Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ahhh... Naps

I hear from so many teachers about how their school districts are trying to do away with nap time by referring to it as "wasted educational time".  I'm sorry, but I wholly disagree with administrative opinion.

For one thing, they're not in the classroom day after day, and watching as the children's energy flags right after lunch.  After spending a good 5 hours already doing lots of reading and computer work, and writing and P.E. and lunch, and then recess, children need to be able to give their little batteries a boost, if only for 15-20 minutes!

I put my kids down around one o'clock.  Turn off the classroom lights, put on some gentle music, and in less than five minutes I can hear the snores.  Too many of my students don't have decent bedtimes.  And right after we get up, it's time for math, more reading, and then centers to finish the day.  That short quarter hour to catch a few ZZZs does wonders, and they can attack their afternoon studies with clearer heads.

Sleep studies have consistently proven that naps are needed to keep the brain from fading out.  On top of that, we're also talking about 5-year-old children here.  I've tried to eliminate nap time in past years, and by two o'clock there were kids falling asleep sitting up in their chairs.  Some get cranky/crying, and a few have even curled up in the playhouse center on their own and slept there.

Naps are crucial in Kindergarten, and that's my 2 cents on the matter.

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