To the Teacher Who Doesn’t Give Homework – Thank You

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Dear Teacher Who Gives No Homework,

Thank you for giving my son the gift of play after school—not homework.

Instead of climbing back into yet another chair, every day my son darts into the backyard once school’s out. He runs across the lawn and knocks on his neighbor’s door.

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Together, the two boys jump on the trampoline, play soccer, or throw snowballs in each other’s faces. Just the way it should be. Because of you, he gets the opportunity to get all of his piss and vinegar out of his system after a long and tiring day of school.

I don’t have to worry about hustling him back inside because he has to do his homework before dinner and bed.

But seriously—many teachers just don’t get it.

For some reason, they can’t grasp how all kids need to come home after school and just run ragged. Children have been in school for eight hours, they don’t have one more ounce of energy to give to anything remotely related to school. They have sat still for long enough. They need a freaking break.

Decades ago, when we were kids, we needed to sprint the energy out of ourselves when we got home from school. We weren’t expected to sit for a single second unless we wanted to. And kids today should be treated the same.

So, you’re right—it’s time we stop treating them like they’re different. They’re not.

All children should have the right to go outside after school.

Dig in the dirt, ride their bikes, or have a mega nerf war with the neighbors. But instead, many kids are sitting at the table and forced to struggle through subtraction or sight word worksheets. It’s as ridiculous as wanting a hippopotamus for Christmas.

And not only is giving homework unfair to the kids, but it’s agonizing for the parents, too.

It’s the parents, after all, who have to sit down with the children to accomplish these boring tasks that the kids have already done at school for hours that same day. Yes, we’re the ones who have to suffer through the moaning, crying, meltdowns, and more.

And it’s not that we blame our kids. We don’t want to yell at them, punish them, or threaten them for not sitting still longer. It sure as hell isn’t their fault that they can’t control their minds or bodies after being schooled all day.

So, again, thank you.

It is a breath of fresh air knowing that I don’t have the extra stress of homework on my shoulders.

I don’t have to squeeze in yet another task before the big dance to get my kids into bed. Instead of worksheets, all you want my son to do is read. You get it. You understand that reading for twenty minutes a day is all these kids really need. What could be better than cuddling with a book or two before bed with your parent? Nothing beats that and it doesn’t feel like “homework” at all—to anyone in the house.

The afterschool homework grind is unnecessary, and I am grateful that you understand that. I’m dreading the time when my son gets a little older and the worksheets pile on top of him like an avalanche. But until then, I’ll gladly watch him run out the back door and hop onto that trampoline instead of a chair to do some homework.

Sincerely,
An Anti-Homework Mom

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Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Angela is known for her dreadful technology skills and her mean Grecian chicken. She has been published in Good Morning America, ABC News, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, and more. Angela has personal and literary essays in Literary Mama, The HerStories Project, the anthology, “Red State Blues” by Belt Publishing, among others. She is currently at-work on the cross-generational memoir," Mothers Lie."

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