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View Poll Results: Given two choices, which would you rather choose?
Option 1: The school year should begin in late September and end in early May 28 49.12%
Option 2: The school year should begin in the second week of August and last until the last week of June 29 50.88%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2011, 12:13 AM
 
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I would like to see year round schools, but I don't think we should be extending the school day for our elementary school children (maybe not even for middle school) It might be good to extend the day for high school if necessary to get the curriculum in.

Note that New Zealand, Australia and Britain are all on year round systems. Canada has some year round though not every province has it.

The case for year-round schooling - thestar.com

Quote:
Britain, New Zealand and Australia have year-round schooling. In New Zealand, for instance, the year has four 10-week terms divided by three two-week end-of-term vacations and a shorter summer break.
I would also like to see the number of days extended a bit say from 180 to 200 days for kids.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
No, they should not. Kids need time to just be kids. Let's not make it all about work for kids.

They certainly can learn what is needed without these long days. Are you aware that in Germany, children go from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. They do often have a Saturday school every other week though.

I don't think that we should be regimenting kids constantly.
The problem is, parents have deferred much of raising kids to the schools and that means we need more time. At the high school level, I see a need for a homework block so kids get their homework done. At the elementary level, kids who don't get support at home need time in school where they get the support they need. Look at the Amistad Academy and the success they've had on, I believe, a 9 hour school day (couldn't find the length of day on the website but I know it's way behond 8 hours a day as the school attempts to give kids the support they should have at home for homework at school (disclaimer, only part of the program...they do more).

A longer school day means we won't be quite so rushed in the classroom. It means there will be time to do homework when the child has resources like the teacher and other students around and, at the elementary level, there's more time for working 1:1 with students. I'm not sure how long the day should be but I can see the value of an intervention hour for students in high school where they can be assigned to the teacher whose class they are having the most trouble in at that point in time or for remediation. The problem is not everyone needs this. Schools like Amistad are schools of choice so they will attract kids who need a longer school day. Maybe the answer is to have all magnet schools each with their own focus and yearly schedule. Parents who want a long summer can choose a school that has one, parents who want year round schools can choose a year round school (my prediction is this will not be a popular model)...
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:44 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,019,586 times
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Children are NOT little adults. These days are way too long for kids. Heck, kids need UNSTRUCTURED time and down time more than adults do. If you keep kids in school for long periods, when will they learn to be independent and to solve their own social problems?

These kinds of days are long even for adults and they are often less productive.
Look at what we are teaching kids today. The US was ranked low in every field in school except one... confidence. We are raising kids to be dumb and confident. The American way...


Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
No, they should not. Kids need time to just be kids. Let's not make it all about work for kids.

They certainly can learn what is needed without these long days. Are you aware that in Germany, children go from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. They do often have a Saturday school every other week though.

I don't think that we should be regimenting kids constantly.

That is good for Germany. Look at the economic state of the EU and tell me they are doing things right. I will say this again, right now I am 25 years old and work as a computer programmer. I finished Calc I in 11th grade, and continued with math from there. For an American, I was about as advanced as you can get in mathematics, and I am roughly average compared to my foreign co-workers. Something needs to change.

Kids would have plenty of time to 'just be kids'. How much time per week do you think a kid needs to just 'be a kid'?
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,717,492 times
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Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
Look at what we are teaching kids today. The US was ranked low in every field in school except one... confidence. We are raising kids to be dumb and confident. The American way...





That is good for Germany. Look at the economic state of the EU and tell me they are doing things right. I will say this again, right now I am 25 years old and work as a computer programmer. I finished Calc I in 11th grade, and continued with math from there. For an American, I was about as advanced as you can get in mathematics, and I am roughly average compared to my foreign co-workers. Something needs to change.

Kids would have plenty of time to 'just be kids'. How much time per week do you think a kid needs to just 'be a kid'?
Yup....they can't do a thing but they sure expect an A, a trophy and a big pat on the back. Sadly, true confidence is rooted in ability so life after school will be a rude awakening. Most will adjust but many will not.

The difference between us and other countries is they actually expect their kids to be able to do something before they're even allowed to feel good about themselves and then it, quickly, on to the next goal.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:51 AM
 
12,455 posts, read 27,084,912 times
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Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Would you prefer the (K-12) school year to be longer or shorter?

Right now in MN the school year usually begins after Labor Day in early September and lasts until early June with two big breaks.

In alternative scenario #1, the school year would be cut by almost 2 months. It would start during the Monday of the last week of September and go through early May. All breaks would be intact. This would have the advantage of more free time for both students and teachers, and would allow the state to better balance the budget by cutting education funding and teacher salaries.

In alternative scenario #2, the school year would be extended to begin in the second week of August and get out the last week of June. This is actually how it is in Mexico and many European countries. The break schedule would be kept intact. Possible advantages of this plan would be better knowledge and skill retention, less time to get in trouble, and better pay for teachers.
Let's not bash parents and kids (AGAIN) please. Back on topic ^
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:07 AM
 
5,210 posts, read 8,812,817 times
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Originally Posted by sherrenee View Post
It was very demanding but my parents wanted to prepare me for real life. They both grew up very poor and wanted to make sure we (my siblings and I) were able to make a decent life for ourselves. When I was in high school I would go to work at 3-4pm and work until 9 pm (at JCPenney) then come home and do homework, I also typically worked at least one day on the weekend. My parents also did interesting things to teach me about money (I'm actually thankful for them now) such as making me buy all my own clothes and paying the electric bill.
You must have been starting school pretty early in the morning (by 6:30am?) in order to attend club meetings after school and make it to work by 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Assuming you were arriving home every night by 9:30, eating dinner, doing chores and then doing homework for 4 or 5 classes...you were probably going to sleep around 12:00am, or later if you had major tests/presentations/papers. Your head would no sooner hit the pillow and you were getting back up by 5:00am to get ready for school.

