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Can you imagine public school going from 9-6?


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Aren't schools longer hours in other countries?

 

Also, I had longer hours at American School in Japan when I was in seventh grade. Not 9 hours, but more than 6. The thing was the teachers were not responsible for more.

 

I think this could be done without mixing teaching up with other stuff. In elementary schools here there is aftercare for a fee. Aftercare workers are not teachers. It is not mixed up with the school day.

 

For elementary, extending the school day to give more recess, art, music, and PE, could be very beneficial to learning. There could be a block at the end for homework or academic time could be set up with no homework--all practice done in the class with teacher assistance available.

 

At the middle and high school level there could be built in periods where students report to clubs or study centers. There could be a fitness activity during the school day (not what passes for PE). Class switch time could be extended to ten or fifteen minutes to allow for stretching and actual mental regrouping so students are mentally present in the next class. The flexibility could allow some students the chance to take more classes, during club periods and thus find opportunities to accelerate for early graduation or have more opportunities to explore subjucts like theater, cooking, automechanics that they might have ignored because they were sticking to a certain academic track. Periods could be longer to allow for "homework" in class as well.

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It smacks to me of "people make babies and then the state raises them". The push for mandatory preschool and early intervention younger and younger... Longer school days.... Character education... All meals at school (here breakfast and lunch are free and I think some are mandatory)... Homework help so parents never have to be involved... Summer school programs to "fill the gap"....

 

I'm honestly not sure what the best answer is to balance all societal and family needs, but I know the state raising kids (however convenient it might be) isn't it.

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It smacks to me of "people make babies and then the state raises them". The push for mandatory preschool and early intervention younger and younger... Longer school days.... Character education... All meals at school (here breakfast and lunch are free and I think some are mandatory)... Homework help so parents never have to be involved... Summer school programs to "fill the gap"....

 

I'm honestly not sure what the best answer is to balance all societal and family needs, but I know the state raising kids (however convenient it might be) isn't it.

 

It's hard to say. I'm sure my mom would have loved for me to be in school until 6:00pm. She was a single parent who worked long hours to make ends meet. I was a latchkey kid. I was home alone for 3.5 hours every week day all through high school. I got into trouble in those days, in fact, I'm horrified at the things I did because I didn't have adult supervision. Several of my friends were in the same boat. It's one of the reasons I really wanted to be a SAHM. I didn't want my kids to be latchkey kids.

 

And I have been unable to help my high schoolers with much of their school work. Some of it is so hard for me. It makes me feel quite dumb.

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I think this day is coming. I think it isn't fair for some parents to make huge sacrifices to keep a parent home with their kids and have their taxes raised to pay for everyone else's kids, but it doesn't matter. The day is still a long way away, but it's coming. The after school programs where I was from were awful. Staffed by aimless twenty-somethings who were not trained at all. Making teacher's days longer is not going to increase the quality of education, for sure. It could be done well, with lots of recess, better PE and music, time for art and more reading, but that's not how PS does things IME, so I doubt it. As far as school food being more nutritious than McDonalds, I sincerely doubt it, my dd in ps says the food at her school is so gross that only the free lunch kids eat it. She gets up very early to make her own lunch. I have a friend who managed the largest cafeteria in Oregon and she told me almost all their food came from Reecers. Gag me.

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Everyone I know with kids already has them there from 9-6, so I don't see the difference.  The elementary schools here start at 8am and the middle and high school start at 9. It wouldn't be a big deal for the elementary kids to start at the same time as everyone else.

 

If the kids had an 45 mins for a real lunch, plus a short min-morning recess and a longer afternoon recess, I don't see the problem.

 

The problem comes with kids old enough to play sports. That would make the day go until 10pm.

 

But, aftercare goes until 6pm. You can also pay an extra fee for snow days and holidays and you can get all day care, for kids who are too young to stay home alone. I think that is a great idea. I've had friends who worked as care providers and they loved their jobs...well... except for the part about having to be at the school by 8am on snow days. That was very difficult.

 

People who qualify can get aftercare for free or at a discount, others pay full price. As always, there are people caught in the middle who don't qualify for a discount but can't afford to pay.  I would love to see it extended to all who want it or need it.

Edited by redsquirrel
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I think it would be great if it were run like the half/full day Kindergarten here. The parent choose's whether their kid will be half day or full day their are two classes of each the kids who are half day do get art,music, & pe on cycling schedule and get 1 recess.  Full days get Art, Music, PE every day and 3 recesses.  

 

If the extended day was like this than parents who need it or want it could send their kids until 5 or 6.  The others could keep on as is running around the enrichment classes of their dreams or play outside(novel concept around here)

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There is a high school here that goes from 8:30 to 5:15 Monday-Thursday (I think Friday is to 4:30?) with the campus open with activities from 8 to 6 throughout. However, this is a technical engineering school and does academics and hands-on projects and equipment training and has a no homework other than your own exam revision policy and "enrichment activities", guided support, and extra curricular clubs included in that time. I have mixed feelings though my eldest is really interested in going in Year 10 (the school always has a booth at the annual science fair - and always brings robotics and other equipment for people to try - so O-11 has talked to them a lot).  

 

Other than those, I have no experience of such long hours for kids - though as redsquirrel said it's likely a lot of kids already doing similar hours just fragmented over many things. Personally, I do not think the article makes a good argument for longer hours for most kids but it's end about dialogue and changes needed in education and wider system certainly rings true. 

