I am not a parent, but an Early Years trained teacher. I am currently teaching a class of 26 Reception aged children (between 4 and 5 years old), the class will go up to 30 after Easter.
In recent discussions with parents, some are concerned about how tired their children are after school.
I ensure the children have time to relax in the afternoon as a whole class and then create the opportunity to continue this relaxation until home time if they seek it. We talk a lot about listening to our bodies and knowing when our bodies need a rest and when they need to use up energy. I certainly have no problems within the classroom as the children show no signs of being too tired in school. However, parents suggest that by not insisting ALL children relax I am not fulfilling my duty of care and therefore disregarding children's well-being.
I would welcome suggestions on how other parents manage their child's tiredness after school as well as advice on how I might run the day slightly differently to alleviate some of this stress. I will not insist that all children rest all afternoon as not all children need it.
I believe that children do learn to make decisions regarding their basic needs at this young age.
Nail have you said anything about that? I wouldn't consider that Golden. I'm not a weirdo and of course my DC watch the odd movie....but it should be a once a term treat imo.
School is for learning...not for sucking up Disney shite. I'd feel more positively about it if the films were at least educational! But my DD...she hates sitting through a whole film...like me, she often gets bored halfway and wants to DO something.
I live in a country where they don´t start school until they´re 6. When I see how dd has to work now to learn to read and with her numeracy, I am just relieved we didn´t have to go through all that when she was 4. I guess they do learn faster starting aged 6 (this seems to be the finding of most research - and it makes sense: German and French 22 year olds don´t seem to have a lower reading age than 22 year old Brits!), so they are probably under more pressure now aged 7 than British 7 year olds. Even still, I´m glad dd spent her time as a four and five year old able to decide for herself how she was going to spend her time at nursery. I don´t mean she determined the programme, but "teacher-led" activities were nature walks or music or at most baking. The rest of the time, she could decide herself if she would do some painting, make something (cutting and sticking etc.), build something, imaginative play. I could imagine that having to sit down when the teacher says and work on a particular activity is really hard for a minority of four/five year olds.
My request though even now to my child´s teachers is that they make sure they have snacks in the afternoons (my dd is unfortunately not at a school which goes until 1pm and then all afternoon is family time). We have to send food for mid-morning, but I notice a huge difference between dd when they have been allowed to eat up the snack mid-afternoon and dd when the teacher has not made sure that the kids have eaten something in the afternoon. A snack in the afternoon means she is still human at pick-up time!
I think you should do a nicely worded letter to all the parents saying you have had several parents worried about tiredness. Explain it is normal behaviour at this age, that you do have quiet times and quiet activities in the day and are not making them run around all day! Advise parents if their child is struggling that a healthy snack as soon as they come out of school may help as well as an earlier dinner/bathtime and to make sure they are not being tired out by after school activities which normally are not advisable until at least year 1.
At least you have put your point across to everyone, informed them of your daily activities with them and made it clear the responsibility of tiredness lays with them the parents too to ensure their child is rested when at home.