Who will ‘Love’ my children?

My daughter 9 loves school but come 3.15 and she is ready to come home. My son 5, probably does not like school as much as his sister and is perhaps ready to come home at 12. 🙂

So, do I agree with the proposals of Paul Kirby and Mr Gove, to have extended school hours from 8.30 – 6.00? No, definitely not!

I am a stay at home Mum by choice. I like being there for my children. I like doing the school run with them. I Love to see their smiling faces when I go to pick them up from school. I love to spend time with them in the evenings – whether it is doing homework, cooking, watching television or playing together.

I find this time already too little. By the time the children are home from school, have had a little snack, done some homework and had a little play – it’s time for dinner and then bath and bed. And we are home by 3.45

If they were to come home by 6.30, it would mean that they would have to have dinner and a bath and go to bed maybe with just a story. There would be no bonding time with the family which I feel is most important.

Besides, the first question that pops into my mind is how is the school going to keep my child occupied for the extra hours?

I know that Mr Gove’s proposal for how the extra hours will be used (homework, extra-curricular activities) is commendable but will all the schools be able to keep to those high standards?

Very often, my son comes home and tells me that they watched a movie in school and please note the ‘very’. Is he going to stay back till 6 pm to watch a movie or two? Thanks, but that is something we can do at home.

Very often, my daughter says she has time to read a book at school. Is she going to stay back till 6 pm to read a book? Thanks, but this is also something that she can do at home.

With schools expanding rapidly, there is already a lack of space. Are my children going to be cooped up in a classroom for another 3 hours? Thanks, but I would rather they come home so they can be active.

As a teacher by profession, I am also concerned at how teachers will cope. If you have ever been in a classroom, you will realise that it is quite a task being responsible for the education and well-being of 30 children. I can tell you that when I used to teach, there were (many) days when I would long for the school day to be over. When people used to say I was lucky at having long school vacations, my answer was simple – I am a teacher and I deserve it! More likely – I need it!

I do not find the need to stress the teachers more than they already are.

I do not find the need to stress my children any more than they already are.

I know I may sound selfish as there are parents who may look forward to this proposal. Would it not make better sense to provide better childcare facilities than to enforce an unwelcome proposal on every parent?

If my children were to stay in school from 8.30 – 6.30 (10 hours) spend 1 hour in commuting and go to bed at 8/8.30, it would mean that they would have just about 2/2 ½ hours of their waking day at home.

It would mean that the teachers would spend more time with them than I do. It would mean that we would have no time to chat, no time to share our ideas, no time to play and no time as a family.

While they may (or may not) benefit from the extra time for homework or extra-curricular activities, who will love my children?

So, Mr Gove, thanks so much for the offer but I’m afraid I have to pass!

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