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 wouldnâ€™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.