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Considering all the evidence that countries who have shorter school days are leading the pack in academic accomplishments I would say a big NO to extra hours. If it where to be accepted it would be for babysitting purposes...not because it was better for the kids. I do not want my kids being under a teacher and peer influence for the major part of the day.

 

Also... how would this affect homeschooled students in terms of extra curricular activities. If they are all being run at schools then what will happen to the community clubs. My kids do extra curriculurs with school kids ...if they are in school till 6 pm will all the outside classes be cancelled? Who will homeschooled kids play with at the park or in the street if there are no kids around?

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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

Out of school hours care can be hard to come by here so it makes sense in some ways if both parents are working. Also provides continuity of care for the kids. I don't like it because it feels close to totally outsourcing all Childcare to the government or others but it makes sense given that a lot of people run that way anyway and it would stream line things.

 

Actually I don't just not like it, I hate it. If my school day was extended even longer as a kid even if it was totally non academic I think this little introvert would have shrivelled up and died.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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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.

Yes, it doesn't feel like that's the direction we're headed at all. It seems like there has been a push to get everyone into the workforce and that that's the new ideal rather than having one parent at home. Or maybe it's just the changed economy, but I think I remember a political speech or two encouraging more women to get into the workforce.

 

But, I'm not for that and I definitely wouldn't support 9-6 school for everyone. There are a lot of people that have to have both parents work and there are many that choose to. I'd like to still have it be an option that a sahp could actually have their child home if they were able to be there for them. I'd support free after schoolcare before I'd support that.

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I think this day is coming. I think it isn't fair for some parents to make huge sacrifices to keep a parent home with their kids and have their taxes raised to pay for everyone else's kids, but it doesn't matter. The day is still a long way away, but it's coming. The after school programs where I was from were awful. Staffed by aimless twenty-somethings who were not trained at all. Making teacher's days longer is not going to increase the quality of education, for sure. It could be done well, with lots of recess, better PE and music, time for art and more reading, but that's not how PS does things IME, so I doubt it. As far as school food being more nutritious than McDonalds, I sincerely doubt it, my dd in ps says the food at her school is so gross that only the free lunch kids eat it. She gets up very early to make her own lunch. I have a friend who managed the largest cafeteria in Oregon and she told me almost all their food came from Reecers. Gag me.

I agree. Our school district has been short $60 - $100 million in their budget every year for at least the last 5 years. But, it's portrayed as villainous by all the media outlets to even consider not fully funding them every year. They no sooner get their extra $60 million than they start crying about the extra $100 mill they are going to need the next year. We are getting ready to move to full day kindergarten "because everyone else has". Kindergarten -- a subject that literally takes an hour, maybe two, a day, will now become a 9 - 3 ordeal. I feel sorry for the kids that could have been home with their moms, but I also feel sorry for the people who thought they would be able to retire in the homes they raised their families in and worked their butts to pay off their whole lives. Their RE taxes are going to price them out of the area.

Edited by OnMyOwn
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Out of school hours care can be hard to come by here so it makes sense in some ways if both parents are working. Also provides continuity of care for the kids. I don't like it because it feels close to totally outsourcing all Childcare to the government or others but it makes sense given that a lot of people run that way anyway and it would stream line things.

 

Actually I don't just not like it, I hate it. If my school day was extended even longer as a kid even if it was totally non academic I think this little introvert would have shrivelled up and died.

 

As an introverted kid myself, I probably would not have liked it either.  But as a kid with two WOHPs, I was free to go and do my own thing after school.  Walk down to the library, browse some shops, play outside, play the piano or read or watch TV.  We also had chores, did our own homework, and at some point had to cook dinner before our parents came home.  In many ways, this is simply not possible for kids today (in the US at least).

 

My kids did not mind aftercare at all.  They enjoyed the mostly-unstructured time with their mixed-age friends.  I had thought they would get bored or restless, but they were fine.

 

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Also... how would this affect homeschooled students in terms of extra curricular activities. If they are all being run at schools then what will happen to the community clubs. My kids do extra curriculurs with school kids ...if they are in school till 6 pm will all the outside classes be cancelled? Who will homeschooled kids play with at the park or in the street if there are no kids around?

 

My kids' extracurriculars mostly have options outside of the 9-6 time frame.  TKD, soccer, gymnastics all have start times of 6:30 or later.  Math enrichment classes are offered on Saturdays.  There are some exceptions, but I'm sure the community could adjust those if needed.

 

I think they should structure the afternoon so that kids wouldn't miss anything important if they got picked up before the end time.

 

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I don't think you would find many, if any,  private schools without extended day options to 5 or 6.  Families need this care. I've seen extended care done extremely well. Healthy snack, outdoor play, excellent club -type activities, homework support, a soft area with sofas and chairs for relaxing, library etc. Offering to poor and middle class families what is already available to wealthier families makes total sense. Some care is bad, but making it good is in our grasp.  I think it is imperative that qualified, thoughtful people are the ones caring for children. I don't just want a warm body (poorly educated, can't help w/ homework, has no understanding of cognitive development) in these programs. I want someone who knows what they are doing, understands the emotional and intellectual needs of children. 

 

 Universal doesn't mean mandatory. Some areas have 'universal' preschool, but it is only for those families who choose it. Just like public school. 

