Longer School Day Is Bad For Kids

What do you think of this idea? Do you think kids should have more hours of school each day? Do you think it’s good now or do you think they should go less? What do you think of a 4 day week? What about school year round with a couple of weeks off here and there?

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11 Responses to Longer School Day Is Bad For Kids

  1. Sue says:

    I would rather see the kids go year round with breaks every so often instead of a longer school day for a shorter week. You can’t tell me that grades k-4 can focus on schoolwork for 71/2 hours a day and actually get something out of all 71/2 hours. I just don’t buy it. And, would they really be spending more time on curriculum or just have more study time in each class? It seems students have a lot of days off as it is right now, how about having them in school some of those days instead?

  2. skl1 says:

    It would depend on how they structured it, and also whether it was optional or mandatory.

    Many kids need to be “somewhere” all through the work day, so parents currently have to figure out the last 2-3 hours of that – find an after-school program or whatever. I’m told that my kids’ future school has an after-school program, but I heard that they don’t really “do” anything there. Just kind of hang around waiting to be picked up. Presumably they would be able to do their homework or read or chat or whatever, but that could get old after a while, you know? It seems like they could waste a lot of time. And yet there aren’t a lot of other practical options for working parents, especially those with inflexible schedules.

    I do think that the way school is structured now, kids have had enough instruction by early afternoon. (“Enough” in the sense that they can’t take much more of the same.) But if there were more hours to work with, they could do some things better. Like have some meaningful coached physical activity every day in addition to plenty of recess. Maybe get more kids involved in instrumental or choral music or art. How about a chess club, drama club, book club? They could host meetings for 4H, scouts, etc. They could offer tutoring for kids who need it. Why not? They would need to make sure the kids have breaks and that the really cerebral, required stuff is done early in the day.

    It seems like a no-brainer to me, so I wonder why it isn’t already being offered. Am I wrong in thinking that there would be enough demand to justify the effort, even if it were optional?

  3. skl1 says:

    I would be OK with a 4 day week or year-round school (with breaks) also, again depending on how it’s structured.

    With a 4-day week, working parents would still have to find someplace for their kids to go on the 5th day, but I’m sure programs would be developed to accommodate (for a fee, of course). I’d expect to see a corresponding reduction in state & local taxes, and maybe some low-income vouchers, to help cover this cost. Also, the 5th day could be used to provide district-funded tutoring to kids who are struggling.

    With a year-round schedule, there would have to be some provision for families to take stretches of time off for vacation. And I think they should switch teachers out more often than 1x per year, because there are many teachers who are bad for kids’ mental health. Kids are often on the edge of losing it by May as it is.

  4. myfriendmissmiller says:

    In our school, we have an after school tutoring program which basically is two more hours of school for the kids. It is horrendous. By the end of the day they can’t sit still or pay attention, and it burns them out more quickly. I wish we went to school longer in the year but with shorter days. It would be beneficial for us AND the kids!

  5. Nikki says:

    No! I agree with everything Sue said. I’d rather go to year-round than 4 longer days a week. I’d rather go year-round period. I think an entire summer off, is way too long, and they end up using the 1st quarter just catching up on what they didn’t retain during summer vacation. And what about daycare for parents who work Monday-Friday???

  6. skl1 says:

    I guess since my kids are in care from 9am to 6:30pm most days, and they seem fine, I don’t agree that the hours themselves are the problem for most kids. It’s really how they use those hours. I agree that if it’s just lengthening the seatwork, that’s a bad idea. There are other options, though. As it is, parents like me who have to work are required to pay to have our kids in after-school care. Not a big deal for me, but many families struggle or have to choose options that end up worse than a couple of extra hours of school would be. It just doesn’t seem smart to force everyone to find a care solution for a couple of hours when the kids are already physically at the school. Maybe what I’m really advocating for is a comprehensive, optional after-school program at the schools.

  7. skl1 says:

    I will also say that I don’t recall summer being “too long” when I was a kid. It seemed just about right! Then again, we were allowed to go out and do stuff (without constant supervision) in those days.

  8. Laura says:

    I do not like the idea of a longer day, at all. I DO like the idea of a year-round school for my particular situation. Josh is the kind of kid who takes a long time to settle into a routine. Having several months off at Summer, it takes him FOREVER to settle back into the school year. I suspect that, if they went to year-round with regularly scheduled breaks, he might do better, because it’s a more even schedule.

    I also wish they’d get rid of the infernal days off and ‘early outs’. He currently has a half-day (out at 1 instead of 3) every other Wednesday. When he started the school year, between “late starts” for fog, early outs, and days off, he didn’t have a full week of school until about week 7 or 8!! Our kids also get out around May 20, which means three full months plus a week for Summer Break. Don’t get me wrong, I love having him around during that time, I love that he can spend so much time at the pool and doing fun things, but it is seriously detrimental to his schooling when we go back in the fall.

    I also agree with SKL when we discuss a longer school day. What is happening during those extra hours? Are they just sitting butts in the chairs and drilling drilling drilling? Or are they getting creative with teaching and actually acknowledging that MOST kids learn SO MUCH BETTER when they can get their hands dirty and into a project, rather than just reading, and being lectured, about it.

  9. Joy says:

    I agree with everyone here. I don’t think going any longer during the day will do any good but I could have worked with changing the school year to having a few weeks off here and there but going all year. I did love having my summers but I don’t think kids do many of the same things we did as kids. Everything now will hurt kids and we micro manage them. I wish kids could just be kids and play instead of always being in something “organized.”

  10. angelasummer says:

    Everyone who is commenting is an adult or a parent. Give the children a choice ! They’re the ones who have to abide by the rules! At least see if they have any reasonable input on the situation. See what they say because they are the ones sitting and learning, not us. We’ve already been through it all and now we’re changing it up on them? They should have a say so in educational choices too.

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