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Can you imagine public school going from 9-6?


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This was in my news feed on Facebook today.

 

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/rendezview/its-time-to-extend-the-school-day-from-9am-to-6pm/news-story/9b5e33b7f1e441e64d5fe46330a34ad4

 

I really don't get it. I know school is too short for working families but this seems a bit excessive. Thank goodness I plan to homeschool through high school!

 

I didn't even know this was a consideration anywhere. 

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It all depends on what those extra hours look like and if they are optional.  Does that mean they could have morning recess, lunch recess, and afternoon recess?  Does that mean they have more time for one on one help?  Does that mean they don't leave school with homework?

 

Or does it just mean more time sitting at a desk working on test skills?

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It all depends on what those extra hours look like and if they are optional. Does that mean they could have morning recess, lunch recess, and afternoon recess? Does that mean they have more time for one on one help? Does that mean they don't leave school with homework?

 

Or does it just mean more time sitting at a desk working on test skills?

The linked editorial speaks of extracurricular activities such as yoga.

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I think it would be fine *if* the basic idea of what school looks like was adjusted accordingly. It would have to look much more like a boarding school -- a place where children both "live" (in a lot of ways) and are educated. However, the model would certainly be a sacrifice for families who prefer hands-on parenting for a reasonable number of hours per day (and have the privilidge to do it just because they want to).

Edited by bolt.
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I am completely ignorant of public school (on purpose) but don't they have that now? My sisters are in public school (11 and 13 years old) and they are doing after school stuff quite late often. 

 

I thought that maybe they were thinking that they could help with the "no child hungry" thing that is so big here with this. But it doesn't say that in the article. 

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It is an Australia news site. Not sure how available childcare is. Singapore went full day because kids were either latchkey or home with domestic maids after school. The luckier ones have grandparents, aunts or a stay at home parent (not saying the maids are bad). I think the school day became 7:30am to 4pm but I am not sure. I still have nieces in the system but they are the kind who would take all extracurriculars possible so would stay until the school campus closes at around 6:30pm.

 

http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/history/events/53f31349-1918-493d-9c05-74017f98b9cb

Edited by Arcadia
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I think it reinforces the idea that school is childcare. I don't think that's a great idea. Also, that it's childcare for those people who are working weekdays 9-5.

 

Even if the extra time was all electives and recess and such, it's still too long for most young kids.

 

I don't think the idea is one I could get behind.

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I am opposed to any educational model that says that schools, teachers, bureaucrats and politicians know more about what my child needs to be doing for a majority of her day than I do.  It is my right and my obligation to structure my child's day.  It is not the government's obligation to babysit my kid or teach her yoga.  Yoga??

 

If you want to make it optional, knock yourselves out, but a mandatory nine-hour school day?  No way.

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If they could roll in a no homework policy, I'd be all for it. 9-6 to get EVERY education and extracurricular related obligation DONE for the day seems fair. It would give some families more time together in the evening and more sleep in the morning.

 

This.

 

 

If you want to make it optional, knock yourselves out, but a mandatory nine-hour school day?  No way.

And this.

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I would be fine with it, as long as the school used the time responsibly and in an age-appropriate manner.

 

My kids were in school (including aftercare) from 9-6:30 from age 2.5-5, and then from ages 5 to 7 they were there from 8:30-6.  Now they run to the bus stop at 7:30 and trudge home at 4.  No problem.  They get some or all of their homework done in aftercare, socialize, learn games, chill, and still have time in the evenings for extracurriculars.  Some extracurriculars are offered at school during the aftercare hours.  As they get older, this will be the case more and more.

 

Actually I am thrilled with my kids' school's aftercare.  We don't usually need it now that they have bus service, but it was a huge benefit to me when I needed to pick them up at school.  I wish all working parents had this benefit.

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Well, Success Academy in NYC had days that were 9 hrs 15 min long in middle school. They will be doing shorter days -- high staff turnover, over 50 percent.

