Holiday guidelines vary greatly from state to state

Editor’s note: This story was a special edition of the Early Childhood Newsletter, which is distributed free of charge every Wednesday in the subscribers’ inbox with trends and top stories of elementary education. Subscribe today!

Ask any toddler a favorite part of the school day and you’ll probably hear about it during the holidays. Jam-packed school days often provide free play for children এবং and it is short: the average length of vacation is 25 minutes per day. This time can benefit children and their teachers, research shows: children are more attentive, productive and work better cognitively after retirement. Elementary school principals report that vacations have a positive effect on students’ ability to concentrate. The American Academy of Pediatrics even took a position on vacation in 2013, calling it “an important and necessary element of a child’s development” and saying it should not be stopped.

However, even small amounts of vacation are far from guaranteed in schools across the country, as I reported in a story published last week on the practice of vacation closure. On any given day, young children are excluded from their vacation for academic or behavioral reasons and must stay indoors, walk on their laps or sit on the sidewalk to watch their friends play. This is a chronic and common punishment in schools. Up to 86 percent of teachers have refused or reduced their retirement time as a punishment for behavior. While this may work in the short term for some students to adapt quickly, experts say that practice can be harmful in the long run and possibly make behaviors worse.

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