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Where is the pause button?

My oldest daughter is going into 10th grade. School starts next week in our town.

Over the summer her AP world history teacher assigned over 300 pages of reading and a lengthy writing assignment. Her english and biology teacher also assigned summer reading. She has a test during the first week at school. 

My other daughter who is 12 had summer work and so did my 8 year old son.

I was an active kid growing up. But I also had free time. I could attend school, play sports and have time to teach myself guitar and play in an awful cover punk band. I hung out with my friends and spent time hacking away on my BMX bike or finding new wheels for my skateboard.

It felt like I had all the time in the world.

It’s fairly obvious my kids are all smarter than me. They certainly get better grades than I did and have a better work ethic. They are also better athletes. Mostly I’m proud they are kind and love each other (even if they want to kill each other and me from time to time). 

But I feel like there is tendency to push these kids well beyond what’s necessary and they are racing against the clock.

I need to figure out ways to hit the pause button. Or at least find it.