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Mom Emails 10-Year-Old Daughter's Teacher Because She's 'Done With Homework' & Her 'Kid Needs To Be A Kid'

Photo: Gustavo Fring / Pexels
stressed girl doing homework

It’s tough being a kid. Imagine waking up at the crack of dawn, going to school for seven to eight hours a day, then going to extracurricular activities and sports practices, and then going home and being forced to open books again to do hours of homework.

After a long day of sitting at a desk and learning, the last thing many kids want to do is more work, especially when they’re supposed to be spending time with family or taking time to decompress.

Students aren't the only ones who dislike homework. One mother expressed her disapproval of homework to her daughter’s school in an email, declaring that she will no longer be participating in it when it is assigned.

A mom penned a letter to her 10-year-old daughter’s teacher claiming she was ‘done with homework’ and her kid ‘needs to be a kid.’

The mother, Bunmi Laditan, shared a screenshot of the email she sent to her daughter's teacher. She revealed how homework has negatively affected her daughter, Maya, and her concerns about how it could lead to her downfall.

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“Hello Maya’s teachers,” she opened her letter. “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 academically behind and very much enjoys school. We’ve consulted with a tutor and a therapist suggested we lighten her workload,” she continued. “Doing two to three 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.” Laditan then thanked her daughter’s teachers for understanding.

In the caption of her post, she clarified that when she wrote “drastically reduce” the amount of homework Maya was given, she meant it as a polite way to imply that she was done doing homework entirely. She added that Maya “loves learning” and spends much of her downtime reading books and researching topics she’s interested in, as well as painting and even taking coding classes.

Mom Emails Daughter's Teacher Because She Wants Her To Stop Doing Homework And Just Be A KidPhoto: Julia M Cameron / Pexels

However, over the last four years, Laditan has watched her daughter’s attitude toward school change as she became overwhelmed with the amount of homework she received.

“By stressed I mean chest pains, waking up early, and dreading school in general,” Laditan shared. “She's in school from 8:15 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, so someone please explain to me why she should have two to three hours of homework to do every night?”

Laditan worries that spending too much time doing schoolwork at home could lead her daughter to become depressed and burnt out.

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“Did you know that in Finland homework is banned? And that they have the highest rate of college-bound students in all of Europe,” Laditan pointed out. But while homework in Finland is not entirely forbidden, the number of teachers that assign it is slim.

Educators in Finland believe there are much more effective activities than homework that students can do to maintain their school performance, including exercising, spending time with family, and getting a good night’s sleep.

“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,” Laditan wrote, adding that children need downtime after school just like adults need downtime after work. “Children need time to just enjoy their childhoods.”

   

   

Laditan says her top priority for Maya and her other children is to ensure that they are happy and healthy.

“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 said. “I just want her to be intelligent, well-rounded, kind, inspired, charitable, spiritual, and have balance in her life.”

She wants her children to understand that work is an essential part of life, but it is not all life has to offer: “It will not keep you warm — family, friends, community, giving back, and being a good person do that.”

Other parents praised Laditan’s decision and agreed that homework was becoming unnecessary.

“I've never understood how it could be illegal to make a grown adult work above X number of hours but six-year-olds can go to school for seven or more hours and then have two or more hours of work when they get home,” one user wrote.

Even teachers agreed with her, with one Facebook user sharing, “I am currently a 4th-grade teacher. I have gone to a no-written homework policy. I request students read a book of choice for 30 minutes and practice multiplication facts.”

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Studies have shown that excessive homework has a negative impact on kids.

The National Education Association (NEA) recommends that homework time should increase by 10 minutes per school year, with a standard of “10 minutes of homework per grade level,” intending to set limits on afterschool work.

Unfortunately, one study found that early elementary school students were receiving nearly three times as much homework than recommended by the NEA. Kindergarteners received 25 minutes of homework per night on average, while first and second graders had 28 and 29 minutes of homework each night.

Researchers added that the amount of homework a child has can lead to stress in the family, leading to families being 200% more likely to argue when parents don't have a college degree.

For high school students, who may do up to two or three hours of homework each night, it's greatly impacting their overall health. In fact, a study found that students who spend too much time doing homework can experience "academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives."

Additionally, 56% of students blamed homework as their primary stressor at school and 44% of students reported having three or more physical symptoms like weight loss, stomach pain, stress, and headaches.

Mom Emails Daughter's Teacher Because She Wants Her To Stop Doing Homework And Just Be A KidPhoto: Marta Wave / Pexels

The point that Laditan is trying to make is that while learning is important for children, they shouldn't be forced to forgo the things that make them a kid: playing, spending time with their families, being free from routines and restraints, and not being pushed to mature faster than they should.

Moving forward, Laditan knows that she and her daughter’s school will have some important decisions to make, but for now, her household will be homework-free so Maya has the opportunity to be what she won’t be forever: a kid.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.