 

Some working parents found it to be a big benefit. Parents in schools that had a more middle class population did not like the long hours, because it interfered with after school activities.

 

In my suburban area, before and after school care for elementary level (paid, not free) is an option. But it is not school, it is fun activities, games, snacks, etc. plus a chance to get homework done if kid wants.

Edited by Alessandra
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I think what you guys as homeschoolers are missing is that this is exactly what every single child in a two-income family is already doing, they are just paying cash and poor children are getting drastically less supervision.

 

It's not like there is some magical drop-off fairy or pick-up fairy that lets us work, you know?

 

We have to get in at 6:30 or stay until 7:30 to arrange our schedules, and then we only get a couple hours together. But we're lucky. MANY children get dropped off for breakfast, class, recess, class, lunch, class, snack, class, bell, after-school outside time, homework time, organized activity. It's not like this isn't happening. It's just that poor kids get less and families save on it.

 

The school is already paying people to do those activities for kids but the payment is cash so poor kids don't get it. This would just roll it all up in a complete package to make things run more smoothly.

 

 

 

 

 Singapore went full day because kids were either latchkey or home with domestic maids after school. The luckier ones have grandparents, aunts or a stay at home parent (not saying the maids are bad). I think the school day became 7:30am to 4pm but I am not sure.

 

Yes, that is precisely why people push for it. It's not like that time is spent with family. It's spent in paid care for many families.

 

I'm guessing this would be implemented like full-day kindergarten, which it kind of already is here, but scaling would make it cheaper. Everyone gets free half-day, full-day requires a fee on top and you get extra lunch, extra recess, and extra enrichment activities.

 

I think it's really nice when dad earns so much mom can stay home for 18 years or whatever, when there's no chance of divorce. That's great. But pretending like we can ALL do that is unrealistic. Even if my family moved to the sticks to save on housing, fine, but some people are really, really poor! 

 

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Easily. My DS's friend goes to such a program in NYC, all homework is done at school as well as certain extracurriculars. I think it's crazy you need a parent at home chauffeuring kids to after school stuff.

There's also programs that go all day, all summer, but I'm not as fond of those as I want my kids outside in the summer.

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Well here they had very long days for awhile.  They cut that due to budget issues. 

 

I guess it would be ideal for working families.  As it is kids often are there that long anyway with after school care.

 

I try to imagine what it would be like if I were working a paid job all day.  DH does not get home until about 6.  We'd have to pay for childcare of some sort.  And transportation if the childcare was not at the school.  It would be a lot more to think about.

 

 

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I think it reinforces the idea that school is childcare. I don't think that's a great idea. Also, that it's childcare for those people who are working weekdays 9-5.

 

Even if the extra time was all electives and recess and such, it's still too long for most young kids.

 

I don't think the idea is one I could get behind.

This.

 

What about families where both parents work, but one works nights, or they have staggered schedules? Some would not see their children at all if school had extended hours.

 

If we want to have optional free afterschool care until 6 p.m. for families who cannot afford it, I could understand a program like that. But I am totally against requiring it for everyone just because it would help a certain percentage of people.

 

I am sure there are lots of people who would prefer their children be in afterschool care of their own choosing, with a nanny, paid neighbor, or relative, rather than be stuck in school for several extra hours every day.

 

And IMO, mandatory school hours are already too long for grades K-2 at the least. There is no reason it should take seven hours to teach what is necessary in those grades.

Edited by Penelope
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I think what you guys as homeschoolers are missing is that this is exactly what every single child in a two-income family is already doing, they are just paying cash and poor children are getting drastically less supervision.

 

It's not like there is some magical drop-off fairy or pick-up fairy that lets us work, you know?

 

We have to get in at 6:30 or stay until 7:30 to arrange our schedules, and then we only get a couple hours together. But we're lucky. MANY children get dropped off for breakfast, class, recess, class, lunch, class, snack, class, bell, after-school outside time, homework time, organized activity. It's not like this isn't happening. It's just that poor kids get less and families save on it.

