Delighted to see this story and the warning from CDC about the dangers of letting your kids get too tired.
For the first time, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging education policymakers to start middle- and high-school classes later in the morning. The idea is to improve the odds of adolescents getting sufficient sleep so they can thrive both physically and academically.
The CDC’s recommendations come a year after the American Academy of Pediatrics urged schools to adjust start times so more kids would get the recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours of nightly rest. Both the CDC and the pediatricians’ group cited significant risks that come with lack of sleep, including higher rates of obesity and depression and motor-vehicle accidents among teens as well as an overall lower quality of life.
“Getting enough sleep is important for students’ health, safety, and academic performance,” Anne Wheaton, the lead author and epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Population Health, said in a statement. “Early school start times, however, are preventing many adolescents from getting the sleep they need.”
It's crazy how early the school day starts for children, and that's not even saying anything about parents who drop their kids off to before-school daycare so they can get to work in time.
I realize adult work is important. But your kids are more important. And they need sleep. Lots of sleep. Mine sleep well over 10 hours a night on average - more like 11 when they do any kind of exercise, which is most days. That's one of the great benefits of homeshooling, the fact that they don't need to get up early. We don't normally start our homeschooling until 9:30, by which point they're nicely awake and ready to absorb new things. If I forced them to get up at 6:30 every morning they'd be zombies by day three. Zombies don't learn very well. They're also a pain to be around.
We also don't have homework to keep us up late at night, which is a wonderful blessing. Instead, I have kids who get to watch classic movies (they're on a program their dad designed to teach them cultural literacy and the history of film; they're watching all kinds of black-and-white classics like Buster Keaton and the original King Kong), and then it's off to bed by 8 pm to read quietly until 9 or 9:30.
Kids who are well-rested and relax learn well. They're also healthier and a darn sight more pleasant to be around. Kids, and especially teenagers, need their sleep in order to develop into well-adjusted adults. Let's make sure there is enough time for it.