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I don't think you would find many, if any,  private schools without extended day options to 5 or 6.  Families need this care. I've seen extended care done extremely well. Healthy snack, outdoor play, excellent club -type activities, homework support, a soft area with sofas and chairs for relaxing, library etc. Offering to poor and middle class families what is already available to wealthier families makes total sense. Some care is bad, but making it good is in our grasp.  I think it is imperative that qualified, thoughtful people are the ones caring for children. I don't just want a warm body (poorly educated, can't help w/ homework, has no understanding of cognitive development) in these programs. I want someone who knows what they are doing, understands the emotional and intellectual needs of children. 

 

 Universal doesn't mean mandatory. Some areas have 'universal' preschool, but it is only for those families who choose it. Just like public school. 

 

I totally agree with the bold.

 

As to it being optional - I understand what that literally means, I also see how it plays out in reality.  The pressure to use the "optional" programs is overwhelming.  Technically, full-day K was "optional" but it wasn't so simple.  I was repeatedly told how my son would be the only one & wouldn't he feel left-out & here's some more forms for opting-out.  In the end, I just kept him in all day.  I got the same pressure to use the new public 4K program for my other kids instead of the private I had been using.  I knew better at that point but felt the pressure all the same.

 

For me, it's about the norms of the culture - I don't like this one. 

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No, it doesn't.

 

That's a rude and ignorant comment.

How about we reword it. People are having children and expecting schools to raise their kids. It's not the job of the schools to do this. They can't even educate decently for all the distractions they already have. They don't need to be totally responsible for every aspect of a child's wellbeing. That's the job of the parents. School from 8-3 is already a massive waste of time.

 

What this country needs is more parental involvement, not less.

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How about we reword it. People are having children and expecting schools to raise their kids. It's not the job of the schools to do this. They can't even educate decently for all the distractions they already have. They don't need to be totally responsible for every aspect of a child's wellbeing. That's the job of the parents. School from 8-3 is already a massive waste of time.

 

What this country needs is more parental involvement, not less.

 

Great idea!  Let's make that happen.  First of all, lets make sure all people have access to extensive paid family leave when pregnant and when a new baby arrives.  How about at least a year of paid leave at 100% of salary after the birth or adoption of a child, with a guaranteed hold on your job. A second or third year is possible if you take a 1/2 reduction in pay. That will encourage strong bonding between baby and parents and strengthen families. It will also reduce the putting young children in daycare.

 

Then, let's give everyone paid sick leave, at least 6 weeks a year, to deal with sick kids and elderly parents. Then also give a generous paid amount of personal days to cover things like snow days, so parents don't have to chose between leaving kids home alone or losing a job.

 

Let's find a way to make flex hours for people possible. Let's find a way to make the workplace more responsive to things like summer breaks. Allow families to reduce their work hours to half time for those 8-10 weeks without a commiserate reduction in pay so that parents can spend more time with their kids during those summer months, instead of having to spend so much money on summer 'camp'.

 

Let's give huge tax breaks to workplaces that offer on-site childcare for workers, and even bigger tax breaks if that child care is also considered a benefit. Let's make it easy for parents to see their kids during the workday. Let's also give breaks for workplaces that offer nursing breaks or pumping breaks to all employees who need it. 

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It really comes down to people having children and then wanting someone else to raise them.

Honestly, I see it the other way around: what it really comes down to is a society noticing that some of its citizens are not yet adults, and deciding to meet their needs anyways.

 

Who decided that children aren't citizens in the first place? Why should a government refrain from serving them.

Edited by bolt.
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How about we reword it. People are having children and expecting schools to raise their kids. It's not the job of the schools to do this. They can't even educate decently for all the distractions they already have. They don't need to be totally responsible for every aspect of a child's wellbeing. That's the job of the parents. School from 8-3 is already a massive waste of time.

 

What this country needs is more parental involvement, not less.

You can reword it however you like. The meaning in your words is at best unkind. You are criticizing parents who are working to pay for their families needs because they can't clone themselves.

 

It's interesting to read this attitude here and then contrast it with some attitudes in the wealth inequality thread.

 

Parents should take care of their children without outside help. Parents should also work more, more, more to have enough to pay for their children's needs. The people that are able to work more,more, more look down upon people who can't possibly work enough to pay. They are treated as less-than because "work harder if you don't have enough". It's almost comical.

 

Except it isn't.

Edited by 8circles
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Great idea! Let's make that happen.

The answer isn't more government mandates. The cure for creeping socialism isn't more socialism. At some point adults have to start behaving like adults and taking personal responsibility for what has or hasn't happened in their lives and figure out what they are going to sacrifice to be the type of parent they want to be for their kids. I sacrificed my dreams of my own career because it wasn't compatible with the hands-on parents we wanted to be when combined with my husband's career.

 

And don't lecture me about not understanding being poor. We clawed our way out. I know what it is to be hungry and know there's nothing in the house to eat. I know what it is to live with permanently damaged joints because my mom couldn't afford medicine and my state was so poor we were waitlisted for medicaid. I also know that the hardest part of clawing out is losing almost all of your friends because they've given up and every step up you make challenges their perception of how the world works.

 

Basically, we as a nation have given up on teaching people to fish. We have gone so far as to rename hard work, perseverance, and ambition "privilege". It's now "privilege" if your parents give a crap and participate in your upbringing or even read to you. My husband entered his industry as a temp grunt making $10. They offered him classes in his small amount of time home. He took them. Other guys didn't. Those guys are still in the Gulf barely scraping by. They ask my husband how much brown nosing he had to do to get where he is. He went to classes to pad his resume and never used the phrase "that's not my job". Never once do they credit him with working hard. Never once do they admit that foremen love having a guy that has the PNIDs for the entire platform in his head. It's always something else...brown nosing, privilege, a boss that has it out for them. It's never their fault. We've become a nation of people that never think they are at fault for anything. We do more harm than good creating a system to just hand out fish.

