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Four day school week

12 4-day weeks per quarter would be better for schools
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

One of the problems with public school is the weekend is too short and summer vacation is too long. We should get rid of our present semester/2 week break/semester/3 month vacation schedule, and have a quarterly schedule with three days off per week, and one week off per quarter.

For example, school students could go to school Monday through Thursday. Friday would be set aside for extracurricular activities and sports, and students not involved can stay home. To make up for the missing time, school quarters would be extended to 12 weeks, and the 13th week would be a small vacation (like spring break, but also in the summer, fall, and winter). That way students would have enough time to do stuff outside of school -- and be able to enjoy each season -- but not be out of school long enough to forget half the stuff they learned the previous year.

Four 12-week quarters mean a 192-day school year, which I think would be the best schedule. Adding an extra week of vacation to winter and summer would give you a 184-day school year, which is pretty close to the 180-day standard American school year. Either way, the result would be much better for school-aged children and their parents.

mrouse, Mar 24 2002


       Good idea but my daughter invents this one every week.
Helium, Mar 25 2002

       I have to say something for 'work at your own pace' schools though. My daughters went to a school where they taught an accelerated American system for the first four years, and by the age of eight they were both reading at the level of 15 year olds, by the age of 10 they were going to bed with John Grisham novels. It taught them to set and achieve goals, and now a few years later they are still passing exams in the top 1% of the country.   

       The only problem I found with it is they started spelling like Americans, but I soon cured them of that vice.
Helium, Mar 25 2002

       I was in top 1% too yet I'm only just now learning to properly use words such as aeroplane, bickie, colourful...
thumbwax, Mar 25 2002

       ...tram, boot, spanner, po...
phoenix, Mar 25 2002

       ...nuclear, aluminum...
calum, Mar 25 2002

       (please put this on hold for 2 weeks - Easter school holidays, thank you) what are you saying big p, why po? explain yourself!
po, Mar 25 2002

       Baked in France, I think - don't French children get Wednesdays off?
herilane, Mar 25 2002

       Fine if you are a lady of leisure, but who looks after the kids on a friday whilst you are trying to work, unless you can bribe them to take up sports?? School holidays are bad enough to work around without adding an extra day a week to contend with. Sorry, unless you come up with a plan to reduce holidays by shortening the hours per day a tad I can't really vote for this.
arora, Mar 25 2002

       teachers: 3 day work weeks

students: 6 day school week

2 crews of teachers, obviously

Me, I want to have 2 days on, 2 days off, 2 days on, 2 days off, etc., and the calendar be damned.
quarterbaker, Mar 25 2002

       Reason I'd vote for this is, my two (with no pressure from me) have become heavily involved in sport. The oldest one is involved in 3 team sports as well as competing in horse competitions at the weekend. So, she's up at sun up riding, going to team practices/games four nights a week plus twice at the weekend plus pony club and events at the weekend.   

       Not to mention the fact that she is taking more subjects than the average kid at her level at school as well as working a year ahead of her age, which means she is often up past midnight studying.   

       To keep this up she has had to sacrifice music lessons which is a real shame.   

       So, in this case, when a teenager motivated to the point of burnout, I can't see an extra day off school as anything but a blessing.
Helium, Mar 25 2002

       i remember working out that we could have 3 weeks (normal 5 working days/2 free days) working and then a week off in england but my sums were a bit rough - i just counted up our weeks of holiday and then spread them evenly
chud, Mar 25 2002

       I've just realised that in Scotland kids are at school for 100 more days than in the states. Maybe you should just shorten the holidays by the way of the scottish school system. First two weeks in Oct off. Last week in Dec and first week in Jan off. First two weeks in Apr off. Six weeks spanning Jul to the first two weeks in Aug.
[ sctld ], Mar 26 2002

       Not really, adults already work long hours with very little holidays, now their children can mimic that, and with a larger number of schools days in the year, a higher level of education will be attained to prepare your child better for university.
[ sctld ], Mar 27 2002

       really? I just phoned to ask about a law degree that I want to do, and the admissions secretary warned me that it was a really intensive course. Oh? I said, at the very same moment reading the website which stated 12 teaching hours per week...
sappho, Mar 27 2002

       keyword:Teaching. You will also have lectures and reading at your run-down student flat, beside which university is this? The upstairs university of Hollywood Law? Texas Aunt M'? Seattle Atlantic? Colorado Coast?   

