Letter: We Had The Chance To Make Our Kids’ Lives Better And We Blew It

If there was anything good that happened during the coronavirus shutdown, it is this: our children didn’t have the pressure and time crunch they always had during the school year. And so many people, myself included, saw how big of an impact the release of that stress from our children had. But now, with schools back up and running, our schools have forgotten. My children’s life is hectic as ever, and I’m frazzled over it.

Let’s go through what my kids’ daily life looks like, and you tell me if it makes any sense. My daughters get up at 7 AM to be ready for a bus at 7:45-8 that doesn’t get them to school before 9 and don’t get home before 4:30. Do they get to relax then? Nope. They have homework to do – piles of it! I sometimes wonder if each teacher forgets that other teachers also give homework.

Never mind that Rav Matisyahu Salomon said we should not be giving our children homework to do (a gadol’s directives only matter if we agree with it, right?), but what exactly is the point of it all? To stamp out any chance for our children to relax, take a breath, unwind and just enjoy themselves? And we wonder why so many kids these days have mental health issues. Stop wondering. It’s our fault.

Now let’s turn to my son’s schedule. He’s in a local mesivta and has to be there for shacharis at 7:35. So he gets up at 6:30 to be ready for a ride at 7. Then he doesn’t get back home until around 10 PM. Then he needs a few hours to relax, causing him to go to sleep after 12, and once again getting up after maybe 5 hours of sleep to do it all over again. How are our teenagers supposed to get the sleep they need with this type of schedule?

What perplexes me most is that we had the opportunity to change this. This isn’t some new problem; our kids have been overworked for years. Our children don’t sleep enough, they don’t get to enjoy being a child enough, they don’t get to spend enough time with their parents. Corona gave us a good look into what life could be like for these young men and women, and how much healthier their lives could be if we just let them live a little without stuffing another math example down their throats. But we ignored it. And our children are worse off because of it.

[TLS welcomes your letters by submitting them to [email protected]]

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. And didn’t we learn anything to the tune of social distancing and being honest when one doesn’t feel well?? Why do I know countless people who are not feeling well, but it’s definitely not corona, so they carry on their merry way exposing everyone around them. It’s ‘definitely not’ corona, so they don’t test. Haven’t we learn ANYTHING from corona???

  2. I disagreed with homework for a long time now. In my family we don’t pressure the kids to do homework. All my kids teachers know that in my house we don’t do homework. That’s it. Period. You want to send a message that’s how you do it. Just tell the teacher that you can give homework till the cows come home but in this family we don’t do it.

  3. Your attitude towards the schools & yeshivos might be the problem. My daughters are happy to be back in school with the hectic schedule. And my mesivta bochur doesn’t “have” to get up before 6:30am, he “wants” to get up early & learn until he’s too tired late at night

  4. You are right, BD.

    I had an ingrown toenail and the doctor told me that it was really Corona.

    Tell me, have there been any other illnesses besides Corona over the past half year?

  5. the only part I agree with in this letter is the amount of time children waste on buses daily, relative to the amount of time they have to unwind.

    While it is possible for homework to be excessive, it is overall beneficial and it’s advantage can not be replicated in the classroom.

    I learn with my son at night, and he enjoys it and it instills confidence because he knows that he will be prepared for the next day. the same thing in other subjects, while they may think they know the material in class, you never really know til you check once class is over.

    It also keeps parents informed of their children’s progress, or lack of it

    You want your children’s school to be like it was during the corona-virus, well that is just not the way reality, and life is. A little stress now may better equip them for the future stress that real life involves

  6. I had bronchitis about six weeks ago too!!! Felt awful!! But I TESTED!!! And until results came.back I stayed inside!!! Why do people think not testing means I can do what I like and endanger others??? If they decide not to test, they should keep all precautions. If they are so sure it’s not Covid, why are they afraid to test? (I was sure it was covid and tested first, then went to Dr and was pleasantly surprised when doctor diagnosed me with bronchitis.)

  7. Thank you!! Our children’s school days are ridiculously long. Think of how many children and families who are struggling in the system would fare so much better if only school were just an hour shorter. How many kids with ADHD, anxiety, etc are really suffering from deprivation of sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition?

  8. The school day is too long – and NOT too long – it depends who its for.
    Some kids are naturally studious and thrive on this type of schedule. Some kids can’t handle it.
    Clearly, ur kids can’t handle it. Neither can mine. So, heres what you do:
    Give. Them. Off. Days.
    And follow the advice of the previous poster:
    No. Homework.

  9. your rant doesn’t really make sense. There are many different types of schools. It seems obvious that you decided to send your child to a certain type of school because you wanted a brand name school . Why don’t you send them to schools that share your philosophy of not working so hard. There are plenty of mesivtas geared for boys who don’t want to work so hard. Same for girls .

  10. I was also in Yeshiva from 7:30-10
    As were my friends I don’t think it was too hard
    You’re probably more stressed about it than your son (and if your son feels stressed he’ll take a break with a chavrusa for a half hour)
    Idk a/t about girl schools I just never got why they have to shlep home their stuff everyday

Comments are closed.