My fifth grade son was crying again. It was 8:30 pm and we were still struggling to finish his homework. Enough is enough! I gave my son a hug and decided to let him go to bed. After getting home after 4:00 pm, he had a load of homework that he never was able to finish that evening. He never did get to play outside. He never did get to wind down from his day. I wrote a note to the teacher that it was just too much homework and just too stressful. I wrote he completed what he could.
My note was only to be met with a nasty phone call from the teacher the next day. She condemed me for not giving her enough support from home. I just wasn’t doing my job, according to my son’s teacher! Needless to say, I pulled my boys out of the school and put them into a different one. The stress lifted over night. Somehow my children managed to learn just as much if not more in the new school without the three hours of homework every night at such a young age. We don’t even expect adults to work such long days. Maybe we need to implement child labor laws in the schools. If a child can’t accomplish enough learning in eight hours of school each day, then there is a PROBLEM. Parents are expected to assist with hours of homework each night leaving no time for family, friends, play, sports, or just plain relaxation for the mind.
More homework is NOT making our children smarter. We’re exhausting them and burning them out. Most of all, we’re helping them to hate school and to hate learning. The United States is giving more homework in record amounts and yet we lag behind many other countries in test scores. Quantity does not always equal quality. Too much homework is mentally unhealthy for children, teens and their families left to cope with it. Thank God I was in tune with my son. I was able to recognize that the homework was crushing his soul!