27 answers

Lunch Time Silence?

My daughter just started Kindergarten and has come home with yellows for talking. I assumed she was talking during class but when I asked her she said it was at lunch. I didn't believe her that she got in trouble for talking at lunch but one of my friends whose kid goes to the same school said she heard they could not talk during lunch either. So my 5yr old is expected to be silent ALL day long (it's a full day kindergarten from 745-225) and only able to talk at recess? I would have issues being quiet that whole time and I'm old! lol.

Anyhow---has anyone ever heard of this? Am I the only one (well besides my friend who has a kindergartner too) that finds this absolutely ridiculous? Supposedly the reason is because kids don't eat their lunch. ummm....she still comes home with half her lunch. No big deal she just eats when she gets home.

When did we stop letting kids be kids?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks! I'm so glad to know I'm not crazy. It's a public school. She went to a private school last year and was allowed to talk at lunch. She's also received yellows for dancing in the line and touching the wall when waiting in line to go from point A to point B. I understand school just started and they're trying to establish rules and may be handing out yellows/reds like candy in the beginning to get the kids to behave...but yea I find it odd too. My daughter never got in trouble at her old school so I was shocked to see yellows and one day red. We have parent/teacher meetings coming up next week so I was going to address it then. Thanks!!!

Thanks for more responses! We actually built a house and moved to this town over the summer just so she could go to this school. This is supposedly one of the best districts in the state. So moving is not an option. lol. I understand the noise level...but ummm...when we were kids we talked at lunch. Those teachers and lunch ladies dealt with our noise volume. I'm sure it's annoying...but it's stillridiculous all the restrictions they put on kids these days. I'm going to talk to the school about it. I know it's possible that my 5yr old hasn't been totally accurate with her description...it may be 15 min of silence so they eat. I still think it's silly but I know schools have certain rules for a reason.

Featured Answers

At my childs school they have times where they can talk and time where they must be quiet that way the kids will actually eat lunch and not spend the entire time talking and not eating. They want them to not be hungry at school , it is a big deal when kids can't focus because they are hungry because they were talking through lunch instead of eating. They do only have 30 mins for lunch.
And a lunch room full of kids gets loud!
And not just walking in line , can disrupt others , imagine if everyone was dancing in line and they walked by a classroom of kids trying to take a test.

3 moms found this helpful

My kindergartner comes home with most of his lunch too. But they have snack time mid morning so he's not too bad off. Maybe you could suggest that.

2 moms found this helpful

Whoa. That is crazy! I have never heard of anything like that before! Lunch is about eating but also about socializing and getting a break from the classroom. I would talk to the head of the school and find out what you can do about this policy. Sometimes all it takes is someone to ask the question and then they will consider changes.

Is it a public school or private?

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Can you imagine how loud it can get with a hundred or more students int he lunch room visiting instead of eating? They go directly to recess from lunch and can run and play and be as loud as they want. Most schools have a signal light like they have on the streets. It has green for acceptable loudness, yellow for warning, then red for too loud.

They also get to play in the classroom. During activities and circle time is the only real time in the classroom they need to be quieter. Oh, and rest time.

I have been to a couple of Jr. Highs where they don't have any limits on the sound and my tray was vibrating across the table from the sound waves. It can be totally too loud.

5 moms found this helpful

How big is your child's school? If it's like my child's school, they aren't allowed to talk at lunch because of there being 250+ kids in the cafeteria at one time. Imagine that noise! I'm sure they're just setting the rules/boundaries now and she'll be allowed to "talk" when appropriate. They're just getting them used to a routine and the school rules.

4 moms found this helpful

The preschool my girls went to last year required lunch time silence for the first half of lunch (about 15 minutes) in the 3-4 year old class. I didn't realize the rule until about 4 months after my kids entered that class. One of my girls shushed the other at dinner. When I inquired, she explained that their teacher shushed kids during lunch because talking wasn't allowed. That bothered me SO MUCH!! I went in and talked to the teacher, who explained she had that rule so that the kids focused on eating, not talking. Even with the explanation, I didn't like the rule.

