year and regularly researches topics that interest her. 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."
So not right. She then went on to explain that Maya spends about two to three hours doing her homework every night, leaving her little time to relax or hang out with her family.
"Is family time not important?" she asks. "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? 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. Children need time to just enjoy their childhoods."
I have to say I agree. When my daughter was in fourth grade, she had a teacher who assigned three hours of homework a night. It was a miserable, stress-filled year for her—and for me, who felt heartbroken as I watched her struggle to get her work done each night in tears. My son, on the other hand, had a fourth grade teacher who did not believe in homework. And so he came home every day after school and played outside in the backyard, or shot hoops with his friends, or hopped on his IPad to design a building in Minecraft. Was one of them more prepared for fifth grade than the other? Nope. Did one of them experience way less stress and enjoy going to school each day to learn more than the other?
Take one guess.
Look, we all want our children to grow up and succeed in the world. But while like Laditan, I believe in education, I don't believe for one second that academics should consume a child's life.
"Children need downtime after school the same way adults need downtime after work," she explains. "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. I suppose I'll hear from her school tomorrow. But going forward, this is a homework-free household and I don't care who knows it. My kid needs to be a kid."
Right on, Mama!