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The answer isn't more government mandates. The cure for creeping socialism isn't more socialism. At some point adults have to start behaving like adults and taking personal responsibility for what has or hasn't happened in their lives and figure out what they are going to sacrifice to be the type of parent they want to be for their kids. I sacrificed my dreams of my own career because it wasn't compatible with the hands-on parents we wanted to be when combined with my husband's career.

 

And don't lecture me about not understanding being poor. We clawed our way out. I know what it is to be hungry and know there's nothing in the house to eat. I know what it is to live with permanently damaged joints because my mom couldn't afford medicine and my state was so poor we were waitlisted for medicaid. I also know that the hardest part of clawing out is losing almost all of your friends because they've given up and every step up you make challenges their perception of how the world works.

 

Basically, we as a nation have given up on teaching people to fish. We have gone so far as to rename hard work, perseverance, and ambition "privilege". It's now "privilege" if your parents give a crap and participate in your upbringing or even read to you. My husband entered his industry as a temp grunt making $10. They offered him classes in his small amount of time home. He took them. Other guys didn't. Those guys are still in the Gulf barely scraping by. They ask my husband how much brown nosing he had to do to get where he is. He went to classes to pad his resume and never used the phrase "that's not my job". Never once do they credit him with working hard. Never once do they admit that foremen love having a guy that has the PNIDs for the entire platform in his head. It's always something else...brown nosing, privilege, a boss that has it out for them. It's never their fault. We've become a nation of people that never think they are at fault for anything. We do more harm than good creating a system to just hand out fish.

That's not consistent with my views on human nature. I believe people with luck and skill can bootstrap themselves past adversity to success. I don't believe that luck, skill, motivation, intelligence, social skills, or executive function are dustibuted equally or accessible to everyone who would like to overcome their unfair share of adversity. These things are often (not always) the gifts of privilege. I also don't believe that feeding people it educating children makes them lazy or dependant. Usually it sets them free to be productive, healthy and happy.

 

I *like* creeping socialism. The only thing I would like better than creeping socialism is galloping socialism.

Edited by bolt.
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The answer isn't more government mandates. The cure for creeping socialism isn't more socialism. At some point adults have to start behaving like adults and taking personal responsibility for what has or hasn't happened in their lives and figure out what they are going to sacrifice to be the type of parent they want to be for their kids. I sacrificed my dreams of my own career because it wasn't compatible with the hands-on parents we wanted to be when combined with my husband's career.

 

And don't lecture me about not understanding being poor. We clawed our way out. I know what it is to be hungry and know there's nothing in the house to eat. I know what it is to live with permanently damaged joints because my mom couldn't afford medicine and my state was so poor we were waitlisted for medicaid. I also know that the hardest part of clawing out is losing almost all of your friends because they've given up and every step up you make challenges their perception of how the world works.

 

Basically, we as a nation have given up on teaching people to fish. We have gone so far as to rename hard work, perseverance, and ambition "privilege". It's now "privilege" if your parents give a crap and participate in your upbringing or even read to you. My husband entered his industry as a temp grunt making $10. They offered him classes in his small amount of time home. He took them. Other guys didn't. Those guys are still in the Gulf barely scraping by. They ask my husband how much brown nosing he had to do to get where he is. He went to classes to pad his resume and never used the phrase "that's not my job". Never once do they credit him with working hard. Never once do they admit that foremen love having a guy that has the PNIDs for the entire platform in his head. It's always something else...brown nosing, privilege, a boss that has it out for them. It's never their fault. We've become a nation of people that never think they are at fault for anything. We do more harm than good creating a system to just hand out fish.

 

 

Asking for help when you need it is being an adult.

Accepting help when you need it is being an adult.

 

It's great that you have been able to overcome hardships.  You should be proud of yourself.  Not everyone is capable of that.  I don't believe in "too bad for them".  It comes across as "nanny, nanny, boo, boo".  Which is definitely not being an adult.

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You can reword it however you like. The meaning in your words is at best unkind. You are criticizing parents who are working to pay for their families needs because they can't clone themselves.

 

It's interesting to read this attitude here and then contrast it with some attitudes in the wealth inequality thread.

 

Parents should take care of their children without outside help. Parents should also work more, more, more to have enough to pay for their children's needs. The people that are able to work more,more, more look down upon people who can't possibly work enough to pay. They are treated as less-than because "work harder if you don't have enough". It's almost comical.

 

Except it isn't.

I'm sure it's comfortable for you to think that way. I am not opposed to helping people with child care after school. There are many programs in existence just for that. They should be funded better than they are. What I disagree with is making it a part of the school system because it may be optional at first but won't stay that way. K was once optional. Now it's not. Pre-K is headed the same way. Education and child care are vastly different endeavors even if there is some overlap in that you don't want harm to come to children while they are being educated.

 

Having grown up poor, I can say that the people here do a good job of pitying the poor. Newsflash: The poor don't want your pity. They don't care about what internet do gooders type on the internet.

