WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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Page 147 of 207

debilitating and lead to anxiety and even depression. "How we manage daily stress is what really matters," Anderson said. "We need to accept that it's part of life and begin to learn resiliency, perseverance, and grit at a young age." And recent trends like activity overload, increased homework, around-the-clock jobs, and safety and security threats have brought student stress to a whole new level. Activity Overload Some parents limit their kids to one activity a season, while others jam- pack their kids' schedules, which can increase stress. Lisa Goodman, an elementary school psychologist said, "Kids who have trouble falling asleep or who have nightmares might be under too much stress." One child Goodman knew was so busy that when he got home all he wanted to do was zone out, which worried his parents. "It's important to let kids just chill, especially if they're overloaded," Goodman said. Some kids thrive with lots of activities, but that doesn't mean we should schedule every minute. Unstructured downtime instills creativ- ity and imagination. Goodman added, "Many kids feel overwhelmed because their time to decompress is so limited. This not only impacts them. It impacts the entire family, so it's important to make time to reconnect." According to Erin Maguire, principal at Country Elementary School in Weston for pre-K through third grade, parents sometimes question the rigor at school and think they need to supplement their child's learning with courses like Russian math. "I tell them that if their child loves math as much as they love soccer, go for it. But don't enroll them just for the sake of getting ahead. We have such a rich curricu- lum, and we focus on the whole child," she said. "We want students to begin developing their strategy and problem-solving skills now so when academics get harder later, they have the ability to break down problems and not give up." Heaps of Homework These days, Wellesley High School students have an average of three hours of homework each night, depending on their course load. According to a survey by Stanford University, many kids do other things during that time — listen to music, eat, text. "While we want to maintain academic rigor, we don't want to assign busy work and overburden our kids," said Dr. Lussier. "We are making an effort to improve communi- cation and coordination among our teachers to ensure our kids aren't getting overwhelmed with homework." A few years ago, in an effort to minimize stress, Weston Public Schools instituted three no-homework weekends during the school year, and D E S I G N P I C S ( D S P ) 146 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8 fitness & health "let kids just chill"

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