I SAID WHAT?…My Letter to the Editor in The New York Times

Evan McGlinn for The New York Times

Evan McGlinn for The New York Times

I wrote to The New York Times after reading Vicki Abeles’s Sunday Review piece, “Is School Making our Children Ill?”  Today, The Times ran my response in the printed paper as well as online.

The link to today’s Letters page: Reducing the stress on students

Here’s what I had to say:

Kudos to the Irvington High School community in Fremont, Calif., for taking steps to rescue students from their high-stakes childhoods such as limiting homework requirements and implementing pass-fail grading in some classes.

As an early childhood educator and mother of elementary-school-age children, I think we parents of young learners also need to be brave, take ownership and embrace such efforts by curtailing after-school and evening extracurricular activities like sport travel teams, dance, music and STEM workshops in an effort to preserve the social, emotional and physical health of our children.

A multitude of these well-intended additions eats into down time, rest and unstructured play and creates stress for children and families. With a new year upon us, let’s resolve to take a step back and give children back their childhood.


Pleasantville, N.Y.

7 thoughts on “I SAID WHAT?…My Letter to the Editor in The New York Times

  1. Totally with you on this. The oppression of homework far outweighs its utility. And it’s awful the extent to which conversations between parents and kids before and after dinner revolve around the 40 pound load of homework sitting in the backpack. I hope the pendulum swings and fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You go, Jen! I’ve limited my child’s activities for several years now. Just like enough sleep, our children need enough downtime to learn what it is to dream, to think, to do nothing. And people often complimented me on how well she played by herself. She had time to learn how!


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