Mom Goes Viral for Saying Her Kid Is 'Done With Homework' -- Bring on the Resistance!

Bunmi Laditan homework
BunmiKLaditan/Facebook

It's late at night, and you know exactly where your child is ... she's hunched over her homework because even though she's been home from school for hours, she's still got piles of work to do. What do you do? If you're blogger Bunmi Laditan, you play the mom card. Laditan, who rose to popularity as the very funny writer behind Honest Toddler, shared a homework refusal note she sent to her 10-year-old's teacher this week that's quickly gone very viral. 

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In it, Laditan tells the teacher that her daughter will not be doing all the homework in her backpack anymore because she needs time to "just be a child," and two to three hours of schoolwork is stealing that time away.

"My kid is done with homework," writes Bunmi in her Facebook post sharing a screengrab of the email. "I just sent an email to her school letting her know she's all done. I said 'drastically reduce' but I was trying to be polite because she's finished." 

no homework letter
Bunmi Laditan/Facebook

Bunmi writes: "...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." Mom continues: 

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? 

How does homework until 6:30, then dinner, then an hour to relax (or finish the homework) before bed make any sense at all? 

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? 

Already shared nearly 9,000 times, the post is drawing debate from folks who agree heartily with Laditan and those who say homework is important for kids, and teachers know best.

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Of course, teachers know a lot about how to educate kids. They go to college specifically to learn best practices, and there are hundreds of thousands of caring, intelligent, innovative teachers out there.

But teachers are not the ultimate authority in a kid's life. Parents are. When our kids are coming home with so much homework that they can barely find time to eat dinner and take a shower, let alone spend time blowing off steam, it's on us as parents to step up and say something. 

In some cases, the teacher may not realize just how challenging the work can be for kids. Letting them know your child is spending hours hunched over worksheets may well give them information they can use to adjust their assignment procedures. 

If they don't listen? Well, that's where parents need to remember that it's okay to be firm and okay to disagree with your child's teacher. In general, we should be supporting one another, working together for a child's best interest. That means backing up the teacher who says write 10 sentences when your kid wants to write five, or saying, yes, Mrs. Jones really does need you to sit quietly during the morning announcements. 

But the support goes both ways. Teachers need to be cognizant of a child's home life, aware that parents and kids need some time with no schoolwork, just as they themselves want to step away from it all. Kids need time to run around the backyard and blow off steam, to eat their dinner, to cuddle on the couch with Mom or Dad or a sibling, to take a bath, to snuggle in bed for story time. 

Those are all important parts of development. Education doesn't supersede them. 

That's not just a parent's perspective. The experts agree. One study in 2015 found the average elementary schooler gets three times the amount of homework he or she should be getting.

Both the National PTA and the National Education Association recommend kids do about 10 minutes of homework per grade level. A first grader would do 10 minutes, a second grader would do 20, and so on. At 10, most kids are in fourth or fifth grade, which means they should still be doing less than an hour's worth of work at night -- not two to three. 

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If the teacher isn't listening to the experts, parents don't have to sit by and watch their kids suffer. Send an email! Write a note! Be polite, as Laditan was, but be firm. Kids can't advocate for themselves in this arena, but that doesn't mean they should have to stress themselves out just because "my teacher said so."

The teacher is in charge of the classroom. But you're in charge at home. Act like it. 

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