Being young isn't always fun and games. The pressure to do well at school, though healthy in certain doses, can sometimes put undue strain on children to perform well, at the expense of simply, well, being a kid.
British teacher Jenny Thom gets that. As the teacher of 10- and 11-year-old kids at Buckleberry Primary School in Reading, England, Thom wanted to make sure her pupils got enough "play" during a stressful time in their young lives.
In Britain, students that age are gearing up to take their Year 6 SATs, the final exam before they graduate primary school. So Thom gave them an unusual homework assignment for the weekend, urging them to watch TV, eat ice cream, work on their hobbies, laugh and play, reminding them that they should not let the stress of exams get in the way of growing up.
Posted on a Facebook community page, Eyfs Matters, the photo of the assignment has since gone viral, with many parents heaping praise on Thom.
"Amazing teacher, the thing I love about our primary school -children work hard all week but never have homework at weekends. They deserve a childhood!!" one commenter wrote.
Plenty of advice against pushing kids too hard in school points to its long-lasting consequences — breeding anxiety and introversion, missing out on the joys of childhood, and instilling a general sense of prioritizing work at the expense of other facets of life. Teachers like Thom reminding students of their role as children help to reinforce the importance of a work-life balance that could very well lead them to a better quality of life.