It's one of the (many) reasons we switched to a new school this year.

4 moms found this helpful

I agree with you. I remember talking all the time at lunch and last time I checked I didn't die of starvation. Jeez.

3 moms found this helpful

2 years ago, I was absolutely LIVID when my bff's son was "in trouble" for talking at lunch time. School prepares us for the real world, theoretically. Ok, so in the real world, your lunch time is YOUR time. Period. You can choose to work through lunch, sometimes you have a working lunch where your boss pays for lunch while you have a meeting or whatever. But on a day to day basis, lunch is a BREAK. But yeah, St Amant Elementary employs that as a standard rule, everyday, no talking at lunch. I told my bff to MOVE and get him out of that stupid school asap. She moved, and he LOVED and excelled in a much better, higher performing school in Keller (our district at the time) after that. We've since moved, but I'm glad to see my "nephew" doing well and loving school again. In my opinion, that is total b.s. and it would be a good reason for me to put my children in a private school with some rules that made sense, or homeschooling. Sheesh, sorry this came off so "firm", but I really feel strongly about the things they're doing with children at some schools---taking away recess, no talking at lunch, how many minutes everyday is spent standing still and silent in a line, PE just a couple days a week in some schools, BLECH. For the birds!

3 moms found this helpful

Our elementary school had a no talking at lunch too, they actually even dimmed the lights for it as well. It wasn't the whole time, just when the cafeteria got crazy rowdy so we had to sit quiet for about 3 minutes in silent time with the lights dimmed. I am guessing this is when she got in trouble, during a brief no talking break. I highly doubt the entire lunch period is no talking. I would call the school and ask what the duration of quiet time during lunch is. Better yet, visit her at lunch. We are allowed to eat lunch with our kids anytime.

Now, IF the children are required to be silent during all lunch, I would probably complain not only to the principle, but I would even go to the superintendent, I would also contact the parents organization and try to have it changed through the parent's voices.

3 moms found this helpful

Not that I agree with it but children can become quite loud and rowdy. I think they probably do this to keep the lunch lines moving and kids sitting down to eat. Think about it if your kids are excited do they sit right down to eat? So I can understand if the school does this at the beginning of lunch but the whole lunch period? That's a different story.

3 moms found this helpful

At my childs school they have times where they can talk and time where they must be quiet that way the kids will actually eat lunch and not spend the entire time talking and not eating. They want them to not be hungry at school , it is a big deal when kids can't focus because they are hungry because they were talking through lunch instead of eating. They do only have 30 mins for lunch.
And a lunch room full of kids gets loud!
And not just walking in line , can disrupt others , imagine if everyone was dancing in line and they walked by a classroom of kids trying to take a test.

3 moms found this helpful

I would be looking for a more child friendly center. We definitely want our children to learn and eat well, but the thought of them not being able to socialize is sad. Isn't that part of maturing also!?!? Social skills are a HUGE part of learning in my book too.

3 moms found this helpful

At first I thought maybe your daughter went to catholic school.When my Grandfather died we had the dinner in the church basement/lunch room for the school there and the kids werent' allowed to speak if there was a funeral lunch going on. But since this is not the case that is crazy. I could see the first 10 minutes or so to make sure they eat but the whole lunch period??? But I bet your daughter is not silent all day. I helped out in my sons K class last year and they have time where they are allowed to talk but agree the lunch rule is ridiculous. I would complain and get the other parents to do it to. If the children don't eat then they are the ones who are hungry and eventually they will learn to eat and socialize.