       And are you sayin gthat you don't need a high level of education to study law? How horribly misinformed.
[ sctld ], Mar 27 2002

       I totally agree with sctld, why not bring school hours in line with todays society.
arora, Mar 27 2002

       arora + sctld - i disagree, we should even up to the highly enlightened US system (though spread more evenly throughout the year)
chud, Mar 27 2002

       What is it about the U.S. system that makes it "highly enlightened"? From what i have seen of it the schoolday is too short, the classes are too abstract ('algebra' and 'calculus' whay not just join them together to take 'math'), and because teachers teach on a screw principle, more time is wasted going over everything you did last time you met that topic than the actual thing itself, plus there is a shocking lack of discipline which might explain the U.S's high crime rates.
[ sctld ], Mar 28 2002

       That "shocking lack of discipline" is also evident here in UK, as witness those two US teachers who came here to teach, and left because of it. This may explain UK's increasing crime rate.
angel, Mar 28 2002

       "Math" is for the dummies. Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II were staged in that particular order to lead to Calculus and/or Physics - for which approval must be put forth by Teacher, and only during Senior Year. At least where and when I went to school.
thumbwax, Mar 28 2002

       Giving the kids Friday off every week just gives them more time to get involved with drugs and other adolescent nastiness. (Those so inclined, that is.) I can't vote for this.   

       I'd support increasing the amount of time in school per day, though.
waugsqueke, Mar 28 2002

       Join the team Waugs!   

       [thumbwax] Math in Scotland is a mixture of calculus, geometry, algebra and loads of other stuff. Physics can be taken as a course on its own, although if you are to pursue it too advanced higher level, they do advise taking applied mathematics.
[ sctld ], Mar 28 2002

       Is this a proposal for all grade levels, primary and secondary?   

       I believe at the primary level that stretching the day longer is wrong.  At those ages, I think a kid's main job is to play . . . not toil away in school for the entire day. 5-6 hours is enough.  I don't have an opinion about the Fridays off other than it would be a hardship for many parents.
bristolz, Mar 28 2002

       To be fair, I can't see how 1 teacher in a class of 32 primary children can push them to their limit. My children (although they would disagree) are not toiling away for 5-6 hours, take away breaks, lunch and assembly plus "art" it amounts to about 4 hours. When asked "what did you learn today" they nearly always reply 'nothing', I even pay for extra lessons in French, which aren't covered at school yet. Back to the idea again - decreasing the breaks would be beneficial as children (primary) forget very quickly any information they were taught just before a 7 week break. sctld: If you every run for PM you got my vote.
arora, Mar 28 2002

       A vote for [ sctld ] is a vote for your childs future! Viva education! Free University education for all! Free health care for all! Cradle to grave! Long live the welfare state! Viva!
[ sctld ], Mar 28 2002

       Agreed, no teacher can push children to their limit unless it is very nearly 1:1.  If I thought being pushed to the limit was a good idea, I would say that that extreme should fall to the parents.  I think people ask too much from the educational system in any country while contributing far too little on their own to the education of their children.  I also think that unstructured play is extremely important.
bristolz, Mar 28 2002

       Baked at my law school, which offers almost no classes on Fridays. (And by comparison, first-year students take 15 or 16 hours of classes a week. I'm currently taking 13 hours. 12 every semester doesn't meet the ABA requirements.)
bookworm, Mar 29 2002

       Were not talking 80 hour weeks, were talking 40 hour weeks, subtract 3 hours 20 min for lunches, subtract 1hour 40 min for breaks, and have on hour at the end of the day, ie 4 till 5 for catch-up work, detention, and extracurriculars. Total working week = 30 hours.
[ sctld ], Mar 29 2002

       Thoughts for improved education.... In America....we are now studying more to the test than ever. Anxiety and an artificial separation of the average student from the "good" student is a result.   

       I have distinct memories of what made positive impacts on me...and I share similar conclusions with others. In 6th grade, my science teacher got us involved in projects. The class was highly interactive. I was a completely different person after that. All other positive memories have a common denominator....those that could project the "practical aspect"....that interesting ...."hey check this out" flavor....got my attention. In 9th grade...there was a computer teacher that inspired us to creat our own computer programs.   

       The point is simple. Teaching without motivation results in a poor process. When I went to school, the teacher generally motivated by real threats. Today, that has been removed....so what we're left with is largely pathetic in terms of motivation. Teaching today is a low quality babysitting operation. I'll put 2 kids through school soon....and now I'm on my 3rd. My contribution to the process has gone up each time.   

       The management here in the US is corrupt. A teacher was hired from California that inspired the children...got them to do projects that she improvised. She was fired a year later. Children called her the best teacher the school ever had.   

       The curriculum should have half the present level of theory....which can be assimilated later....and twice the practical interest and application factor. Make both at least the same amount of time. After ever hour...the children should go to a project/application class. Make things. Get your hands on things. Spend at least 1 hour on the computer, 2 half hour sessions....to learn innovative use of the computer.   

       2 exercise classes per day....but not as intense as the present....get the blood flowing....burn off some energy.   

       But I vote yes...the present summer vacation is a false sense of...."well ....we made it through another year!!!" DUH   

       I pay dearly for my youngest to go to several practical applications workshops during the summer. These can easily be integrated into the "complete school year", one day a week....   

       So in the end, one could consider paying for these once a week classes, camp, or other options. So in the end it's a wash to me....and possibly a more realistic agenda for junior.... I'm assuming the "system" can adapt to provide the one day of workshop at the school itself. Other camp options should be provided and possibly rotated during the week for different schools in the area.
Bob Wade, May 13 2002


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