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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Jackson Keyser

Sixth-grader weighs in on longer school day

Istock photo/globe staff illustration

When you first start in an extended school day, it’s pretty hard to get used to.

At my old school, the John D. Philbrick Elementary School in Roslindale, the days went from 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., and we had about 25 minutes of homework for math and another 25 minutes for English. When I got home I usually did my homework. There was plenty of time left to watch TV, play on the computer, or go outside.

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At my current school, the days go from 7:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and we have about 20 to 30 minutes of homework for every subject. I also have to do an hour of reading every night.

One of the benefits of an extended school day is that you can get more help with things that are difficult for you because you can ask for help during study hall.

In my old school, there was no study hall, and when kids needed help with their homework, they would ask their parents, who sometimes would be of no help because they have forgotten how to do the math that kids are learning. Trust me, I have learned this from experience. One more benefit is that you learn more skills, like how to organize your binder so you can find things easier and don’t lose important papers.

One minus of the extended school day is that if you get home at 4:30 and have to do homework, study, and read, and also want to do something that you enjoy, some days you only see your family at dinner. It is also hard to have time to relax without having to do homework or some assignment. And we don’t get recess or have as much time to be active.

But we also get to do things that we normally wouldn’t get to do. I got to play rugby, which without the extended day I would not have learned how to play. I also learned about the homeless and visited two homeless shelters as part of the future philanthropists’ club.

All in all, I would rather be in the school I am in now, with the extended school day, than a school with a regular school day.

I’m done!!!

Jackson Keyser is a 6th-grader at the Washington Irving Middle School in Roslindale.

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