2 moms found this helpful

Our schools do 5 min talking 5 min eating and continue through the lunch period. Yes, the idea is to get them to eat their lunches instead of goofing off and complaining they are hungry later.
As for the amount of yellows- go have lunch with her one day and see for yourself. Yes, kids act differently when a parent is there, but you'll be able to see what is really going on.
I'm in the school (was, my son is now middle school) quite a bit and the lunchroom is the one place I can not handle. When the kids are not on 5 on /5off timing it is sooo incredibly loud in there!!! It's awful!!
There are rules like everywhere else and I'm hoping that she is being given many warnings before getting the yellow. I see the kids in the hallway and watch their behaviors so that I get a better understanding of why they get this or that. I rarely if ever saw a child get a card for nothing.
I would absolutely bring it up at the PTC meeting to find out why so many. But I would also pop in the building at lunchtime, hide out if you can (spy) or just sit with her, so you can see who and what goes on. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Ignore the yellows. Maybe that's passive/aggressive, but I wouldn't say a word to your daughter about it. It's wrong what the school is doing. You can't change the rule, but you don't have to agree with it, and it's my opinion that you shouldn't try to get your daughter to comply with it.

That's my 2 cents!!!

D.

2 moms found this helpful

My kindergartner comes home with most of his lunch too. But they have snack time mid morning so he's not too bad off. Maybe you could suggest that.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter's kindergarten has this rule too. The reason given was so they would concentrate on eating. Because it is a full day, the teachers want the children to eat their whole lunch so they have enough fuel in their bodies to have stamina to make it through the day. They are better able to pay attention if they've eaten. I don't have a problem with this as the kids have other opportunities during the school day to socialize and I know my child does get tired and cranky if she hasn't had enough to eat.

2 moms found this helpful

I used to teach and I think this is crazy. Its probably a school policy designed with the good intentions of providing kids enough time to eat - they may only get @ 30 minutes in the cafeteria, which could end up being 15-20 minutes eating time.

Bring your concerns up to the principal.

2 moms found this helpful

Whoa. That is crazy! I have never heard of anything like that before! Lunch is about eating but also about socializing and getting a break from the classroom. I would talk to the head of the school and find out what you can do about this policy. Sometimes all it takes is someone to ask the question and then they will consider changes.

Is it a public school or private?

2 moms found this helpful

Well, they have to cater to the worst offenders...the ones who would yap and yap and yap and never eat.
It's like that at our school a bit--the first and last 5 minute of lunch AND recess are in silence. Woo-hoo.
I think it's ridiculous and I think the kids will quickly learn to eat in the time given.
So...yes I have issue with that too. As well as the endless "walking in a STRAIGHT LINE from point A to Point B!

2 moms found this helpful

When I was teaching, we did 15 mins of talking and 15 mins of silence to keep kids from getting too loud and rowdy and to encourage them to eat. It also made cleanup more manageable. Some parents complained and others liked it. One mom (a constant complainer) got in my face about it and I calmly told her she was welcome to take over lunch duty. She was ALWAYS there so I knew she had the time. She didn't volunteer and never complained about it again. I encourage you to go and eat lunch with your child and see if they are being unreasonable. Then, go from there.
My kids' school has a sound sensitive traffic light. They can talk if it is on green. If it moves to yellow they get a warning from the teachers and must quiet down for it to turn back to green. If it goes to red, they have to eat silently until it moves back to green. It is great! If some kids don't get quiet, they are moved to the silent lunch table. I think all elementary schools should have the stop light because it pleases the parents because the kids get to talk and it makes the teachers happy because it keeps the noise level down.

They aren't cheap but a good buy for your PTA to look into. No I don't work for the company or own stock in educational supply companies, (although I should with all the money I have spent on school related stuff!)

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter just started Kindergarten this year and they have the same rule. I've never been told she's gotten in trouble for talking at lunch, and I don't even think my daughter has even mentioned this rule to me. I guess it's not a big deal here.

I'm sure they have their reasons or all the parents would be complaining already.

2 moms found this helpful

Kids stopped being kids when they weren't allowed to run on the play ground any more. Everyone is so sue happy and so worried about being sued that kids just can't play any more. It is so sad.

