Our outdated school schedules are hurting working parents
Casey Quinlan

One thing that could be done is to switch the order of which school start when. Elementary schoolers naturally wake up earlier than high schoolers, and this has been a physiological issue. Elementary schools should pickup before the parent has to be at work so they can supervise the child, middle school just prior to the parent being at work, and since high schoolers should be at an age where they can be trusted (mostly, especially if we are giving them an extra hour or two in the morning to get that much needed morning teenager sleep) to get out the door when they need to go.

The only thing to consider, then, is how do you deal with the fact that the younger children will be out of the house longer? Two fold: no homework (it doesn’t help anyway and just wastes teachers’ time to grade it), and more frequent physical activities (longer recess and more occurrences of it) which is also being advocated as a means of improving attention during class time.

As for parents, we could help by encouraging more jobs that can be done from home to actually be allowed to be done from home. Work-from-home would have immense benefits for everyone, including those who’s jobs cannot be done from home (reduced traffic means less tardiness). It would reduce daily stress from a variety of things such as traffic and routine automotive costs, but getting back to the topic at hand, it would allow many more parents to be available when their kids do get home.

A viable schedule for work-from-home parents could be 9am to 3pm, get the kids settled at home, do dinner AS A FAMILY, then resume work after everyone gets into their night routine. Professional office work can be done from home. It is inexcusable to overlook these lifestyle optimizations when we have the communication infrastructure in place and the tools to get this kind of work done remotely. I don’t have all the answers, but this does address a large swarth of the original topic.