Children just beginning school should retire at eight o'clock at night in winter. Those who have been in school several years may remain up until nine o'clock. In the summer time, when school is not in session, the retiring time may be an hour later for each age.
School children would be able to do twice as much work at school, and very much better work, if arrangement could be made for an hour of sleep, or at least rest on the bed, at noon. Parents would do well to demand two hours at noon, so that the children may come home and have an hour of rest--rest, not recreation--and then take time to eat their lunches and not be compelled to rush the food into the stomach. Children not of school age should have a one-hour rest every day after the noon meal. Those under four should also have an hour of rest during the forenoon.
Children should not have home studies. They should take just such work in school as they can do during the school hours. The plan of having to spend the entire evening preparing the lessons for the next day is a tremendous handicap for children.
As stated above, children of school age need rest aside from the night's sleep. Babies under two or three years should have as much sleep as they can possibly get. If a child is restless and cannot sleep, it means that the nervous system is worn out, and it needs to have food kept from it until the nerves have had time to settle down. Then the amount of food should be kept within the digestive limitations, as evidenced by a poised state of the nerves. Mothers need a rest in the middle of the day, as well as the children, therefore the habit should be built of mother and child going to bed for a rest after the noon meal. Remember that it takes nerve-energy for digesting food; and there is nothing which renews nerve-energy so quickly and safely as sleep and rest.