1 mom found this helpful

My SD used to get in trouble for not sitting at lunch, but never for talking. That and recess were the times TO talk during the day. How many adults eat lunch in silence? How much fun is that? I think it's overboard. They should encourage the kids to eat their lunches before recess but not speak at all? Too much for little kids. I could see no dancing in line, but don't touch the wall? I'd want clarification on that and the lunch thing.

Friends's daughter was constantly in trouble in her first preschool where they just couldn't deal with a child that didn't sit perfectly still all day. They moved her to a different school and she is excelling. It's not always possible to change schools, but sometimes it's worth considering.

1 mom found this helpful

My son came home on his 2nd day upset because of the no talking during lunch rule. I didn't believe him at first either. Reading through others responses, I do understand that they want kids to eat but it just seems ridiculous! Those that go from lunch to recess are lucky. My son has lunch at 11:10 and they don't get recess until 2:30. That's 30 minutes before going home. I think it's a crazy schedule for a 7 year old.

1 mom found this helpful

I've never heard of this! Why would the school think this was a good idea?? Lunch should be a time for kids to be social not silent. Two poo-poo hands to the whole policy. I'd complain.

1 mom found this helpful

Yep. At our school this lunch time quiet goes from kindergarten to 5th grade. I actually haven't asked my oldest child about the middle school talking policy. I HATE this quiet lunch business. They need to be quiet and pay attention for most of the school day. It's so unhealthy not to be able to relax and let it out at lunch time. Part of the problem is that the lunch period is too short. I don't understand what's changed from my generation when the school day contained enought time for lunch, recess, PE - EVERY day, and to get plenty of learning done.

1 mom found this helpful

I was punished as a child for talking at lunch time This isnt new.
Dont assume she is forced to be quiet in class all day ASK the teacher nicely about what times during the day is she socializing with her peers? Most schools allow students to chat quietly at snack time, most Ks have activity centers where students are playing in small groups. there could be two times during the day that students are using materials in small groups and encouraged to interact. If this is a decent school, then math time is not paper and pencil but exploring with materials and discussing findings. After a story or activity the class should discuss. Some teachers use a technique called "Turn and talk" or "Pair-Share" where each child is to turn to the child next to him/her and discuss something, to allow more oral language in the room. They may have Buddy reading time where they sit and read or look at books and tell stories with a partner. They should have a Show and Tell type Share time to practice their language skills, and develop questioning skills. Most (full time) kindergartens have an extra 15 minute outside playtime early in the year and late in the spring when the attention spans are not as long. IF this is a decent school then language development is a HUGE part of kindergarten and lunch is one of the few times they are quiet. Also ask how long is lunch? and how long is recess? It used to be 30 minutes and 30 minutes but lately schools are cutting that down to provide more academics, maybe they have a very short lunch time? maybe kids who finish quickly are allowed out and get extra recess?? Also please dont stress over Yellows. a Yellow could be the same as you saying "Dont jump on the couch" I mean if you've ever told them dont jump on the couch then you dont HAVE to say "the rule is not to jump on the couch it is bad for the couch and you could fall and get hurt." Yellows are not bad, just a warning.

1 mom found this helpful

When my daughter was in kindergarten, they couldn't talk at lunch. My daughter would have to put her head down for talking, not have time for lunch because she couldn't eat with her head down, and sneak food from her lunch box during class. At this school, the bus picked her up at 7:30 and dropped her off at 4:00. I was pretty ticked about this but my daughter never learned to stop talking during lunch. I figured that even though this is ridiculous, maybe she'd just stay quiet during lunch. Anyway, I knew that I was going to continue homeschooling after I finished school that year so I just put up with it. BTW she's graduating from HS this year so this was a long time ago. Anyway, when I was in school, we were never forced to be quiet at lunch. I'm an adult and I keep forgetting to be quiet when I'm in the library every week with my kids. I always think when I'm leaving "OOPS, I forgot to be a good example for my kids..." and that's the LIBRARY! I wouldn't do well at lunch!

1 mom found this helpful

Our elementary school has a 35 minute lunch and the first 10 minutes are silent.

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