Chinese elementary school education is six-years-long, which starts at age 7 for Chinese kids in China. In the country’s mega-cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, where transportation is a large factor, students will be at school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with only a short break for lunch. But in most areas in China, there’s not only a lunch break but also a nap time break at their homes as well.
In elementary school, Chinese, English, math and the basics of the natural sciences are student’s main courses. There are also music, painting, and physical-education classes. Typically, each class lasts 40 to 45 minutes, and there is a 10-minute break between every class. Around 8 AM, the whole school assembles to do Zaocao (the morning exercises), and the flag-raising ceremony is held every Monday before exercise. In some schools, they also do eye exercises every day, a set of movements devised by doctors and set to music.
Most elementary schools have interest-based clubs, such as soccer club, basketball, dancing, music, and orchestra clubs. Except for clubs, extracurricular activities for many students include weekend classes. The majority of kids have Olympic Math and English as extracurricular weekend classes.
While kids have homework to do, they still have spare time. Generally, homework of elementary school students can be finished in about one hour. After they finish their homework, they like to play. Video games and movies are not new concepts in China just like in the West many kids enjoy similar activities in their free time.
Kids go to bed at around 9:30. Reading books has always been a common part of their nightly routine before going to sleep. Foreign picture books, world-famous books, and children’s literature are filled with bookshelves in kids’ room.