The Overlooked Importance of Our Kids’ Alone Time

Schoolboy sitting and reading in library.

It was Writer’s Workshop in my classroom, the time of day where children receive a mini-lesson in a writing skill, get independent time to practice it, and then share their work with a classmate. Tyler, one of my most prolific writers, asked me if she could go to the quiet corner to write. I granted her request and she gathered her folder, paper, and pencil, and settled down to work.

After seeing Tyler go to a quiet spot, Annie approached me and asked the same thing. “I can think better over there,” she said as she pointed to a large table where I gathered the kids for reading groups. I also gave her permission to move.

Finally, Kaden raised his hand and asked if he could go work on the carpet, and I nodded my consent. He always had trouble writing at his desk, staring off into space, or looking sadly at the heads of the writers bent over their papers while he’d written so little. These kids needed space and alone time to do their best work.

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A typical school day

These kids, like most kids, spend the majority of their day interacting with others. They come to the classroom where their desks are placed in pods, nestled in groups of four to six desks packed together.

Throughout the day,…

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