Kira, an thirteen-year-old eighth grader in a public school in Pennsylvania, sent me the following email:
I just want to say I support your website completely, and everything on it is true, and relates to my school experience. My family gets really stressed out, to the point of tears, screaming, or yelling, etc. at least 3/5 school nights, and I believe homework’s one of the reasons we are all often stressed and high-strung.
I think school is making everyone very unhappy and unsatisfied at my school. We often have very little time to socialize or have any fun (we are only 13!), and we are always doing our homework all night, and having to go to bed early. I go through the whole long day half falling asleep because I am so tired from getting up so early and staying up too late doing homework. Also, we carry extremely heavy loads in our backpacks. I have back pains now and am really tense from carrying that up and down stairs every day.
I think the system is ridiculous. School is already murdering my childhood, and giving me little time for fun, but with that little time I’m reviewing everything I learned in school until at least 8 PM. It’s depressing, insane, and, erm, yes. It makes me mad.
Let me say, I would have written a lot more and given a whole lot of points here, but I just finished my homework (its 9:00 PM), and I have to go to sleep by ten every night because I have to get up at 5: 45 AM to make it to the bus to school. And, oh, I just remembered some more homework I’ve got to get done.