ART BY ESTELLE ZHOU
By CAROL LI
Numerous children in the US start their weekday mornings thinking “Ugh, school starts so early, I need to sleep in.” Although waking up early is not preferred, many students do not think of the numerous benefits to having school start early.
School starting early in the morning works better with parents’ schedules, which will increase amounts of parental guidance.
When school starts early, the school day will end earlier. In California, school must be in session for about six hours a day, and one thousand eighty hours in a year. School should be in session for about one hundred and seventy five to one hundred and eighty days. In compensation for fewer morning hours, students can have an increase of surplus hours in the afternoon, which can be helpful for students doing different activities, such as sports, supplementary classes and SAT prep.
Some argue that students can still have time for other activities even if school doesn’t start early. However, some sports need to practice outdoors with more daylight. This precious time can be wasted by being stuck in school. These student athletes have to play in the dark, especially when daylight savings time ends in the winter.
Another example is that students may not have enough time to catch shifts that work with their schedule if school starts and ends later. Some students are old enough to work part time to help support their families, and families may rely on the student’s’ income for financial support. If school ends later in the day, a part-time job commitment with later and odder hours would be more difficult.
Also, school starting early may work better with some parents’ schedules. For example, some parents have to wake their children up early, because they head off to work earlier than school usually starts. However, oftentimes, parents cannot take their kid because they are occupied with work. They resort to asking their children to walk, or give extra payment to schedule rides with other people.
While parent guidance in preparation for school may seem like a minor detail, children may feel more supported with parental guidance when their own parent is them off to school. In a Norwegian study done by Eric Bettinger, an associate professor at Stanford Graduate School Of Business, research indicated that kids with more parental guidance increased their grade by .02 points on Norway’s grading scale of 1-6 points. Thus, if school starts earlier, it can be easier for parents to take their kids to school, and the extra time with parents can result in students doing better in school.
A popular counterargument is circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that is running between sleepiness and alertness. The natural human circadian rhythm requires that humans sleep more than what is offered on a school schedule. While this is one of the strongest reasons against starting earlier, school must be in session for a certain number of hours. Why not just start early so students can get out early? In addition, if students are sleep deprived, ending school early can give students time to rest if they did not get enough sleep in the morning.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to having school start early. Although people may not think this is ideal, there are numerous benefits that can result from school starting early.