 

The school is already paying people to do those activities for kids but the payment is cash so poor kids don't get it. This would just roll it all up in a complete package to make things run more smoothly.

 

 

 

Yes, that is precisely why people push for it. It's not like that time is spent with family. It's spent in paid care for many families.

 

I'm guessing this would be implemented like full-day kindergarten, which it kind of already is here, but scaling would make it cheaper. Everyone gets free half-day, full-day requires a fee on top and you get extra lunch, extra recess, and extra enrichment activities.

 

I think it's really nice when dad earns so much mom can stay home for 18 years or whatever, when there's no chance of divorce. That's great. But pretending like we can ALL do that is unrealistic. Even if my family moved to the sticks to save on housing, fine, but some people are really, really poor!

And another thing to consider is food. It always shakes me up when I read that one reason NYC schools hardly ever have snow days is because some kids will go hungry without school meals. So early day means breakfast and later day means more food again.

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Oh yeah, our local rec center has before-care and after-care, and they have busing to and from several of the nearest schools (not ours, unfortunately).  This would be especially nice for kids who have evening sports activities at the rec center.

 

ETA:  I guess that wasn't exactly on topic, but I think it's great that communities organize for families who need after-school care.

Edited by SKL
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We get a packet every summer from the city and the school district giving us a menu of options. Poor children have priority in the school district's own internal before/after care program, which has a huge subsidy, and then everyone else. On top of that, we can choose pick-up by a variety of activities which all operate on a sliding scale.

 

In practical terms, it means the very poor and very rich have very, very different opportunities than the others. The B&GC has a free program for the poor but we'd have to pay hundreds a month.

 

I think your post is really on topic, SKL, because the reason they are doing this is not "we need to teach more" but "we need to take care of the kids in society".

 

The best after school is BG&C because they also do sports. And once you hit middle school, after-school sports more or less fill this gap. But for primary-aged children, it's really hard for families.

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This reminds me of this: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/exhibits/ww2/services/child.htmI grew up in the Portland/Vancouver area so it was local to me (albeit I was born 30+ years later). One thing that always struck me was this:

 

 

A child nutritionist planned all of the meals including those made for the "Home Service Food" program. This effort provided pre-cooked packaged take-home meals for 50 cents each that included enough to feed a mother and one child. These also contained directions for reheating and for "supplementary salads and vegetables to make a full dinner." The meals would be ready for the mother to pick up along with her child at the end of her shift and went a long way in reducing the stress of planning, shopping, and cooking meals for already overworked women.

 

I could see how that could benefit many families today. Maybe even go to the obesity epidemic but it does seem a bit big brother. 

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This reminds me of this: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/exhibits/ww2/services/child.htmI grew up in the Portland/Vancouver area so it was local to me (albeit I was born 30+ years later). One thing that always struck me was this:

 

I could see how that could benefit many families today. Maybe even go to the obesity epidemic but it does seem a bit big brother. 

 

I think today's version may be the drive thru.  :)

 

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I think there are many families who could benefit from it.  

 

But I think the fact that there are so many families who *have to* have both parents (or the only, in the case of single-parent) working so much that they need this much childcare or even food... that's really a shame.  That isn't a sign of a successful society.

 

I vote for trying to change the culture so that this isn't such a great need.  I'd not be against it in the interrim, as long as it isn't required.

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I think there are many families who could benefit from it.  

 

But I think the fact that there are so many families who *have to* have both parents (or the only, in the case of single-parent) working so much that they need this much childcare or even food... that's really a shame.  That isn't a sign of a successful society.

 

I vote for trying to change the culture so that this isn't such a great need.  I'd not be against it in the interrim, as long as it isn't required.

 

You can't change the culture without LOTS of time. We didn't get where we are over night, and it will take a LOT to change it. To me the best way to change it would be to have people think about children before they have them, but I know I am dreaming with that one. Few do that regardless of when they have children in life. 

