Advantages and Disadvantages of Providing Kids With More Free Time

Free Time During Education

It is not a secret that Finland’s education system is consistently ranked as the best in the world. Ever wondered why?

One of the numerous reasons why Finland is one of the best places for learning is the fact that students there have a lot of free time.

Importance of Free Time for Kids

Image Credit: Pixabay

While high school students get to interact and socialize between classes, younger pupils are rewarded with more play time. Yes, all schools around the world have breaks, but most of them are not long enough for a good rest.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of free time during education.

1] Personal, Social, and Emotional Development

Providing kids with enough free play time allows them to explore the world around them and gets them asking critical questions. Parents and teachers just have to respond to those questions patiently to help children develop personally, socially, and emotionally.

Role play is a great idea. Parents may switch roles with their children by letting them do adult stuff, such as shopping or choosing the next place to go on a holiday.

Going to various places allows kids to interact with different people and learn to express their thoughts and feelings. When having conversations with others, children also develop such skills as:

  • Data sharing.
  • Data analysis.
  • Negotiation.
  • Turn-taking.
  • Brainstorming.
  • Teamwork.

Those are critical social skills acquiring which kids can identify their place in society. New experiences and environments are crucial for their development, which is why parents should not over-control their offspring.

2] Cognitive Development

Early childhood education free play time also improves cognitive and problem-solving skills. By allowing students to have more breaks, tutors provide them with more time to think about urgent problems and find solutions to them.

Offering a reward for every correct answer may be another motivation and guarantee that students will not just waste their time doing nothing.

3] Focus Development

Having free time makes it possible to give your brain some rest. Such “brain breaks” allow you to return to the subject of the lesson with a clear mind.

Some students spend their free time reading books or watching films that provide them with new information. Searching online can also be useful.

It is difficult to pick the best education site to read in free time (EdX, Academic Earth, Internet Archive, Big Think, Khan Academy, etc.) as many of them are great.

Focus Development

Once the brain is refreshed, a student can think of other ways to solve the problem or come up with different approaches to writing. Such a practice helps you overcome writer’s block and other obstacles on the way to learning a topic.

After all, office employees take regular breaks to eat, smoke, or rest on a sofa to come up with fresh ideas. This way, people are able to concentrate on essential things.

4] Sense of Responsibility Development

Kids usually rely on adults when it comes to time management and planning. They get acquainted with the schedule that you prepare for them, and they lack the sense of responsibility.

In order not to end up with a robot that merely obeys instructions and cannot think on its own, tutors and parents should provide their children with more free time to decide what they can do and how long each activity may take.

For instance, to do their homework faster and thus get time for other activities, students can seek the help of their parents or services like

5] Physical Health Development

As most kids are very mobile, they will most probably dedicate at least part of their free time to physical exercises. This way, they will develop motor skills.

Free Time for Kids

Instead of sitting all day long at the classroom desk, students can benefit from going outside and getting some fresh air. Thus, longer breaks are necessary for improving students’ health. You can find more information in this research paper.

Can you think of other pros of providing kids with more free time without risking to lose their attention? A break is not necessarily a distraction. Some students may lose focus during long breaks, and that’s undeniably true.

However, could it be due to the lack of sleep caused by their overburdened schedules? If so, teachers and parents should think twice before overwhelming kids with numerous academic assignments and home duties.

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About the author

Michael Austin

Michael Austin is a Internet Entrepreneur, Blogger, Day Dreamer, Business Guy, Fitness Freak and Digital Marketing Specialist. He also helps companies to grow their online businesses.


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