 

What am I for? More help with affordable vocational training. There are lots of jobs looking for votech grads and they pay living wages. People tend to ignore them because they aren't traditional degrees or they don't want to be a welder or electrician or LPN. It's not forever. It's a step up from Walmart. It's not always easy to get aid for these programs. There is a program in my hometown that pays rent and utilities on a 1 or 2 bdrm apartment (depending on number of children) for single parents who were attending the community college half time and maintained at 2.5 gpa. There was a daycare that offered childcare "scholarships" to the children of these students. I would LOVE to see that go nationwide. This wasnt a craphole apartment, either. It was one of the best complexes in town. Basically, I support programs that help people stand on their own rather than encouraging surrender to the whims of government funding. My position comes from growing up hungry and sick and knowing what it took for my brother and I to dig out. The current "war on poverty" is like handing out Lortab indefinitely for an abscessed tooth instead of making a plan to treat the underlying cause. My little sister took the Lortab and went down the rabbit hole of government programs and issues with drugs and hanging with the wrong crowd. She's now 1 semester away from graduating with honors at 30 because she finally saw that my brother and I weren't being cruel when we laid out a difficult path in response to her request for help and advice. We were laying out a path that would be difficult temporarily so she could have a good life after graduation. Due to health issues she can't be at school full time as her scholarships require and work enough to pay the bills without her health crashing, so my brother and I are helping her make it financially until she can graduate. She already has 3 job offers to start within a week of graduation. So basically, I'd like to see programs advocate working smarter not harder because frankly the poor people I know are for the most part working harder than anyone I know.

 

But no pity from me, because pity is the bs of people who don't actually care.

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What a world we live in when understanding is seen as pity.

 

I don't pity people who need help, I am them. We don't all need the same kind of help, but we all need it. You can continue to name-call people who aren't as... Industrious, successful, lucky, fill-in-your-preferred-adjective as you are. I've never understood that kind of opting-out of community but it seems to be what some people want.

 

I don't like this idea of all-day school anymore than you do. I also wouldn't trust the optional aspect. There are legitimate concerns and criticisms.

 

But none of this is about people not wanting to raise their own kids. That's a low-blow and rubbish to boot.

 

I'm sure it's comfortable for you to think that way. I am not opposed to helping people with child care after school. There are many programs in existence just for that. They should be funded better than they are. What I disagree with is making it a part of the school system because it may be optional at first but won't stay that way. K was once optional. Now it's not. Pre-K is headed the same way. Education and child care are vastly different endeavors even if there is some overlap in that you don't want harm to come to children while they are being educated.

 

Having grown up poor, I can say that the people here do a good job of pitying the poor. Newsflash: The poor don't want your pity. They don't care about what internet do gooders type on the internet.

 

What am I for? More help with affordable vocational training. There are lots of jobs looking for votech grads and they pay living wages. People tend to ignore them because they aren't traditional degrees or they don't want to be a welder or electrician or LPN. It's not forever. It's a step up from Walmart. It's not always easy to get aid for these programs. There is a program in my hometown that pays rent and utilities on a 1 or 2 bdrm apartment (depending on number of children) for single parents who were attending the community college half time and maintained at 2.5 gpa. There was a daycare that offered childcare "scholarships" to the children of these students. I would LOVE to see that go nationwide. This wasnt a craphole apartment, either. It was one of the best complexes in town. Basically, I support programs that help people stand on their own rather than encouraging surrender to the whims of government funding. My position comes from growing up hungry and sick and knowing what it took for my brother and I to dig out. The current "war on poverty" is like handing out Lortab indefinitely for an abscessed tooth instead of making a plan to treat the underlying cause. My little sister took the Lortab and went down the rabbit hole of government programs and issues with drugs and hanging with the wrong crowd. She's now 1 semester away from graduating with honors at 30 because she finally saw that my brother and I weren't being cruel when we laid out a difficult path in response to her request for help and advice. We were laying out a path that would be difficult temporarily so she could have a good life after graduation. Due to health issues she can't be at school full time as her scholarships require and work enough to pay the bills without her health crashing, so my brother and I are helping her make it financially until she can graduate. She already has 3 job offers to start within a week of graduation. So basically, I'd like to see programs advocate working smarter not harder because frankly the poor people I know are for the most part working harder than anyone I know.

 

But no pity from me, because pity is the bs of people who don't actually care.

Edited by 8circles
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OK, well anyway, it's really convenient to have aftercare right at school, so nobody needs to arrange transportation in the middle of the work day.

 

If that makes me a socialist who wants the state to raise my kids, whatever.  :P

 

Maybe I worry less about it because I was raised by a working mom.  I think I had a pretty good childhood and I came out pretty OK.  I think my kids will, too.

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The answer isn't more government mandates. The cure for creeping socialism isn't more socialism. At some point adults have to start behaving like adults and taking personal responsibility for what has or hasn't happened in their lives and figure out what they are going to sacrifice to be the type of parent they want to be for their kids. I sacrificed my dreams of my own career because it wasn't compatible with the hands-on parents we wanted to be when combined with my husband's career.

 

 

The bolded, mainly.

 

Sometimes I sit and daydream about how much more stuff we could have if I went back to work, and how much more personally fulfilling it would be to put my kids in daycare and go to work.  But I quit my job because we both believe it is our responsibility for one of us to be home taking care of our kids.  It's not the government's job or some company's job to pay me to be at home to take care of my own kids.  Why would it be?  I truly do not understand this.

 

If one doesn't have a choice, I understand.  But I don't understand asking companies or the government to subsidize someone staying at home and taking care of their own kids.  That's what parents are supposed to do.  It's not a paid gig...why should it be?  Oh, and then, yes we should subsidize it, but only for a year, after that mommy needs to go back to being a good citizen by earning a wage and being "productive" after that whole taking-care-of-a baby detour.

