Each year of parenthood brings about new things to learn and figure out. 

Right now it’s all about middle school. 

Our oldest is 11 and she just started 6th grade. Her backpack is filled with more books than I could possibly imagine.

And the homework load is much bigger than I anticipated. Right now she’s getting about 2 hours of homework every day. Last night I asked on Twitter if this is normal. Most folks said that was fairly normal and that by 9th grade it goes up to 4 hours per day (!). 

Outside of school, our daughter has a passion for ballet. She’s been doing it since she was 4 years old and she absolutely loves it and she is extremely good at it as well. I’m thrilled that she has found something that gives her so much joy and self confidence as well as something that challenges her.

At her level of ballet, she is required to attend ballet school 4days per week with a 2 hour lesson each time. 

So the schedule basically is like this: she gets up at 6am, goes to school, gets picked up at school, goes to ballet for 2 hours, comes home, has dinner (quickly), homework for 2 hours and then bed so she can get 9-9.5 hours of sleep a night. 

That didn’t feel right to me but I bit my tongue for the time being. 

This morning before she went to school, she said to me, “dad, I’m gonna skip ballet today, I just have too much homework to do this week”. 

I could see that she had her mind made up which made me feel good that she was prioritizing school and she has the ability to know her limits. But I could also see that she was a bummed out.

Maybe I’m a rookie dad at having a first time middle school kid. But this doesn’t feel right to me. Any tips or suggestions from more experienced parents would be great. I’m all ears.