Fed up with her 10-year-old daughter’s heavy homework load, a mom decided to do something about it.
On Tuesday, mom and blogger Bunmi Laditan posted a screenshot of an email she sent to her daughter Maya’s teachers on Facebook.
In the email, she wrote:
“Hello Maya’s teachers,
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 4 a.m. worrying about her school workload.
She’s not behind academically and very much enjoys school. We consulted with a tutor and a therapist suggested we lighten her workload. Doing 2-3 hours of homework after getting home at 4:30 is leaving little time for her to just be a child and enjoy family time and we’d like to avoid her sinking into a depression over this.
Thank you for understanding.
In the photo caption, Laditan further explained her decision.
“How does homework until 6:30, then dinner, then an hour to relax (or finish the homework) before bed make any sense at all?” she asked. “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?”
The mom noted that kids need downtime after school, just as adults do after work. “They need to play with their siblings,” she wrote. “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.”
She also clarified that although she wrote “drastically reduce” in the email, she was just being polite. “My kid is done with homework,” Laditan explained.
Though the mom hasn’t shared the school’s response to her email, she noted in the post that she was nervous about the reaction and hoped she wouldn’t have to resort to homeschooling.
“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,” she wrote, adding that she doesn’t care if her daughter “goes to Harvard one day.”
“I just want her to be intelligent, well-rounded, kind, inspired, charitable, spiritual and have balance in her life,” Laditan added. “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.”
She concluded simply, “My kid needs to be a kid.”
In a follow-up comment, Laditan noted that she does not blame her daughter’s teachers but rather the system that dictates the way they do things. And though Maya’s dad is a behavioral therapist who has worked to help reduce her stress, the workload remains a problem. “Something has to change,” she wrote.
The mom’s post received over 55,000 likes, and the comments section is filled with positive responses from educators, child psychologists and fellow parents.