 

To be honest, some of our societal ideas about family and child-rearing are starting to become really scary to me.  As in, just put them into some kind of institution as soon as they are weaned so that everyone can have a career for themselves without the kids hampering it.  I mean, sure, we'll support them by picking them up from school and helping with projects and stuff when we have time in the evenings, but staying at home to raise them and having only one income?!  The horror!

 

ETA: And yes, I realize most on this board stay home to homeschool their kids...but that is not the norm where I'm at, or really anywhere I've lived.

Edited by JodiSue
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I used to think time with me was so important, but when I put my kids in preschool, I saw a lot of benefit.  I do not agree with the attitude that kids being away from their mom during working hours is a shame or a tragedy.  It's just a different choice.  There's no sweeping evidence to prove otherwise.

 

I don't think I'm so incredibly wonderful that my kids couldn't possibly be as well off spending time with anyone else.  So far, most of their teachers have been excellent people for my kids to associate with.  Possibly better than me at times.  :)  I like that they are getting acquainted with all sorts of personalities and world views.  While I have things I need to teach them, most things can be learned from anybody reasonably articulate and moral.

 

And yes, I am a participant in the business world, and this gives my kids a glimpse into their possible future.  Yes, I am showing my daughters that a woman is entitled to an existence outside of domestic endeavors if she wants it.  If that is wrong, I guess they will forgive me for it.  FTR I don't have an exciting job - and I bring my kids along for the more interesting aspects of my job.  The image of a career woman shaking off those kids so she can be the dynamic person she really wants to be - I don't see that anywhere, except maybe on TV.

 

In this thread, we're talking about school-aged kids, not infants.

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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.

 

 

Given it is an Australian editorial....

 

I would like 3 hours a day compulsory academic structured stuff (say 10 to 1 or 9 to 12 or something) with a block before and a block afterwards that were voluntary and were music, art, languages, crafts and sport.  Intensive remediation and gifted extension could also be run in the voluntary blocks too.  The compulsory block would be maths, reading, writing plus a rotating or block scheduled subject at least in the primary years.

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I have nephews in the Singapore elementary system. They start early -- the bus comes around 7 and I think school starts up around 7:30?

 

Formal academic stuff goes until 2 (with a break for snack and lunch).  Then there is an optional block of run-around or hands-on stuff -- sports, science club, karate, etc that goes to about 3:30.  This block isn't mandatory, but virtually everyone does it.... so that gets up to 8 hours of scheduled activities.  The return bus leaves after this block, so if you want to schedule a doctor's appointment or just want to spend more time with your kid, you'd have to arrange pick-up.  

 

That all seems pretty reasonable to me.  What's crazy in Singapore is that sooooooo many kids also do, on top of school, "cram sessions" to prepare for examinations, starting at what seem to me very early ages.  (My 7 year old nephew doesn't do this yet, but the 9 year old does).

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I think it makes sense to use schools for things like after school care.  There is no reason to waste that space.  And avoiding transporting kids around makes sense too.

 

But there would be so many "ifs" to make this work.  You would have to have an appropriate program of school in the first place, which is rare in many places.  Not only access to some activities and homework help, but free play and the outdoors.  Small enough groups that kids aren't just in a mass all day which is really not good for anybody.  Actual good food rather than junk or even healthy but disgusting food.

 

It would mean building schools differently.

 

I think it would also mean having after school caregivers who are generally separate from teachers.

 

In a lot of ways it would be very practical, just like public daycare, but it has the same problem IMO which is that it takes for granted the current work situation for families.  That would be fine if we had as a society made some kind of decision that is what we want, but I don't think that is really true.  There has not been a public discussion about whether we really want the two-income family to be necessary and normative - it happens by default and necessity or as part of a rather limited discussion about the freedom of individual women to work.

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It smacks to me of "people make babies and then the state raises them". The push for mandatory preschool and early intervention younger and younger... Longer school days.... Character education... All meals at school (here breakfast and lunch are free and I think some are mandatory)... Homework help so parents never have to be involved... Summer school programs to "fill the gap"....

 

I'm honestly not sure what the best answer is to balance all societal and family needs, but I know the state raising kids (however convenient it might be) isn't it.

 

I think parents helping with homework is in general not positive though.  It really makes every child dependant on the parents' ability to help, which will almost inevitably be uneven. 

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Everyone I know with kids already has them there from 9-6, so I don't see the difference.  The elementary schools here start at 8am and the middle and high school start at 9. It wouldn't be a big deal for the elementary kids to start at the same time as everyone else.

 

If the kids had an 45 mins for a real lunch, plus a short min-morning recess and a longer afternoon recess, I don't see the problem.

 

The problem comes with kids old enough to play sports. That would make the day go until 10pm.

 

But, aftercare goes until 6pm. You can also pay an extra fee for snow days and holidays and you can get all day care, for kids who are too young to stay home alone. I think that is a great idea. I've had friends who worked as care providers and they loved their jobs...well... except for the part about having to be at the school by 8am on snow days. That was very difficult.

 

People who qualify can get aftercare for free or at a discount, others pay full price. As always, there are people caught in the middle who don't qualify for a discount but can't afford to pay.  I would love to see it extended to all who want it or need it.

 

The snow day thing is weird - isn't the point of snow days that it is unsafe for kids to be on the road driving or walking to school?  And unsafe for staff for that mmatter?

