An extended school day would be beneficial to parents and children. Not only has the cost of childcare risen sharply over the past decade, the demands on educators has prompted a more difficult approach to teaching a tougher curriculum.
The No Child Left Behind Act has made it difficult for educators as well as children. There isn’t enough free time in a school day for children to build on their social skills, or learn through play. Older children are finding it harder to “hang-out” with their friends due to the various time constraints placed upon them throughout their day. School isn’t fun for middle school aged students, or adolescents anymore.
Students have 20 minutes to eat their lunch with the friends that share the same lunch period. They have 3 to 5 minutes to change classes, talk to their friends, use the restroom, or grab books from their lockers. They are pressed for time, and have a great deal of pressure to find the time to be social-which is just as important to their development as education.
A longer school day would allow for social time, a longer lunch period-a short 10 minute break between classes to chat with friends, walk to their lockers, get their items and get to class-with a lot less pressure. A longer school day would also allow for longer class periods.
A typical class period is 40 minutes long. With the proposed extended school day, and extra 20 minutes could be added to each class-virtually eliminating the need for a tougher curriculum. Students in this situation could learn quicker and cover more material.
If the extended school day began at 8:30am and ended at 4:30pm, there would be an 8 hour day of school plus an additional half hour to an hour of travel time to and from school. Not only would the schedule help the students prepare for the real world, it would allow students to learn 30% more per year than in a traditional school program.
The schedule wouldn’t be rigorous or demanding, and older students from 7th grade through 12th grade could socialize, learn, and discover much more about themselves and the world around them. Physical education should be a part of their day every day, as well as nutrition and life skills. This will also help adolescents lead healthier lifestyles. This is also just as beneficial for younger children. Younger children could devote more time to playing and learning to be social.
Extended school day schedule:
8:30-Arrive in home room
11:00-3rd period Lunch or Physical Education
12:00-4th period Lunch or Physical Education
1:00-5th period Lunch or Physical Education
3:10-7th period-Dedicated Homework Time
I feel if students gain knowledge academically, they need to gain social knowledge as well. If they have more time in between classes, they will feel less pressured as they are already experiencing various pressures from friends and family.
I firmly believe all schools should devote an hour at the end of the day for adolescents to complete their homework. If they are still in school they can get homework help easier than if they were at home. Many parents work, and have a hard time finding time to sit down with their children and help them with homework. An extended school day will cut back the amount of homework they have to complete, because they will be able to cover more in class. Young children could spend the last hour of the day in art classes, music classes, or just playing.
An extended school day would make it easier for working parents to keep track of their children. The cost of daycare wouldn’t be an issue unless parents work non-traditional hours. Adolescents would be better natured, and younger students would quickly learn social skills and how to handle various situations with peers.