Kindergarteners now spend a full day in school, with no naptime, reports the Baltimore Sun.
As educators strive to prepare children early so they can achieve later, naptime — the envy of some adults — has evolved into a period of quiet activities in the full-day kindergarten programs offered in Anne Arundel, Howard and other Maryland counties.
The disappearance of naptime is part of an increased emphasis on curriculum and instruction designed to make the most of the precious moments children spend in the classroom.
Maryland kindergarteners are older than they used to be: Nearly all turn 5 before school starts. Many have been in day care or pre-school, so they know how to handle group activities.
Full-day kindergarten programs stress developing language and pre-reading skills.
(Teacher Renee) Krysiak has the children for more than six hours each day, so she has time to spend about two and a half hours with the Open Court reading curriculum, which heavily emphasizes phonics.
The full-day schedule also offers time to leave the classroom for physical education, music, art and media, providing another respite during the day.
All children benefit from extra time to learn, especially those who may not have as much exposure to reading and language early on, said Anne Arundel Superintendent Eric J. Smith. Preparing them for first grade also gives them the confidence to feel they can be successful, he said.
However, determining the amount of sleep a child needs should remain the purview of parents, Smith added.
“Sometimes we do things that really are the domain of the home,” he said. “We ought to stick with the things we do well.”
There’s a concept.