Education Enlightenment

School hours; Helpful or Harmful?

3 min readJan 25, 2021

Welcome back to the Education Enlightenment where we talk about the American school system and its flaws. Today we are talking about the length and start time of schools and if it's really more beneficial than harmful.

A school day in America generally starts around 8:00 am going until 3:00 to 3:30 pm making a average school day a total of around seven hours. Some reasons its seven hours could be that it gives students more time to learn more or develop interests in extracurriculars or maybe to aid with students social skills. The problem with these reasons is they're still not good enough to outshine the bad effects on students. Seven hours could seem not that long, but when we put it into context of an average students day it just seems very unnecessary. For relatability reasons I am choosing to use facts on high schoolers;

According to Kay Uzoma, “Sixty-nine percent of girls and 75 percent of boys in the United States participate in organized and team sports, according to the 2008 report titled “Go Out and Play: Participation in Team or Organized Sports” conducted by the Women’s Sports Foundation.” and those high school students report to practicing as many as six to twenty-four hours a week with club sports practicing more around 6–7.5 hours a week (Source two). If we were to break that up evenly into a week that would be around an hour a day at the least.

Along with sports, scientists recommend that teens sleep around nine hours and fifteen minutes (Source 3). Furthermore, many high school teachers report to assigning an average of 3.5 hours of homework a week, making 42 minutes a day for one class and 3.5 hours for five classes (Source 4).

Lastly many high schoolers have a job from the age of sixteen. A teen can work up to eighteen hours a week but I feel the average especially at my school is really around 10–12 hours a day.

Now if we add all of these things together to evenly fit the seven day week, we get about 22.7 hours of the day that we are doing something “needed” or structured. Of course not every student is like this, there are kids who don't have jobs or don't do sports or they dont do homework but again this would be an “average” high schooler. Even if a student did not do any of these things, just school and homework is a whopping 10.5 hours of our 24 hour day.

This scheduling can be detrimental to teens as their free time is very limited but very important. Free time creates something that you can control and deprivation of it seems to create feelings of being overwhelmed and anxiety. Annakeara Stinson of Elite daily explains this concept very well and you can read more about it Here.

Therefore we should think of making our school days a little shorter. Stay tuned to see some potential solutions and reasons why we should start school later. See you next week on Education Enlightenment!

Source one

Uzoma, Kay. “How Many Youth Participate in Sports in the U.S.?” SportsRec, 15 Oct. 2019,

Source two

Pashley, Jen. “How Often We Practice.” Skyd Magazine, 6 Oct. 2014,,teams%20practiced%20less%2C%20averaging%206–7.5%20hours%20per%20week.

Source three

Uzoma, Kay. “How Many Youth Participate in Sports in the U.S.?” SportsRec, 15 Oct. 2019,

Source four

Stainburn, Samantha. “Redirecting You.” Medium, 2014,

Source five

Stinson, Annakeara. “Experts Say You Should Give Yourself This Much Free Time Each Day To Feel Less Stressed.” Elite Daily, Elite Daily, 4 Nov. 2018,