At first glance, this AP story about Alabama schools doing away with nap time for kindergartners to allow for more instruction strikes me as somewhat ridiculous. Are 5-year-olds really too busy for nap time? According to the article, apparently they are.
To be perfectly honest, there's so much in the kindergarten curriculum that we need the extra classroom time," [one principal] said.
Some schools have already phased out nap time, says the article, in favor of a reading/rest time that allows students to take a break and exercise their reading skills. Other schools have opted to allow naps for the first semester and phased in reading/rest time for the second semester, when students have had time to adjust to the length of the school day, the article says.
I don’t exactly know where to stand on this. I’m sure that some kids are completely fine going all day without a nap, while others might struggle with fatigue and inattentiveness, which could make it very hard to concentrate, as a result of the switch. Adding an extra half-hour to instruction time doesn’t seem like it will make much of a difference if the trade off is that students are tired and restless in class.
Does your school still have nap time for young students? Is it an important part of the school day, or would that time be better used in a different way?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.