"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." - John Lubbock
Remember nap time, from way back in the very early years of our educational pursuits?
Maybe not? Well, I do. We had regular naps during kindergarten, and those periods and a little incident with scissors (I'll tell ya about that one later, probably) make up most of what I recall about that year.
A random, completely non-scientific sampling of Internet comments shows me that nap time does still exist in some kindergarten schedules, but not in many. I have really no idea for the sake of comparison how prevalent nap time was back when I was in kindergarten, either; I just always sort of assumed it was what everybody did.
But not now. At least, not any more, if my assumption is correct.
Several of the postings I found on the Internet lend a touch of sloppy credence to that assumption, by the way. Many of them say things like "nap time is no longer..." or "not for the last twenty years..." or some such. Apparently, if my study's quasi-reliable results are to be believed, in the last couple of decades, the curricular needs of our nation's five-year-olds have expanded to the point that there's no longer time for a recharge during the day.
Now, go back and re-read that last sentence that I wrote. What did you learn in kindergarten? My own collection of successfully-achieved learning objectives included a) you can't always go pee when you want, b) it's polite to raise your hand before interjecting commentary in a group where everybody is expected to speak, and c) don't ever pull that stunt with scissors again.
That's it. It ain't exactly rocket science that we're teaching in Grade Zero.
Oh, and d) ain't isn't a word.
Back to my original point--yeah, sure, I'll accept that we should be trying to teach kids something useful while they're in kindergarten, but what, and how much of it, are we going to try to stuff down a five-year-old's gullet? Oh, certainly I do remember writing the alphabet on that funny multi-lined paper, and that's probably a very good thing to learn at that age, but my parents had already taught me to read by the age of three. What I really needed, and what the rest time provides (if the anecdotal evidence from my nearly-flawlessly-designed study bears any weight, of course) is a nice, comfortable indoctrination to the new schedule I'd be following for the next seventeen-ish years.
Nap time wasn't wasted time, I think.
It still isn't, in my opinion. I'll wait, though, and hammer more on the topic of adult nap time later.
What do you think? Do you remember having a nap time at school?