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Heavy schoolbags & homework bans – health before wealth?

During the week, I read an article that stated that India is implementing a homework ban and a call out for the weight of schoolbags to be no heavier than 10% of a child’s body weight.

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It broke my heart when a few weeks ago while walking home from playschool with my daughter, a young teenage boy passed us, with a ridiculously large bag clearly packed to the brim. It was so wide it towered over him as he walked with a hunch.

How on earth is this right?

India has poverty, children who walk miles to get to school, and now even they are ahead of us in realizing that children need to be looked after, and that heavy schoolbags and homework are simply unnecessary.

The arguments I have seen are that carrying heavy bags on your back isn’t a sole attribute to having a hunched or damaged back. Of course there are a lot of other things like not sitting up properly. not lifting things up correctly, we know all that.

But how the hell is carrying a terribly heavy bag on your back day in day out, five days a week, good for you in any way? I fail to see the benefits.

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Many concerned parents of Ireland have brought up the issue, and their children’s bags are well over the 10% weight marker.

And of course when we discuss the topic of what’s in these schoolbags, it leads onto the books. The need for them, and the need for homework.

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This is my opinion, but children do not need homework.

The way I see it, is that children are in school for the reason of education. For the academic side of things. Home is for feeling safe, relaxing, being with your family.

As parents, we are not meant to be our children’s sub teachers. We are teachers of life. 

Sure, if my daughter wants to talk about space or the dinosaurs, or a history related topic, I will only be too glad to share in that knowledge, but sitting at a table for the guts of an hour (or more) when a child has been schooled all day is too much.

We need to look after our children’s physical and mental well being, and the rest will follow.

I just really wish for a miracle that by the time my daughter is older, she won’t have to deal with the physical pain of a heavy schoolbag or the mental exhaustion of homework.



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