Four Day School Week Improves Academic Performance

Four Day School Week Improves Academic Performance

One thing many families struggle with is the work-life balance.

So much of the week seems to be taken up with employment and education, there isn’t much left to spend as a family.

Weekends often feel rushed and can get filled up pretty quickly, leaving little opportunity for quality family time.

Parents feel they don’t get to spend enough time with their kids, and kids are left wishing they could have more attention from their parents.

Sweden recently introduced the six hour work day as a way of increasing productivity, increasing personal time and creating a happier workforce. It turns out more time spent in work doesn’t necessarily make workers more productive.

As some districts in the US have been looking for ways to cut overhead costs, some have switched to a four day school week. Over a third of all schools in Colorado have switched to a four day week as a way of saving money.

Little was known about the impact this would have on education, and so researchers at Georgia State University and Montana State University decided to carry out a research study to investigate this.

The Four Day School Week – How It Impacts Education

The four school days are longer than a typical school day in a five day week, though some people still felt the change would impact negatively upon education. Some were concerned that younger students especially would struggle with the longer days and have shorter attention spans than was necessary for the longer days.

Researchers investigated the impact of the four day week on the grades of fourth and fifth graders. In particular, maths and reading scores were analysed to see if the change had impacted on learning. Researchers found that the maths scores of students attending a four day week improved significantly, implying that the four day week was in fact good for learning.

With reading, no significant change in scores were noted, leaving researchers to conclude that the switch to a four day week was not harmful to the process of learning to read. The study only looked at students in the fourth and fifth grades, so it would be interesting to see how learning was affected in older students.

More Benefits Of A Three Day Weekend

A three day weekend would give more opportunity for family time. It would allow students to fully relax at the weekend, and even give them ample opportunity to complete any homework assigned during the four day week. A three day weekend is a much more balanced approach to time management, allowing the next generation to strike a good balance between work and home.

What do you think, is it something you’d support? Let us know in the comments section below!

Recommended Reading: Love reading about education? Check out The Awesome Way Finland Keeps Kids Focused In School. Spoiler alert: it’s not through longer lessons or more homework.

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Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.

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