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As a person of privilege, I want my children's school days short, sweet and effective -- then give me my babies back.

 

But, it seems to me, theoretically that a public school system should model itself to serve primarily the children of families with average-to-challenging situations, and the people of privilege should be opting out or making other arrangements. It's simply not logical that public school should be ideal for me, and people with *less* choices and *fewer* resources are the ones who have to 'make other arrangements' to work with a system that was designed to suit people like me.

 

I don't really like what that looks like, but it does strike me as fair. If most kids in a society are usually out of their parents' hands from x hour to y hour (due to average adult work obligations) there is no reason that their school shouldn't be a place that is good and healthy for them for the full range of those hours. But if it's going to be 'good and healthy' for that many hours, it really can't look or feel like a conventional school model.

 

A large and diverse society could, of course, continue to offer options of other school types to people with enough resources and freedom to choose otherwise... But I think it's fair that the majority of the system should be designed to serve the majority of the students. If (I mean if) this model has promise, it should probably be attempted.

Edited by bolt.
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I have lived in a school district that had pre-school and after-school care available. The boys and girls club operated out of each school building.  Many kids were at the school building from 7 am to 6 pm, and went home with backpacks of food each night as well.  I'm supportive of such programs IF they are optional.  The boys and girls club programming was actually quite good, and including homework time, exercise time, and free play/team play time.

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It all depends on what those extra hours look like and if they are optional.  Does that mean they could have morning recess, lunch recess, and afternoon recess?  Does that mean they have more time for one on one help?  Does that mean they don't leave school with homework?

 

Or does it just mean more time sitting at a desk working on test skills?

 

This. I would totally be in favor of school hours like that IF recess, free play time and absolutely ALL work was included in those hours. I think that would end up being a win for families actually. BUT I worry that schools would just see those as extra hours that they can't sacrifice, and cram ever more test prep into them. :(

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The more I think about it, the more I like it. They could have "core hours" that are the minimal requirements if families want to pick their little guys up sooner. However, I think it would be awesome for homework to be overseen by educators and never required to be done at home. I've attended schools where the work couldn't leave the building. It's very liberating. Families would know what kids are doing when graded papers come home, but there would be no requirement to spend your evening on that wretched diorama. School could be a video game and television free zone where the kids are learning and playing, so if they turn on the set for an hour or two at home, it's no big deal. Snacks could be healthy options only. It could level the playing field for poor kids and relieve the work/guilt load for working middle class moms.

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Did anyone read the whole editorial? It's about Australia and it's not clear that the writer has any personal insight into the realities of the school system - sounds more like something an outsider would yell about to get attention. Interesting that the comments are so similar to the complaints people have about the US system (bloat in the curriculum, low standards, overworked teachers).

 

My niece & nephew go to school in Australia and my BIL is a teacher in a private school there. I know he has concerns, but overall I thought the education system was pretty well done. Things seem much more formalized.

 

Having schools offer after-school care would pretty much fulfill this person's wishlist. And if it's optional, families who want to spend the time with their kids or do other activities could still do that.

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I think what you guys as homeschoolers are missing is that this is exactly what every single child in a two-income family is already doing, they are just paying cash and poor children are getting drastically less supervision.

 

It's not like there is some magical drop-off fairy or pick-up fairy that lets us work, you know?

 

We have to get in at 6:30 or stay until 7:30 to arrange our schedules, and then we only get a couple hours together. But we're lucky. MANY children get dropped off for breakfast, class, recess, class, lunch, class, snack, class, bell, after-school outside time, homework time, organized activity. It's not like this isn't happening. It's just that poor kids get less and families save on it.

 

The school is already paying people to do those activities for kids but the payment is cash so poor kids don't get it. This would just roll it all up in a complete package to make things run more smoothly.

 

 

 

Yes, that is precisely why people push for it. It's not like that time is spent with family. It's spent in paid care for many families.

