Recently, some parents in my daughter's school discovered that the school was showing movies during lunch time. For 15 minutes each day, they were watching a portion of a feature length movie (something kid-friendly, maybe Willy Wonka or something, I forget, but not necessarily educational). This set off a debate with various tangents.
- How should school lunch time be handled? Should it be quiet, should the kids be able to chit-chat and relax and socialize?
- What is the effect of watching movies/TV while eating on the digestive system, on the amount you eat?
- Should kids be watching movies in school?
My kids know that I - should I say "hate", that's such a strong word, let's go with - very much dislike when they watch movies in school. I just don't think that's the best use of school time, to be kickin' back and watching a movie. Now granted, I know they aren't watching the movie with the blue people flying around, and are watching a PG (it might even be G?) rated movie, so my concern isn't the content of the movie. Its just that, well, we're never going to catch up with the rest of the world in math and science unless we use our school time productively.
Another spark that was set off was parent volunteering in school. It was suggested that if more parents volunteered during lunch, then perhaps the school would not have to resort to movies for crowd control. This moved some parents to decide to organize some lunch-time volunteering. Not me.
Now, don't get me wrong - I am all about parents volunteering. I'm involved in the PTA and help out when and how I can, whether its working Book Fair or dropping off dessert for teachers' lunch. I strongly believe that parent involvement is a key ingredient in a child's confidence and engagement in school and their overall success as a person. I think every parent - every parent - should spend a few hours in their child's school, just to understand and get to know the environment in which he/she spends a good part of his/her day.
But lunch duty? I have 4 children - and handling my little bunch at meal time is about all I can handle on a good day. Volunteering is good, but you've got to know where you will be part of the solution.
I'm interested to see where this lunch debate & parent volunteering effort will go. I hope that we all can find a suitable and agreeable solution. How about at your school? What are the lunch-time rules? Do parents volunteer?