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Kindergarten's Nixing Naptimes

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Naps for kindergartners are continually getting phased out. Are we pushing young kids too hard to stay awake?


Schools in Alabama are considering ditching the standard 30-minute nap for their young students because they say it's cutting into valuable instruction time.

The debate might not seem something to lose sleep over, but some people aren't happy with the plan. Critics are concerned that most four-year-olds are already burning the candle at both ends when activities such as piano lessons and soccer practices are part of kindergarten's daily schedule. Still others say young students need the extra rest because they are often staying up past their bedtimes to complete homework.

But Alabama's Headland Elementary School Principal Faye Shipe defends the idea: "To be perfectly honest, there's so much in the kindergarten curriculum that we need the extra classroom time." 

Many kindergarten classes across the nation have already eliminated nap time, but a few still hold on to what some think is an outdated practice.

Do you think kindergartners benefit from naps?

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10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amber October 23, 2008, 2:59 PM

Must be nice to even have the option! We don’t have full day Kinder here so there isn’t even an option for nap time. My kids are only in Kinder for 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Anonymous October 23, 2008, 5:49 PM

I’ve taught Kindergarten in Florida for like forever now and the kids are with us straight from 8:30 am until 2:00 pm. Many also go straight to afterschool care if their parents work. I’d love for them to have a bit of a naptime. They really do need to relax and recharge. Most teachers do sneak a 5 minute “rest your heads on the desk” routine and hope they don’t get caught. It has gotten way out of hand but there is nothing the teachers can do about it.

Anonymous October 23, 2008, 5:57 PM

Kids should be done with naps by the time they’re in K-5.

mary October 23, 2008, 6:49 PM

I’ve taught kindergarten for eight years now- six of them without nap time. There are SO many problems connected to nap time that it is simply not worth the trouble. A 30-minute nap actually wastes at least an hour by the time you get all the mats out, get everyone settled, wake everyone up, send everyone to the bathroom,then put all the mats away. Naptime contributes to respiratory problems for many children. Some children never rest and have to be monitored closely to keep them from disturbing and even hurting sleeping children. Mats require cleaning and storage. Napping children have more wetting accidents. I could go on and on. Parents should adjust and stop letting their children watch Letterman. And teachers should adjust by ditching some homework.

Angie October 24, 2008, 4:04 PM

Let the students take a nap! Ask yourself if society has improved since we’ve been making all these changes. Pushing kids harder faster is not the answer. The answer to improving America, is better parenting. The kids need more instruction time from parents not the teachers.

ame i. October 24, 2008, 10:54 PM

In our local schools, Kindergarteners do have naptime, but at their tables with their heads resting on a rolled-up towel.
My now 8 year old would still manage to nap. She was a “good napper” from birth until Kindergarten. My now 10 year old gave up naps before she was 3.
When I was a child, we had “lay down” naps in K and first grades. In Kindergarten I remember a couple of times when I was still asleep when my mom came to pick me up. There were a coupe of times in first grade when I woke up to find my classmates back at their desks and working. My first grade teacher never married & had no children of her own, but recognized that if a child slept, they must need the sleep.
I’m a 40 year old stay-home mom of 2 school age children, and I nap for 30 minutes every day and my husband does also on weekends. When my girls get home from school, it feels ike my day starts all over again. I’m the first awake and the last asleep in my home. My naps make me more productive, and a better mother and wife.

Amanda October 25, 2008, 6:30 PM

I don’t remember naps when I was in kindergarten but then we only had half day kindergarten then. That was twenty years ago. Now kids are getting naps and some schools have taken them away? Wow must be nice because I know my son and I benefit from naps. I get more energy to play and take care of him. He gets more energy to last till bedtime and NOT fall asleep eating dinner

Maureen October 25, 2008, 11:56 PM

My son’s kindergarten is from 8:30 - 1:30 and there is no nap. He is 5.5 and there is no way he would nap. The child can run on a few hours sleep and a cup of strawberries — if naptime were required, I’m sure he would quickly be expelled.

The kids are required in K to learn so many things and the teacher has commented that the hours they are in class are barely enough to fit everything in.

They didn’t have naptime when I was in kindergaren (almost 30 years ago!) because it ended at about noon, but my mom put me down for a nap at home. That woman is amazing — my kids would not nap for me at age 3.5 and 5.5.

Mary Katherine Moreland April 21, 2009, 10:34 PM

I believe nap time, or some sort of rest time, is beneficial for students in Kindergarten. Kindergarten students are extremely active and seem to be constantly moving. Usually when kids become tired, they become grumpy and not as willing to participate in classroom activities. However, with naptime, students will have time to unwind and rejuvenate themselves. I like the idea of rest time better than nap time. Some kids are very stubborn and will do anything to stay awake. Resting for thirty minutes will also help relax and calm students down. Rest time/Nap time will make for less fussy students at the end of the day. To help get in all of the requirements to teach the students, teachers can have the students lay down on mats and read them a book that has to do with a certain topic that is being discussed in class that day. This will also make sure that students are getting down time.

Anonymous May 25, 2009, 7:11 PM

I teach a full day kindergarten class in NC. My class naps about 25minutes per day. I have a class of 22 and I can say 80% of them fall asleep each day and have difficulty waking up. Many of them come from homes where there is no established bedtime, making the demands of a full day even more difficult. I just wish administrators and other Central office pers. could see what we see and realize the need for rest time. Even if students don’t sleep it allows them to wind down. They are learning things I was taught in 2nd grade. Are we asking too much from them?

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