Should Schools Start Later
Everyone loves sleep. Waking up early is a hard made choice for many and it is usually made to help overcome certain challenges or attain something extra in the additional morning hours you get when you wake up early. With adults, waking up early is a norm for many. Making the ends meet and great success has been deeply linked to less sleep and more work. This translate to individuals waking up early after sleeping for as less as three hours. According to Adolescent Sleep Working Group (2014) great people and very successful business moguls have been advocating that sleeping late and waking up early is the secret recipe for success. “The early bird catches the worm”, they say.
Many research has been conducted to scientifically analyze the situation and bring forth a scientifically conclusive argument. The research concluded that early rising has some positive influence on a person’s performance and productivity. The research shows that both concentration and performance reduces as time of the day progresses due to tissues and mind fatigue.
On teenagers however, a different scenario and trend is observed. One that is very alarming and needs immediate attention from the relevant stakeholders. Dragging teenagers and children from their bed every morning and thrusting them into schools is not doing them any good. For teenager, waking up early and being forced to the very demanding and busy schools’ schedules is more than just the discomfort that is explicitly caused by that (Boergers, Gable, & Owens, 2014). Severe biological effects caused by lack of sleep for the teenagers have been recorded as being on the rise. These biological reasons and other conditions are clear indicators that there is a need for school to start later.
Age of the children when they start going to school should also be looked at very keenly because many under-age kids are being forced into school which can cause serious biological disorders and make their development to be interfered with (Boergers, Gable, & Owens, 2014). The age of the children to go to school should be scientifically be determined so that the children biological development would not be affected by the unforgiving school schedules.
Schools should thus start later; both in the time of day and age of the child.
Some of the issued raised by those who support the early school programs is that their parents schedule is tight. Public servants for instance only get a six months’ maternity leave from work. This time is considerably very small to raise a child to the age of attending school. Most of them opts to hire a house help who will help in taking care of the child while the parents are working. For many middle class economically citizens, hiring a house help is a burden on their shoulder and means they should even dig deeper in their pockets. Some of the house helps are unqualified to handle the child and the child may even develop serious health conditions. This is caused by low level of education that the house help often has (Marx, Tanner‐Smith, Davison, Ufholz, Freeman, Shankar, & Hendrikx, 2017).
Due to these reasons many parents will with the slightest chance bring the house help services to and. The other closest stage for the parent to push the child into is education stage. Research shows that 35% of the total number of children who gets enrolled in an average school are children who are below the age of 3 years. This is a very alarming trend because the child has not developed fully coursing them into schools will cause serious biological development issues. Some of the parents even take their kids to kindergarten with as little as 18 months. This happens despite the legal age that a child must be educated is six years.
The busy schedules of the parents should not be an excuse to take premature children to school in the name of busy schedules and commitments. Baby care are readily available and parents can leave their children in the baby cares facilities when they go for work. Here the health and welfare of the children is guaranteed and security is ample.
Teenagers need at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Research shows that 50 – 80% of the students in schools are suffering from disorders that are caused by lack of sleep which has been linked to enormous harms to the health of the child and their cognitive development. Students who suffer from sleep deprivation have difficult in concentration in class (Paksarian, Rudolph, He, & Merikangas, 2015). This is because the sleep deprivation disorders interfere with the mind development of the child. The teenagers are thus supposed to have enough sleep before going to school and one sure way of doing this is to start schools late in the day. 10am for instance have been quoted to be a convenient time to start school. This time has been proved to be effective and should pose no health problem to the children and their cognitive ability is at optimum (Paksarian, Rudolph, He, & Merikangas, 2015).
Lack of sleep causes overload of sleep which highly and adversely affect the concentration of the teenager later in the day. Most of the school in the world start at 7- 8am on average and end at 4- 5pm in the evening. Due to the high competition in the field of academic among the teenagers in schools many students are forced to an extra mile to achieve the preset measure of standard of academic success.
Homework and assignments are the other cause of lack of sleep in students and teenagers. This is the work that follow the teenagers are given in schools to go and do at home and expected to hand in the work the work by the next morning when they report to school. This causes the students to overwork and not to sleep for enough hours while trying to fit in the school schedules (Skeldon, Phillips, & Dijk, 2017). The relevant authorities that are mandated with making sure of the student’s welfare should ensure and direct that the work of school should end with the mandatory school teaching work to prevent the teenagers from overworking.
Teenagers should get enough sleep so that their body and mind development is not interfered with the effects that are associated with sleep overload. One sure way to do this is to start school later in the day while the children have had enough sleep that they need and vital for their development. All the schools should adopt starting their school’s activity at 10 am which is the scientifically accepted time to school. The age of the children while they start school at the kindergarten is another very important issue that need to be addressed. The children should be taken to school while fully grown and cognitive ability developed to stable levels which is safe for learning and won’t affect their health.
- Adolescent Sleep Working Group. (2014). School start times for adolescents. Pediatrics, 134(3), 642-649.
- Boergers, J., Gable, C. J., & Owens, J. A. (2014). Later school start time is associated with improved sleep and daytime functioning in adolescents. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 35(1), 11-17.
- Marx, R., Tanner‐Smith, E. E., Davison, C. M., Ufholz, L. A., Freeman, J., Shankar, R., … & Hendrikx, S. (2017). Later school start times for supporting the education, health, and well‐being of high school students. The Cochrane Library.
- Paksarian, D., Rudolph, K. E., He, J. P., & Merikangas, K. R. (2015). School start time and adolescent sleep patterns: results from the US national comorbidity survey—adolescent supplement. American journal of public health, 105(7), 1351-1357.
- Skeldon, A. C., Phillips, A. J. K., & Dijk, D. J. (2017). Living in an urban lighting environment: should we move school start times?. Sleep Medicine, 40, e309.