Is the Drive for Success Making our Children Sick?
We have a nationwide epidemic of school-related stress, anxiety and depression. Students' average days consist of 7 hours of school, plus sports, clubs, music activities followed by hours of homework. Weekends are filled with homework projects, test preparations, tournaments and other competitions. No down-time and not enough sleep. Kids in elementary school complain about migraine headaches and ulcers. "Many pediatricians see a clear connection to performance pressure."
There are schools all around the country that are making small but important structural changes to ease pressure and improve our children's health. Reforms include: start times, block schedules, homework limits, homework-free weekends & holidays, re-thinking assessments to show growth beyond conventional tests as well as re-thinking the number of clubs, sports, activities our students are involved in.
Research shows that when students are less anxious and depressed their academic achievement goes up. Let's choose the health of our children. The time for reform is now.