 

I'm guessing this would be implemented like full-day kindergarten, which it kind of already is here, but scaling would make it cheaper. Everyone gets free half-day, full-day requires a fee on top and you get extra lunch, extra recess, and extra enrichment activities.

 

I think it's really nice when dad earns so much mom can stay home for 18 years or whatever, when there's no chance of divorce. That's great. But pretending like we can ALL do that is unrealistic. Even if my family moved to the sticks to save on housing, fine, but some people are really, really poor!

Please remember that having children who CAN go to school 6+ hours a day is also very much a privilege that a lot of people can not take for granted.

 

Truthfully, we can't really afford to have me not working FT at least at this juncture. I worked a FT managerial position until my son was close to 9. In the end though I had to choose my job or his needs. We have no other viable choice but for a parent to be home. I pick up work as I can that I can do from home to make the ends meet and yes, we had to move.

 

The special education options are so woefully inadequate here for kids with a certain mix of needs that I would be royally pissed to see funding go to make the day longer as a childcare subsidy for kids who can enroll in school FT before they fix what they have royally screwed up for kids with SpEd needs. Several districts in this area, including clear and away the largest one, are having their SpEd programs under tight but largely futile compliance controls by the state for long standing and egregious violations of state and federal law.

 

So do not, under any circumstances think that homeschooling is only a privileged choice.

 

Our area is full of low and moderate income parents, single and coupled alike who homeschool by choice or by sheer necessity. Consider yourself fairly fortunate that you don't have any reason to face this dilemma before you label homeschoolers as uniformly or even mostly financially privileged.

 

ETA- The state is also, as you well know, violating court order to fully fund the school system as it is. If they can't or won't find the money for the current level of school hours how would they find the money for was would lengthen the school day by 50%. You can't make people work 50% more for the same amount of money. We already are facing a serious teacher shortage. There is a reason why this has been discontinued at some districts where it has been tried. Fund after school care for the kids who need it. But let the parents pay for it to the extent they are able.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Also... school isn't free daycare?

 

Coulda fooled me.

 

(Not really "free" of course in that we all pay, but you get the point.)

 

Yeah admittedly if something happened and I had to work, I'd rather enroll my kids in school then have them home alone all day.  Maybe.  That's how much I dislike our public schools around here, but it would be affordable daycare.

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IF the children had a full 30 minute morning and afternoon recess, and hour at lunch, another late afternoon break - recess around 5 p.m. - more music and art, and were to receive tutoring when regular instruction ended at  the 3 p.m. healthy snack time thus not taking homework away, it could be okay for the kids who are already in latch key/after school programs and daycares. If mum and dad pick them up at six, have dinner, and then do not have homework to do, it might make the two or three hours they have together before bed more relaxed. If bussing is included, they would need to let out around 4 p.m. in order to get all those kids home by 6 p.m. so in terms of potential instruction, it would only be an hour for those kids who do not have a ride.

 

I would not want it for my child. But we homeschool to meet their needs. The PS has to do what is best for the majority of the families enrolled so I could see why some states would potentially consider this.

 

That said, funding would have to increase a lot when one considers paying the teachers for longer hours, providing food, more utilities, more supplies, ....

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I should have made clear--I enjoy this idea as a pipe dream.

 

Clearly, we need to provide adequate K-12 education for 100% of children regardless of disability or ELL status, first.

 

That is without question in my mind.

 

 

Please remember that having children who CAN go to school 6+ hours a day is also very much a privilege that a lot of people can not take for granted.

Truthfully, we can't really afford to have me not working FT at least at this juncture. I worked a FT managerial position until my son was close to 9. In the end though I had to choose my job or his needs. We have no other viable choice but for a parent to be home. I pick up work as I can that I can do from home to make the ends meet and yes, we had to move.

