Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Abbas. Abbas Wonders, “Can students go to school on weekends?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Abbas!
We have some news for you: Sunday and Monday aren’t getting along so well. In fact, yesterday, they had a fight. Can you guess who won?
Sunday won—because Monday is a WEAKday! Ha! Get it?
In all seriousness though, most people would choose Sunday over Monday any day of the week. After all, weekends are great! They give people time to relax and recharge after a long week at work or school.
Speaking of school . . . have you ever WONDERed why schools aren’t in session on weekends? And who decided which days are the end of the week, anyway?
Many of our Wonder Friends may already know why weekends exist. They were introduced following the Industrial Revolution. The weekend was created to give workers at least two days of rest per week.
Why Saturday and Sunday? These days were chosen as the weekend because of their importance in two major world religions, Judaism and Christianity. Majority Muslim nations sometimes observe the weekend on Thursday and Friday instead due to Friday’s place as the day of worship in Islam.
The reason kids have the weekends off from school is much the same. After all, everyone needs a break now and then—students and teachers included.
What are some of your favorite things to do on the weekend? Maybe you enjoy playing tag or video games with friends. Perhaps you love going on a picnic with your family. Or maybe you’d rather stay at home with a good book. With so many great ways to spend your time, weekends can feel short.
That’s one reason why some people want to add a third day to the weekend. In fact, many schools across the U.S. have already switched to a four-day school week. That means students and teachers have three days away from their classrooms every single weekend. And schools aren’t alone! Many other workplaces have found they prefer a longer weekend.
What are the benefits of a four-day school week? Many districts report saving money on electricity, food, and transportation. Often, the longer weekends also lead to improved quality of life for teachers and students. In fact, schools with four-day weeks tend to have more people apply to work for them.
There is even some evidence that three-day weekends may improve student achievement. A 2015 study in Colorado found that fifth grade math scores went up when students only went to school four days a week. However, more research needs to be done before experts can determine the overall impact of a shorter school week.
Of course, four-day school weeks have drawbacks. Families who work five days a week struggle to find childcare when kids have more time off. Additionally, children who receive breakfast and lunch at school can experience food insecurity when the school week is shorter.
For kids who love to learn, weekends away from school may already feel long. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep learning at home whether your weekend is two or three days long. Go outside and explore a park or your own backyard. You never know what interesting plants and animals you and your friends will find nearby!
Another great way to learn outside of school is to help a family member in the kitchen. Cooking can help you learn about both math and science. Growing plants or even a whole garden is another fun learning opportunity. Of course, you can also keep learning by asking an adult to help you conduct a science experiment or take a field trip on the weekend.
Would you enjoy a shorter school week? Or are the weekends already long enough for you? Either way, we hope you enjoy both your time at school and your days of rest!
Standards: CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.R.2