I have an idea. Compulsory bedtimes for children at particular times.
Under 10s should be in bed – and asleep – by 8pm. 11 year olds by 8.15pm, 12 year olds by 8.30pm and 13 year olds no later than 9pm. Also, to make bedtimes worthwhile, I would introduce – by law, of course – built-in reading times. So, although everyone must be in bed by certain times, this is after having done 15 minutes’ reading. So, under 10s in bed and reading by 7.45pm right the way through to 13 year olds in bed and reading by 8.45pm.
I think it’s a wonderful plan. I can’t think of anything wrong with it. Sure, there will be a few complaints and mutterings from children when they have to go to bed, but they’ll thank me in the morning. They’ll be up bright and early, full of energy and ready for a day at school. And, having read for 15 minutes every night – one hour and forty-five minutes a week! – think of all the books that’ll get read and how much information children will learn!
Of course, children will complain. They will think that it’s unfair that they should be sent to bed at an unreasonably early time, that they want to stay up and play, watch tv or do all sorts of other things. Also they will say that they can’t go to bed so early because their friends go to bed later. And all sorts of other excuses.
But early bedtimes mean more energy. Children will not only be ready for a busy school day where they will work hard and learn lots of things, but participate in after-school sport, drama and art and other activities. And still have energy for homework and reading before bed. Everyone wins!
Early to bed, early to rise makes a child happy, wealthy and wise…
Article written by Ben Egerton
[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box]
[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. Should children have set bedtimes, or just be allowed to go to bed when they feel tired?
2. What is the result of late bedtimes and early mornings?
[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:
1. Without naming names interview children at school and create a scatter graph (it will work best with at least 50 children) and plot on it bedtimes according to age. By looking at the results, what conclusions can you draw? How could you use this information to suggest or recommend age-appropriate bedtimes?
2. What would happen if you set, or tried to set, compulsory bedtimes for parents/care-givers? Find out! Share your experiences in class.
[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say: