2010年7月7日水曜日

sleep vs study

It's pretty widely said (furphy or otherwise) that you will never get into X (elite) university if you sleep more than four hours a night during high school. I tend toward the other extreme and think you will never get through the school day without 12 hours sleep a night.

During the kinder years Meg was getting between 11 and 12 hours sleep a day- bed by 7 and up between 6 and 7. Since starting school- and this corresponding with my work hours doubling- she has been going to bed between 7 and 8 but getting up between 5 and 6. So that means some nights she only gets nine hours sleep. Then she walks an hour to school, does a full day of school (that recently starts with marathon practice- running laps of the school oval. They are asked to do between two and ten. Meg always does ten. Then she either walks an hour and a half home (uphill so it takes longer) or hangs out at after school care until 6:00. She is tired. Exhausted. Bruise coloured marks under her eyes and meltdown central.

That's ok. She can catch up on sleep on the weekend, right? No. The kid is hardwired to the dawn chorus. She wakes up earlier on the weekends. Seriously. I have a fair whack of bad working mummy guilt going on that's only partially alleviated by the fact that the little girl up the road -with a fulltime SAHM- is equally exhausted. Still, I'd love her to get a bit more sleep.

So it was a real surprise today in my 6 year old English class when we were using clocks to talk about our daily routine and every kid said they woke up at six. Some of these kids live within shouting distance of their elementary school. Many of them have non-working mothers. Why do they wake up so early? The unanimous answer- I don't know.

Actually there was one kid who doesn't wake up at six.

She wakes up at 4:30. I was sure she'd made a mistake. I made the hands on my clock show 4:30 and asked if that's what she meant. Yes. Wow. What do you do when you wake up? (Isn't that a shockingly intrusive question thinly disguised as English practise? But really. I was curious!) "I do my school homework. Then my other homework. Then I do some study with my mum. Then I get ready for school."

This girl is by far my strongest student. Japanese mother, Japanese father, no overseas experience but she has an amazing grasp of English. Her vocabulary knowledge is extraordinarily wide and varied and she has an ability to extrapolate her grammatical knowledge that is years beyond her peers. I know I shouldn't but I can't help comparing some days. Just last week Meg didn't know/ couldn't recall the word storm and she piped up with it then turned to Meg and said 'You don't know much English, do you?' Ouch! That one hit me where it hurts!

But you know, knowing that the price to pay for that knowledge is getting up at 4:30 every morning? I'm not so envious anymore. Living with Meg's attitude and disposition on her present schedule is hard enough, I think we would kill each other if we were getting up earlier and then trying to study during that time. Still it makes you think, huh?

4 件のコメント:

Sara さんのコメント...

Holy crap.....
Sakura can be as dumb as a rock if it means she'll keep sleeping in until 8:30-9 like she does now!!!

Come to think of it.. I was ALWAYS a late sleeper too.. I can still remember my mom waking me up for kindy going "we're going to be late!"

hmm....

Gaijin Wife さんのコメント...

come on heather, 4:30am - an hours study with the girls, perhaps some etiquette lessons and a touch of the violin and then surely you'll still have time to make fresh muffins for breakfast, put on your face, your twin set and set out for the day.

'storm' - by god, my 6 year old class have only just finally go the grasp of croudy and rainy.

Lulu さんのコメント...

Noah is an early riser. He used to be about 8am but now it is between 6-6:30am everyday and it is taking some adjusting for me!

But seriously- a six year old that gets up that early to study? Honestly! MY GOD! Talk about pressure.

The poor thing.

Claire さんのコメント...

That's how Barack Obama's mother kept his English education going when they were living in Indonesia, so I guess it can be the road to greatness! I don't think my boys will be taking that route, though ;-)