The special education options are so woefully inadequate here for kids with a certain mix of needs that I would be royally pissed to see funding go to make the day longer as a childcare subsidy for kids who can enroll in school FT before they fix what they have royally screwed up for kids with SpEd needs. Several districts in this area, including clear and away the largest one, are having their SpEd programs under tight but largely futile compliance controls by the state for long standing and egregious violations of state and federal law.

So do not, under any circumstances think that homeschooling is only a privileged choice.

Our area is full of low and moderate income parents, single and coupled alike who homeschool by choice or by sheer necessity. Consider yourself fairly fortunate that you don't have any reason to face this dilemma before you label homeschoolers as uniformly or even mostly financially privileged.

ETA- The state is also, as you well know, violating court order to fully fund the school system as it is. If they can't or won't find the money for the current level of school hours how would they find the money for was would lengthen the school day by 50%. You can't make people work 50% more for the same amount of money. We already are facing a serious teacher shortage. There is a reason why this has been discontinued at some districts where it has been tried. Fund after school care for the kids who need it. But let the parents pay for it to the extent they are able.

 

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My daughter has the option to be at her public middle school from 8-5, so the same number of hours as 9-6. The school day officially ends at 3:30, but the school has a very organized menu of after school options. She participates in theatre, minecraft club, web design, and a writer's workshop. Other options include yoga, dance, crafts, math team, computer programming, homework help, public service club, etc. Prices are about $1-2 per day except a few things like robotics at $10-15 per day, with scholarship funds available.

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Yes, teachers do work after school to grade papers and make lesson plans etc. but that is not the same thing as using an hour recess here to grade and gym class to make lesson plans watching the clock for when the kids come back and still keeping my sweet and calm attitude when we are approaching 9 hours. Yikes!

 

I would prefer babysitting and teaching to be kept separate professions.

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It all depends on what those extra hours look like and if they are optional.  Does that mean they could have morning recess, lunch recess, and afternoon recess?  Does that mean they have more time for one on one help?  Does that mean they don't leave school with homework?

 

Or does it just mean more time sitting at a desk working on test skills?

Agree, in our town there are early morning/after school programs that look a lot like extra periods of music/instrumental and phys ed (extra periods). They are free and optional, I don't see anything wrong with them except that if you choose to use them you can't take the bus to school or home before/after those periods.

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My local school district currently offers before and aftercare on school days. A child participating in both programs could be at school from 6:30 am to 6 pm. Per the website, children are offered morning and afternoon snacks, opportunity to work on homework or have quiet time, physical activity, and programmed activities under the guidance of trained staff. 

 

The school district also offers full daycare on teacher in-service days, minor holidays, calamity days, and summer breaks.   

 

These are fee-based programs.  Most participating families use the programs because they need the childcare. There are some children, however, who are enrolled in the aftercare and summer programs specifically for the socializing opportunities.  

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I am not saying I would ever want it, but coming from the perspective that I was a "go home alone" child, this would be WAY better then doing that. Being able to play with even some of my friends, get my homework done and get maybe dinner (I purposely went to school early some days to get breakfast there, it was fun!). It could be fun. 

 

For parents, if the school gave a child breakfast, lunch and dinner 5 days out of 7, I would think that would severely cut down on the food budget and probably (big probably there, I know) be healthier then McDonalds. It would be even better if they had a dinner service where the parent could go home with the (presumably) good food for a small fee. 

 

It is sad that we need this but like I said before, many families don't think about this sort of thing till about a week after the stick turns blue. Also we are in a culture that in many ways looks down on SAHM's. How many forms do you need to fill out that say "Occupation" on them? My occupation is a mom. On some forms we even have to fill out if we are "Employed, unemployed or Retired". I am none of those! Unemployed to me sounds like I am looking for employment. I am not, I have been a SAHW/M for almost 11 years now. If I wanted employment, I would have it! I choose not to work because we can afford it and my children are my full time job (without sick days I might also add). Society needs to recognize that we are more then just where we are for 40-60 hours a week. 

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