So at best you were getting 5 hours of sleep every night during the school year? You may need less sleep than the average person, but most people would have a hard time functioning (ie: not falling asleep at their desk or behind the wheel of their car) on such a sleep deprived schedule. In real life, for most people, something would have to give - lightened course load, less extracurricular activities, reduced chores, fewer work hours..

You were lucky to be able to function as well as you did, but I think that you might be underestimating how very much you needed your summers. If only to catch up on all of that lost sleep!
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Arkansas
1,229 posts, read 2,768,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Children are NOT little adults. These days are way too long for kids. Heck, kids need UNSTRUCTURED time and down time more than adults do. If you keep kids in school for long periods, when will they learn to be independent and to solve their own social problems?

These kinds of days are long even for adults and they are often less productive.
Actually quite the opposite. I work in a behavioral health center for children and adolescents and they do tremendously better when they have structured days. Monday-Friday here there day is structured from the time they get up till they go to bed on the weekends there is less structure. On the weekends there is a significant rise in the number and amount of times they act out.

Also donít forget it wasn't that long ago those kids did not have things as easy as they do now. Kids from my fatherís era (40's-50's and even before) typically were required to work and did not have a lot of down time due to work. I think you will find kids back then were typically better behaved and had "common sense smarts". I think kids now have a very easy life and when they get out into the world at age 18 they have zero clue how to survive or do simple task (not all obviously). I saw it when I worked in banking kids coming in at age 18 having a checking account not knowing how to write a check let alone balance a check book. That is just one example. If we expect too little from them now as kids what can we expect to get from them as adults?
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Arkansas
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Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
You must have been starting school pretty early in the morning (by 6:30am?) in order to attend club meetings after school and make it to work by 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Assuming you were arriving home every night by 9:30, eating dinner, doing chores and then doing homework for 4 or 5 classes...you were probably going to sleep around 12:00am, or later if you had major tests/presentations/papers. Your head would no sooner hit the pillow and you were getting back up by 5:00am to get ready for school.

So at best you were getting 5 hours of sleep every night during the school year? You may need less sleep than the average person, but most people would have a hard time functioning (ie: not falling asleep at their desk or behind the wheel of their car) on such a sleep deprived schedule. In real life, for most people, something would have to give - lightened course load, less extracurricular activities, reduced chores, fewer work hours..

You were lucky to be able to function as well as you did, but I think that you might be underestimating how very much you needed your summers. If only to catch up on all of that lost sleep!

I started school at 7 am. I don't require a lot of sleep on average I get between 5-6 hours now and that has been pretty consistent since I was a teenager. My parents expected a lot from me, and I was able to function just fine with those high expectations. Falling asleep or getting in trouble in school (for any reason) were not options in my parents’ house. Getting less than A's and B's (I did get a C in geometry even after tutoring...I just never got it) was not an option. The only reason getting a C in that class was accepted was due to the fact that they could see how hard I was working even with tutoring and still not comprehending it (apparently you need to be somewhat of a visual person to get geometry).

I was in SADD, DECA, Choir, FBLA and still managed to fit a social life in there too. It can be done.

I am very thankful that I had parents with tough expectations; it helped prepare me for the real world. Soon after I graduated (at 18) I moved out, got a job worked my rear off in banking rose to become a branch manager at 25, got married at 20.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:45 AM
 
15,297 posts, read 16,849,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
Look at what we are teaching kids today. The US was ranked low in every field in school except one... confidence. We are raising kids to be dumb and confident. The American way...

That is good for Germany. Look at the economic state of the EU and tell me they are doing things right. I will say this again, right now I am 25 years old and work as a computer programmer. I finished Calc I in 11th grade, and continued with math from there. For an American, I was about as advanced as you can get in mathematics, and I am roughly average compared to my foreign co-workers. Something needs to change.

Kids would have plenty of time to 'just be kids'. How much time per week do you think a kid needs to just 'be a kid'?
My ds had multivariable calc, ap chemistry, ap physics (combined into chem/phys), ap biology all in his high school in the late 1980s. He has no problem keeping up with foreign workers and he is a chemical engineer with a masters degree. In college he did a double major in chem E and systems science with a minor in economics and got out in 4 years not 5. I don't think he is average with respect to any coworkers either American or foreign, but that's because his passion is for science and math.

When I was growing up, we did not have full day K. I managed to get a masters in mathematics and I did not even take Calc until college.

We are in too much of a rush to push academics on kids who are not ready for them. Early is not the same as good.

Almost every school in countries that beat us out does LESS in actual topics, but goes into more depth. That is what we should be doing. Also almost every country that beats us has a national curriculum. We should be doing this as well. A course in Algebra I should not vary from district to district or from state to state. A course in physics should cover the same topics in each school that offers it. As it is now, our mobile population gets short-changed because this is not true.

I agree that we need to raise our kids to actually value learning and to get the esteem that comes from doing difficult subjects well. Part of the problem is the fact that we never allow our kids to do even the physical things they should be doing on their own without hovering to make sure they don't fall. If we keep them in schools, teachers will have to hover because the lawsuits that happen when kids do get hurt are ridiculous. Kids need to learn to be risk takers and more is learned out of school than in school about this.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Any state that has accepted Race To The Top money from the feds (and almost all have) has had to agree to to create and follow a common curriculum called Common Core State Standards that will be interchangable betwen the states. Essentially a national curriculum.
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