Go Ahead, Sleep In...School Can Wait!
Dr. Ronald E. Johnson

Recently, a successful career woman was asked, “Where did you go to high school.”  Her eyes twinkled and a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as she said, “On my couch.”  The inquiring person looked perplexed, as he said, “I don’t understand.”  “Well,” she responded, “You see, I liked to sleep in every morning; getting up early to go to public school was not my thing. So, my parents decided that the best way to earn a diploma was on my couch…after I was fully awake.”  That parental strategy likely evokes smirks among traditional classroom teachers, who resent the idea that teenagers should be allowed to sleep-in every morning. 

Actually, according to recent reports regarding adolescent health, most teenagers who drag out of bed on week-days to stagger to school exhibit such poor attention skills that they absorb only a fraction of knowledge as do students who get at least eight to nine hours of sleep before cracking the books.  In fact, health authorities are beginning to express alarm at the stress levels manifested by teenagers who feel the pressure to “do the public school thing” for six to seven hours a day, then face two to three hours of homework before wadding their pillows during stress-related nights of tossing and turning.  They get less sleep rest than most homeschoolers who are allowed to sleep-in.

Ironically, teenagers who slam the snooze button three time in order to snatch twenty more winks before dragging to classes actually absorb less book-teacher knowledge in seven hours at public school than the quantity of knowledge that sleep-in homeschoolers absorb in only three hours of learning on their home couches.  Sleep deprivation caused by extensive homework assignments and early awake schedules, is not the only down side to normal public schools.  Added to the equation is the fact that of a typical 50 minute public school class time, only 17 minutes are actually devoted to learning.  The remaining 33 minutes are consumed by peer distractions and teacher incompetence.  That combination equals a poor education and ill health.

Availability of quality curriculum in paper and electronic editions enables and encourages sleep-in, couch-learners to acquire a top-notch education, while getting a healthy eight to nine hours of daily sleep.  The freedom to sleep-in each day before focusing three to four hours on book time creates a healthy, stress-free learning environment.  So, stack the pillows on your teenager’s bed and let them get the amount of sleep needed to focus alertly on “school couch work.”
For more articles by Dr. Ronald E. Johnson, check Doc’s Blog at www.pacworks.com or www.PardigmVirtualAcademy.com.  Comments are welcome at Learn@pacworks.com. Share this article with families who are considering homeschool.