Longer School Days Pros and Cons List
As American schools begin to lose their foothold as the world’s finest, solutions are being brainstormed on a consistent basis. One of the solutions that is mostly commonly suggested is the switch to a longer school day. With the quality of public schools beginning to slip and dropout numbers on the rise, it is important to stem the tide before it is too late.
Other developed countries have recently made the switch and have begun to keep their children in the classroom for longer periods of time each day. These nations firmly believe that spending more time at school is what is best for their children’s academic performance. While there are vocal factions on both sides of this debate, the time has come for a more thorough examination of the pros and cons. Read on to learn more.
List of Pros of Longer School Days
1. More Time To Complete Work At School
Students who struggle to complete work on their own time who are given additional hours in the classroom to do their schoolwork tend to have an increased academic performance. In addition, students who spend more time in the classroom also have the opportunity to cover more subjects overall.
There is no longer any pressure for a student to rush through their work or act if they have a firm grasp on the lessons that they are being taught. When they have questions, thoughts or concerns, there is now enough time for them to be properly addressed. Students who do not learn at the same pace as others are able to absorb lessons at their own rate of speed.
2. Less Homework Given Out
When teachers are given the proper amount of time to cover their lesson plans, this decreases the need for homework assignments. To continue to assign the same amount of homework, even when the days are longer, is risking burnout to the student body over the course of a school year.
By making the school day longer, students who struggle with the concept of completing assignments on their own have much less to worry about. Instead of having to head home and immediately crack open a book, students can now incorporate their homework assignments into the natural flow of a school day. If they have questions or problems understanding, they are able to receive help on their spot.
3. Increased Supervision For Children
The more time children spend at school, the less time their parents have to spend on locating supervision for them. Parents are also able to save valuable financial resources that are typically spent on babysitters. The amount of time children spend in school also shrinks the amount of time that they have on their own in the afternoons.
Parents of older children who consistently have to worry about the mischief that their kids will get into when they have spare time before Mom and Dad get home from work are able to breathe much more easily. Children are also able to obtain more resources during the longer school day and the parental burden of feeding them and providing activities is significantly reduced.
List of Cons of Longer School Days
1. Additional Costs To The School
The longer the school remains open each day, the higher their costs become. Teachers require additional compensation, as do other staff members. Schools that can typically get by without paying out full time salaries and benefits are no longer able to. Schools also tend to be large buildings, so the longer they are open, the higher the utility bills will climb.
Schools are also forced to deal with the true issues in student lives that often keep them from reaching their full academic potential. Students who are not adequately cared for at home and have become victims of mental/physical abuse also require additional care, which is funded by the schools.
2. Less Time For The Carefree Activities Of Youth
Those who are against longer school days often have fond memories of their own youth, of weekday afternoon spent outdoors, riding bikes and playing sports. They see the longer school day as a proposal that will rob our children of their precious youth. While these experiences have been discounted by those who are proponents for the longer school days, these moments also play a large role in determining what kind of adult a child is able to become.
Kids that have varied skill sets and a variety of interests could end up being stifled by a longer school day. For some children, the best part of their day is when they are able to play music, participate in sports, or indulge in other creative pursuits. When the opportunity to do so is taken away, children do not always react favorably and the lack of fulfillment could lead to decreased academic performance.
3. Time Is Not Always Spent Wisely
The mere act of forcing children to spend more time at school does not guarantee that the time will be used in a manner that is efficient or wise. Schools already struggle with the concept of teachers who are too adherent to the concept of teaching kids how to pass standardized tests.
Should the school day be made longer, these teachers are likely to spend even more time teaching to the tests, as opposed to expanding a student’s mind and adding new teaching items to their lesson plans. Depending on the mentality of the school that your child attends, they may not gain all that much from the experience of a longer school day.