 

If it isn't unsafe, or just impossible, then why not have school?

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The answer isn't more government mandates. The cure for creeping socialism isn't more socialism. At some point adults have to start behaving like adults and taking personal responsibility for what has or hasn't happened in their lives and figure out what they are going to sacrifice to be the type of parent they want to be for their kids. I sacrificed my dreams of my own career because it wasn't compatible with the hands-on parents we wanted to be when combined with my husband's career.

 

And don't lecture me about not understanding being poor. We clawed our way out. I know what it is to be hungry and know there's nothing in the house to eat. I know what it is to live with permanently damaged joints because my mom couldn't afford medicine and my state was so poor we were waitlisted for medicaid. I also know that the hardest part of clawing out is losing almost all of your friends because they've given up and every step up you make challenges their perception of how the world works.

 

Basically, we as a nation have given up on teaching people to fish. We have gone so far as to rename hard work, perseverance, and ambition "privilege". It's now "privilege" if your parents give a crap and participate in your upbringing or even read to you. My husband entered his industry as a temp grunt making $10. They offered him classes in his small amount of time home. He took them. Other guys didn't. Those guys are still in the Gulf barely scraping by. They ask my husband how much brown nosing he had to do to get where he is. He went to classes to pad his resume and never used the phrase "that's not my job". Never once do they credit him with working hard. Never once do they admit that foremen love having a guy that has the PNIDs for the entire platform in his head. It's always something else...brown nosing, privilege, a boss that has it out for them. It's never their fault. We've become a nation of people that never think they are at fault for anything. We do more harm than good creating a system to just hand out fish.

 

The libertarian approach to economics that sees every adult primarily as a worker isn't the same as what you are calling "socialism."   Any system, be it socialism or not, that thinks of people as workers first is going to have to deal with the biological reality of children.  In some countries that are socialist, they want all adults working and so have state or other childcare arrangements.  But in the US, having all adults working isn't because of socialism.  But it still results in the same problem of childcare.

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The bolded, mainly.

 

Sometimes I sit and daydream about how much more stuff we could have if I went back to work, and how much more personally fulfilling it would be to put my kids in daycare and go to work.  But I quit my job because we both believe it is our responsibility for one of us to be home taking care of our kids.  It's not the government's job or some company's job to pay me to be at home to take care of my own kids.  Why would it be?  I truly do not understand this.

 

If one doesn't have a choice, I understand.  But I don't understand asking companies or the government to subsidize someone staying at home and taking care of their own kids.  That's what parents are supposed to do.  It's not a paid gig...why should it be?  Oh, and then, yes we should subsidize it, but only for a year, after that mommy needs to go back to being a good citizen by earning a wage and being "productive" after that whole taking-care-of-a baby detour.

 

To be honest, some of our societal ideas about family and child-rearing are starting to become really scary to me.  As in, just put them into some kind of institution as soon as they are weaned so that everyone can have a career for themselves without the kids hampering it.  I mean, sure, we'll support them by picking them up from school and helping with projects and stuff when we have time in the evenings, but staying at home to raise them and having only one income?!  The horror!

 

ETA: And yes, I realize most on this board stay home to homeschool their kids...but that is not the norm where I'm at, or really anywhere I've lived.

 

 

But governments are a big part already of the way our economy works - including the expectation that most adults, even those with children, will be working.  It isn't just a natural, individual set of decisions.

 

Governments like this, because it contributes to GNP. 

 

Given that this is the direction the government has moved the economy in, it makes sense that it would also have a role of some kind in organizing or funding the other needs that arise from that decision.

 

I think that the view of citizens as essentially workers is wrong, and bound to lead to problems, which is what I don't like about these kinds of proposals.  But changing that would also require community action through government institutions.

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I think a longer school day could easily be done badly. 

 

I'm a little disturbed by some responses. I stayed home for a few years, then started back part time and have added hours over the years, always flexing around my children. Not everyone can do that. More than 20 years ago I was a public school teacher. I saw 2 parent families that were pulling down 3.5 full time jobs to get rent paid and keep the heat on. So, they were doing what they had to do to be financially responsible. But then working that much their kids were latchkey. So, the suggestions I see here is that they are either irresponsible by not being home with their kids more or they can trade that by getting rid of at least one job and be homeless. Often people aren't in this precarious position before they have kids. Often families are doing OK and then something happens that tips their financial situation in a manner that's quite unexpected. When layoffs happen and jobs are replaced at 50% the previous income, what is one supposed to with their dc, since it is now irresponsible that they have them? 

 

Aside from helping poor families, I think a lot of middle class families would like a longer school day IF extracurriculars and homework were covered. Spending afternoons driving to ballet, piano, soccer, and art is not actually spending time with the dc. If such activities were done well in a centralized place, I think some people would like it. If homework were done and mom and dad could just focus on the tallest tower of legos, the beginning chess game, or a nice family bike ride the result could actually be good for families and parents might even do some good parenting. 

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The snow day thing is weird - isn't the point of snow days that it is unsafe for kids to be on the road driving or walking to school? And unsafe for staff for that mmatter?

 

If it isn't unsafe, or just impossible, then why not have school?

Where I live (western Canada) it's a question of what's "more unsafe" -- most children are safer if they stay off the roads during extrodinary snow. So are most adults, and many do. However there are always those who "can't" simply stay home. These tend to be the 'top' (doctors, nurses, emergency workers, highly essential types of jobs) and the 'bottom' (low wage workers who fear they will be fired if they don't move mountains to meet the unreasonable expectations of jerk bosses). In addition, there are always those who think they can handle the drive, or who don't figure out that staying home would have been viable until they are already en route.

