“Academic apathy” is common in high school, writes Laura Handby Hudgens on The Federalist. She thinks students are burning out in middle school.
“Up until sixth grade I had never made less than an A in any of my classes,” Leo told her. “By seventh grade, I was just tired. I just didn’t care anymore. I just quit trying.”
When her son started kindergarten, she “looked around his classroom and saw rows of tiny tables and chairs, but not a single toy. Where was the little kitchen with the miniature pots and pans? Where were the blocks?”
Fast-forward six years, and Johnny sounds a lot like Leo. On the one hand, he’s happy at school. He likes his friends, and he enjoys their time together at recess (all 15 minutes of it). Johnny thinks his teachers are cool. He rarely gets into trouble. He loves P.E. On the other hand, he dislikes actual school—the lessons, the homework, the constant rigor combined with a classroom full of apathetic peers. By nature Johnny is inquisitive. He likes to learn. But the school day is hectic and exhausting. There’s little time for enjoying what he’s learned and even less time to enjoy being 12 years old. School has become a source of nearly constant frustration, and Johnny is tired. At the age of 12, Johnny is weary of school.
As a mother and a teacher, she thinks kids need more play, more recess, more sleep and age-appropriate instruction to avoid 12-year-old burn out.