Starting School

by Amelie Galvez, age 12
Starting School Amelie goes to Notre Dame Academy. She plays the piano and the violin.

“If you were out in the morning of a weekday, you would see most kids up and getting ready for school by seven a.m. Most schools start at 7:30 to 8 a.m. and this is too early!”

If you were out in the morning of a weekday, you would see most kids up and getting ready for school by seven a.m. Most schools start at 7:30 to 8 a.m. and this is too early!  Since students wake up early and sleep late, they will probably get tired during school. This will cause them to start daydreaming or even falling asleep during class. This will not help them at school. Schools need to figure out how they can help students get more sleep. One solution is starting school later so then students can get more sleep.

Most kids are already up by seven to get ready for school. In old times, people would get up at six and already be sleeping by seven due to the need of sunlight. But we don’t need to sleep that early now because we have electricity, so the need to wake up early is unnecessary. Today, there are three main reasons why schools start early: making time for after-school activities, leaving more daylight time for kids, and making it safer for teens to walk home after school. But health is more important than school. If you are not healthy, then you wouldn’t go to school in the first place! Therefore, school should start later because sleep will improve health.

You can not focus if you don’t get enough sleep, can you? So that’s why lack of sleep can affect the grades that students get at school. Eight hours is the recommended amount for teens and preteens to sleep, and only about 41% of middle school students and 13% of high school students get that recommended amount of sleep. If you cannot focus on your studies, you cannot do well on exams. According to a study in Harvard (found on harvard.edu), sleep can help your body work such as having better memory and a better focus on learning.  Lack of sleep can also lead students to poor health, and that will cause plenty of absent days in school.

Teens sleep late for two reasons: they can’t fall asleep before 11 p.m. because of their brain shifts and also because of too much homework. Parents think that making their kids sleep earlier will solve the problem of their lack of sleep, but an average teenager can not fall asleep until 11 p.m. (says Dr. Lewin). Since the students are older now, they will get a lot of homework, so that could prevent them from sleeping earlier. According to the National Education Association, the homework time increases each grade by ten minutes. An average twelfth-grader has about 110 more minutes of homework than an average first grader.

Then at the end of the day, most middle-school and high-school students are up doing their homework, studies, and after-school activities. By the time they will be able to go to bed, it’s so late at night! Then they will have less sleep. This will result in accidents, poor health, being stressed and upset, and failing grades. Schools should start later in the day to prevent this and then more students will have more sleep and do better in school.

 

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