and all over my neighborhood 8 year olds are struggling to get ready for the bus which comes at 8. 6 and 7 year olds too. Even 5 year olds! Babies, getting on the bus at 8 am. That bus won't bring them home till 4 pm. Even the littlest ones stay at school all day long.
From 8 am till 4 pm - almost an adult work day - these children will not have a moment alone. They won't have any privacy. They might have a little time to do just what they want to do. Or maybe not.
When they get home at 4 some of them will go into their houses and work some more. They won't have time to play.
It's 7:30 am. I just walked by my8 year old daughter's room. She is awake, snuggled up reading Mary Poppins Comes Back. She started it yesterday and she'll finish it today. In a little while she'll get up and we'll read together during breakfast. She'll do her "tablework" and I'll read to her and her brother (who is still asleep, fueling that big growth spurt he's going through right now). We'll read together, do a science experiment or two, work on booklets the kids are making for our reading group next week. She'll have lots of time for reading books of her own choice and doing crafts.
If the little girl down the street didn't have so much homework, maybe she and my daughter could play for an hour between school and dinner. But she will, and they won't.