One of the more extreme results of the push toward more academics at the preschool level has been the call for abolishing naptime at preschool.
“Naptime needs to go away,” Andre Hornsby, superintendent of Prince George’s County Schools in Maryland, declared earlier this year. Under growing pressure to make school more rigorous, many educators agree with Hornsby that getting rid of naps can help those children who are behind academically – simply because there will be more time to focus on learning.
Critics of eliminating naptime are horrified at the idea, pointing out that many 4-year-olds already don’t get enough sleep at home. At the Next Generation Children’s Center in Boston, it’s not referred to as naptime, but “rest time.” Here, there is a recognition that some children still need that break in the day, all the way through kindergarten.
For Libbey Doggett, executive director of the Trust for Early Education, it’s clear: “Getting rid of naptime is absurd.”
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– Judy Molland