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Thursday, August 13, 2020
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Viewpoint: Make Your Seven Minutes Count
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As I looked over the stories, we were getting together for this weekís newspaper my eyes stopped on the one that indicated that because of a rather snowy year District 70 was going to have to lengthen the school days to meet state requirements.

To attain the number of contact hours necessary the high school and middle school will start five minutes earlier the rest of the year and let out five minutes later.

Elementary students will start five minutes earlier and let out ten minutes later.

The reason this is necessary is that the mountain schools have had six snow days and three days with late starts leading to the deficiency.

One thousand and eighty contact hours are required during each school year per educational guidelines. If you take that number and multiply it by sixty minutes in an hour and divide it by 365, the number of days in a year, that comes to 177.5 minutes every day of the year that your children should have contact time with an educator at the elementary, middle and high school level.

Letís go ahead and round that up to three hours per day. Three hours per day every day, that the most adult in the life of your child is an employee of District 70.

Second fact. According to a recent study of 11 wealthy countries printed in the Economist, a new analysis shows that mothers are spending more time with their children than they used to. A study in 1965 indicated a mother was spending 54 minutes per day with her child.

By 2014 that number in a similar study had reached 104 minutes per day. Letís round that number up to two hours.

Fact three. A study in a publication called N Lifestyle of American fathers indicate that the average American father spends seven minutes per day with their children. Letís round that up toÖÖ. seven minutes.

Fact four. A study on CBS news reported that the average child between the ages of 8 and 18 spend seven hours per day in front of a screen. Some of this is at home, some of this is at school, but seven hours per day.

Final fact. The average adult in the United States spends three hours per day on social media.

Iím sure you can see some of the holes in the facts. An educator is logging ďface timeĒ with an entire class at once. A parentís face time may be with a single child or several but definitely a much smaller group.

Depending on your job, as an adult some of those three hours per day on social media might be at work, or after the kids are in bed.

Mothers and fathers donít often get paid to have face time with their children so they have to support them without being with them. Educators can combine face time with your children and earning a living for their family.

At the same time the facts are disturbing. My children and my grandchildren spend many more hours with other adults who get a chance to present opinions which may not reflect my values. The world wide web gets an opportunity to lie and misquote with no possible way of stopping them and parents have precious few minutes to counteract those lies and misperceptions.

I heard someone recently lament how quickly their kids were growing up as they dropped them off at pre-school into the hands of another adult. And I wondered if the jump they got on their education was worth the time they didnít get with their parents?

I cast no stones. I have no room to talk. But, perhaps, whatever time I do have, I will at the very least be fully engaged and attentive to the people I spend it with.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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