of Quasimodo’s and zombies

After just four days at school, Raine and Skye tell me their shoulders are half-broken. Heavy backpacks are an eternal problem for schoolkids here. For years now, I’ve made the girls carry two bags, a backpack and a tote bag, to split the load because I don’t want them to grow up looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame! Not that the school will entertain any disability appeal for turning our kids into hunchbacks!

It doesn’t help that the school hours have been extended till 2:30 or four pm on some days (it starts at 7:30am). That’s way too many hours squished up in stuffy classrooms or out in the blazing sun in ninety plus degree weather.

When I pick the girls up from school, they look like zombies 🙁 ! They’re hungry and tired, hair disheveled and totally unmotivated to do anything for the rest of the day. When I see their sad faces, I really feel for them. It’s a shame school is such a burden now instead of the fun it used to be.

Here’s an interesting question. Do longer hours make smarter kids, or resentful ones?

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15 Comments

  • Heather McD

    That is horrible! Kids do have it rough nowadays. Some of my friends have told me young kids don’t get naptime anymore at school either. The schools need to let up on kids.

    I am following you now. Thanks for the compliment on my blog about my new layout.

  • Natalie at Mommy on Fire

    Hi, Clairity! First of all, thanks for visiting my blog!! 🙂

    I am a former teacher and do not feel that extending the school day is the answer. Research on the brain and how it functions would tell us that optimal start time for high school students is 9 a.m. while best time for elementary kids is at 7:30 a.m. We reverse this in our culture – high school kids go first, elementary second. If they push back the start time, teens, who are naturally-wired to be late night owls and sleep a little later in the mornings, might be more rested and the quality will outweigh the quantity. You are correct – such a long day equals tired kids and at the high school level, many of them have jobs. And I thought I was tired as a mommy of three children under five! :)GOod to “meet” you!

  • Lindsay

    I don’t think longer hours are good. Even though my son is not in school yet I look forward to him getting out early enough for him to help me with dinner, maybe go to the park and play, or just have some time together till we have to get ready for bed to just do it the next morning. And here in Houston I see the little ones waiting for the bus at 7 am! I have to wonder what time they wake up to get ready for school. Way too early!

  • Charlene

    My daughter has a heavy backpack but I told her we’re going to need to go to a rollerboard pretty soon. Of course, then she’ll look like she’s moving into school instead of visiting for the day. Luckily she goes to private school so the days are not crazy. There’s a saying that the more you pay, the less they go. It’s crazy but true! Visiting from MBC!

    • clairity

      @charlene
      A rollerboard’s an interesting idea 😀 . Our private schools have equally long hours so I guess it’s not much different, only we’d have to be paying more.
      Thanks for visiting, hope to see you around regularly.

  • Melanie

    When my youngest was in senior kindergarten, he had a full day and when he came home he was very tired. However, we did see a difference in his school work – he was reading very well. I guess it all depends on the child. My son adjusted well, for others it was too much.

    That’s quite a long day for your girls. Hope the schedule changes.

    Just visiting from MBC and looking to reading more of your posts.

  • Angelia Sims

    I am thankful my daughter doesn’t have a heavy pack anymore. But she is a sophomore in high school going to school at 730am. That is rough! Luckily next year she will have a later arrival.
    Hope your pack mules get a lot of recesses. 🙂

    • clairity

      @melanie
      I’m hoping but I doubt the schedule will change and they’re not learning much more from the extended hours. Thanks for stopping by 😀 .

      @angelia
      My girls are in high school too. On days when they finish at 2:30, there’s no lunch break 🙁 .

  • JAS

    It’s not right. My girls have extremely heavy backpacks and when they come out of school I always take them. There backs could get injured. The school days are already long enough. These kids barely have a break for lunch. If they’re going to increase the day they must increase the breaks. Also I think they should lighten up the homework. My kids have way too much homework. I never had as much as they do. It’s ridiculous.

    • clairity

      @jas
      Same here, the kids don’t get a lunch break. And you’re right, homework must be designed to take kids to a higher level of understanding, not just for the sake of homework itself.