 

Because this reduces the volume of traffic, these people (who don't see their work obligations as snow-optional) tend to be safe enough. However, these people have children, and if the school busses aren't coming, that doesn't make a child safe to be left home alone. Those children will (hopefully) be driven somewhere for care: and searching for last-minute childcare on a day like that is really hard. It's disproportionately harder for those who already have it hard.

 

The result is "snow days" here that affirm that bussing is cancelled, and school is "open" but not manditory that day. Parents make their own risk analysis, and if they need somewhere for their kids to be, the school is available at least as a childcare location.

 

Usually a small number of students and staff arrive at nearly the usual time, and others come late, and some don't come at all. By the next day, the roads are usually under control and life goes back to normal.

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When I worked in LA Unified, there was talk of several of the schools switching to am and pm school.  So, students and teachers could come from 6:30-12:20 or from 1pm-7pm.   There was also talk of 7-12 and 12:30 to 6:30 with additional school days to make up the time difference.

 

The theory was that the schools could accommodate more students.  

 

The problem was the practicality of it.  

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9:00-5:00 is normal in France, in high school the school day is sometimes extended rom 8:00-6:00.

 

In the winter I would sometimes leave for school before the sun came up (we had a long bus ride) and get home after the sun set.

 

Not what I would prefer for my children. In areas where most kids do not have an at home parent or good childcare arrangements though extending the school day might be the best option; if that were done though I'd like to see music, art, sports, and monitored free time built into the day.

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Not going to be a popular opinion, but in my own experience, spending a LOT of time at school and very little time at home was probably the biggest factor in moving from poverty to a middle class lifestyle. By high school, home was just a place to sleep. I was usually there 12-14 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, and I had a job. It was so easy to pack up and move away when college rolled around. I remember, from preschool onward, talking to my mom about music and math and books and art and watching the blank look on her face, as if I was speaking a foreign language. I HAD to surround myself with similar peers and mentors. Yes, it came at the cost of family time and relationships, but it was worth it.

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The snow day thing is weird - isn't the point of snow days that it is unsafe for kids to be on the road driving or walking to school?  And unsafe for staff for that mmatter?

 

If it isn't unsafe, or just impossible, then why not have school?

 

As someone who grew up on the Canadian border in a school district without buses, I can tell you that snow days are because they can't get the buses through.  Now, that isn't minor, but it is all about the buses. I grew up with no school buses and almost no snow days ever, and we had a lot more snow.

 

 

And if you do pay for 'snow day school care' you don't get a bus. The kids are dropped off by their parents on their way to work. so, if you can make it in your kid will have care. Which I think is better and safer than leaving them home alone. And every now and again, we do get a snow storm to such a degree that even the school snow day care is cancelled. It's upstate NY, so these things happen.

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In a lot of ways it would be very practical, just like public daycare, but it has the same problem IMO which is that it takes for granted the current work situation for families.  That would be fine if we had as a society made some kind of decision that is what we want, but I don't think that is really true.  There has not been a public discussion about whether we really want the two-income family to be necessary and normative - it happens by default and necessity or as part of a rather limited discussion about the freedom of individual women to work.

 

I think that for parents of school-aged kids at least, we are there.  Most moms I know work while their kids are in school.  Honestly, there isn't much else to do if you don't homeschool.  You could clean and scrub all day, but after a point that doesn't feel satisfying.  I guess if you loved cooking and sewing you could make all the family's food and clothes from scratch, but most of us don't love those tasks quite that much.  Most of us feel our kids are served just as well if we shop at the store.  You could farm if you're rural, not so much if you're urban.  Working a paid job has indeed become the default for most moms whose kids are in full-time school.

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I think this conversation might need a little perspective.  How much time are we really talking about here?  And is there a huge qualitative difference in where the kids spend that time?

 

In my kids' case, it's 3 hours max, and it looks like this:

 

Aftercare:

  • Chill/decompress with your aftercare buddies and have a snack.
  • Homework.
  • Go outside and play (or in the gym if weather dictates), with your aftercare buddies.
  • Sit around and play indoors with your aftercare buddies.  Board games, toys brought from home, invented games, and just chatting.
  • Sometimes, go to an on-site extracurricular.
  • Change clothes if needed for evening extracurricular.
  • Get picked up whenever Mom gets there.  Chat on your way to the evening activity or home.
  • Dinner and whatever evening activities they have.
  • Afterschooling, free reading.

The alternative for my kids looks like this:

  • Wait around for the school bus, hanging out with friends.
  • Ride the bus home.  Chat with bus friends.  Do some homework if convenient on the bus.
  • Walk home from the bus stop around 4pm.  Mom says hi, how was your day.
  • Mom goes back to work (I work at home).
  • Kids get a snack.
  • Kids do homework / music practice / chores / play with toys or neighbor friend.
  • Dinner and whatever evening activities they have.
  • Afterschooling, free reading.

It's not that big of a difference for the kids.  For me, the bus saves an hour of driving because I work at home.  But most parents of elementary-aged kids would have to figure out some sort of care if their kids got home during working hours.

 

If for an individual kid or family the aftercare solution is not helpful, then they can figure out whatever works better for them.  But I feel like people are envisioning all kinds of problems that probably won't happen for most kids.

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