When you have children in elementary school the conventional advice is easy to follow: get your child to bed at a reasonable hour and they will have an easier time in school. Fast forward several years to high school and the same wisdom applies. Unfortunately, early to bed in high school is usually an elusive and rare feat. Compound a late bedtime with very early start times at school and it's not pretty. And yet, this is the standard.
Countless studies have been done on teens and how lack of sleep affects academic performance and teens in general. Ability to concentrate, memory, coping skills, mood and physical coordination are just some of the things affected by too little sleep. It makes me wonder if there might even be less bullying in schools if kids got more sleep. A recent blog I came across talked about how early school starts affect teen driving and accidents. Now that's scary. But what is a parent to do? Make your teen go to bed early? Right.
I know my high schooler has lamented many times that the elementary school kids start school so much later when they are the ones who are early risers. Why not flip the sequence? It makes perfect sense until you factor in sports, jobs, and homework. Like with so many teen topics, there are no easy answers.
Do you know of any schools that have adopted the later start times? Are you ready to start a petition to have the high school students in your town start school after the elementary school kids? Would love to hear from you!