Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Too Much Time In School

When I put Steven into kindergarten, he would fall asleep at the dinner table.  He was absolutely exhausted.  I began picking him up at noon three days a week and brought him home for a nap.  Full days, I believe, are too long for five year olds.

Studies have proven that Children should spend less time in school.  I completely agree with this statement.  So much of time in school is busy work. Also, expecting boys to sit in chairs for such long periods of time is not good for them. 

When I homeschooled my boys, they would read for a couple hours a day, do an hour of math, and play a lot.  I liked my boys moving a lot.  I felt it was good for them.  People in Finland seem to agree with me ~

Children in Finland go outside to play frequently all day long. "How can you teach when the children are going outside every 45 minutes?" a recent American Fulbright grant recipient in Finland, who was astonished by how little time the Finns were spending in school, inquired curiously of a teacher at one of the schools she visited. The teacher in turn was astonished by the question. "I could not teach unless the children went outside every 45 minutes!"

The Finnish model of education includes a late start to academics {children do not begin any formal academics until they are 7 years old}, frequent breaks for outdoor time, shorter school hours and more variety of classes than in the US. Equity, not high achievement, is the guiding principle of the Finnish education system.

While we in America preach the mantra of early intervention, shave time off recess to teach more formal academics and cut funding to non-academic subjects like art and music, Finnish educators emphasize that learning art, music, home economics and life skills is essential. {Have American Parents Got It All Backwards}

Just because society is doing it one way doesn't mean it is right.  Way too many boys are being put on Ritalin since they have trouble sitting still for long periods.  Ryan use to have to miss recess because he was staring at the ceiling too long!  That was the last thing he needed.  He needed to go out and play.

But beyond this, my son, be warned:
the writing of many books is endless,
and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.
Ecclesiastes 12:12