Although I cannot remember much from my kindergarten year, I can recall several events from first and second grades. I vividly recall rest time. In both first and second grade, we had a specified time of day that we put our heads down on the desks to rest. Now, many kindergarten students do not have a naptime. My school is the only school in our county that participates in no form of naptime. The other kindergarten classes either have naptime everyday or periodically (when time permits or the teacher feels it is needed). Naps are things of education’s past.
Some researchers will argue that five-year-old children still need a nap at school. Children of this age need ten to twelve hours of sleep. In today’s busy world, most children do not receive this sleep at home. Families are too busy running here and there and children often get into bed too late. In most cases, children would have to be asleep by 8:00 P.M. to get ten hours of sleep and still be up in time to catch the bus to school.
Other researchers suggest that while it is true children need more sleep; the sleep should be the responsibility of the parents and not the school. Kindergarten students took naps in the past because we thought that they should. Perhaps we were underestimating the abilities of young children. Most children stop napping on their own before the age of five.
I have not had any of my parents seem concerned about their kindergarten students not taking a nap. While I do feel that a few of my students would fall asleep, I think that naptime would be a great discipline problem for me. Many teachers spend most of the time correcting students for noises or movement. The kindergarten teachers at my school do allow children to rest, especially at the beginning of the year, if they fall asleep during class.
My schedule does not allow time for napping, and children do not seem to miss it. Our standards have forced kindergarten students out of a lot of playtime and social time. These I feel the students truly would enjoy having back in the main curriculum. Naps, however, are not something that I mind skipping to allow time for more instruction.