From the Mouth of A Fourth-Grader

Even before Newsweek wrote about how fourth-graders are burned out, I heard from Julianna, a fourth-grader who lives south of the Bay Area in California. I’ve received countless emails from students over the last several months, but Julianna is the youngest yet:

I am in the 4th grade and I have 4 to 5 hours of homework a night! My mom says that she would be a good teacher if she didn’t give us so much homework. I want to send her this website but I am soooooooooo afraid to! I just wanted to say that your idea rocks! I wish that you were my teacher then I wouldn’t have to leave all my superb friends. Please respond.

After getting Julianna’s mother’s permission to correspond with Julianna, I asked Julianna whether there was a Student Council in her school, or some other way students voices’ could be heard. She told me:

We don’t have a Student Council at our school. There isn’t any way for kids to be heard at our school. The teachers and the principal don’t want to know how we feel. That’s one thing that’s really frustrating to me.

I don’t think Julianna’s frustration is surprising to anyone who reads this blog, but I hope it encourages everyone to speak out against homework so that our kids can start to enjoy their childhoods again.

3 thoughts on “From the Mouth of A Fourth-Grader

  1. I agree with her. It’s almost a battle between parents and homework for their child’s time. Sometimes it come down to, get an hour of sleep or finish the assignment even though you have just gotten it and it must be due tomorrow. Take it from a student’s POV. Homeowrk is increaseing and the times spent in school is lengthening. What is to become of parent-child bonding time?


  2. My Son just started 4th grade. We have been using a after school care provider who makes him work on his homework. Yes, I said care provider because the individuals that work there are teacher assistants not just anyone. Even with their help he is now spending about 6 (YES I SAID SIX) hours working on homework or longer! And that is after he has given up his free time at school to work on homework during the school day!!! And this is the first week of school!!!!! He has his first test tomorrow!!! (only 4 days of classroom instruction! and he gets a test on 51 (yes, fifty one) geographic terms! Even in high school I never spent more than 4 hours studing for finals!!! He is only in 4th GRADE!!! When did we get so concerned about knowledge and give up on things such as social development, family bonding, and most of all a little bit of fun in your day???? I bet this teacher doesn’t go home and work 6 hours a night!!!


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