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Friday, May 5. 2017
I can see an August vacation for trips and vacations, but months makes no sense to me. Why Do Students Get Summers Off?
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Nowadays it is more about vacations and work than anything else. I'm fine with it. I'd rather have summers off when the weather is nice and people want to travel, then no vacation time whatsoever or limited vacation time spread throughout the year during crummy weather months.
Also, when a kid hits his teen years, he can get a job and make some money. I would not want to take that away from an ambitious kid.
1. so teachers/professors can till the fields?
2. so students can plan riots, protests, burning of school buildings and masked attacks on anyone they don't like?
"Why do students get summers off?"
You don't if you go to private school.
-If everyone has just the month of Aug. off, can you imagine the nightmare of trying to vacation anywhere? Let's spread it out.
-As per MissT- jobs for teens. What a great learning experience this is (job skills- including punctuality/responsibility, people skills, etc.), save $ for car, college, etc.
-Learning should not be limited to "school'. The world outside can be a classroom. Education these days is "teach to the test" with limited time for creativity, reading of choice, exploration of one's choice, etc.
-Summer camps of all kinds: sports, arts, music, outdoor, etc.
Let kids be kids for a while. Their lives are scheduled too much as it is.
-Teachers are often pursuing continuing ed opportunities in the summer.
So the farm kids can work 12 hours a day in the fields, of course!
Well, 68 years ago it was so I could work my butt off all summer to save enough for books and tuition at the only decent college in town. My folks could only afford to house and feed me, and I could only earn enough in summer for books, tuition and transportation to school, so I had to be a streetcar student. It wasn't a big-time school, but I did land several post grad fellowship and grad assistant offers at some prestigious universities. Spurned them all to go on active duty and fly airplanes for 25 years. Never a regret.
They mature and develop better with time away from school. Yhey need time to socialize outside a regimented environment and to explore (literally) the world. Another two months of regimentation will cripplt them.
Reason 1: Historical - So the kids could work on the farm. Over 70% of the population lived on one.
Reason 2: Political - For the teacher's benefit. Even though less than 5% of the population remains on the farm, it continues because the teacher's unions insist on it.
When our kids were little, summers were great because we could leave our horrible suburb and retreat to the country for three months. My spouse would work, but I would keep the kids busy with assorted projects, garden, cook, read, write, and generally enjoy life in a place at least 20 degrees cooler, with cleaner air, with no neighbours in sight. But this isn't possible past mid-elementary school, as kids begin to have important friendships, and the old summer house model changes from a for three months one to a long weekend mode.
I still believe that if a family has the luxury of having the mom at home (IMHO, the best thing for the kids), it's important to have the summer off so the family can spend some time on fun family expeditions together and into home schooling the kids in the things that public schools leave out, and just spend time with the kids. They grow up so fast.
Summers off are great for kids who are in talented and gifted programs and under a lot of pressure in the school year, because they can just read and read for pleasure for a change. Also, kids can help (even now) with the garden, with family chores outdoors (one paints, fixes things, builds things when the weather is good). Kids can earn money (ours stopped getting allowance in early teens and had to work for anything they wanted after that. We didn't allow cars as they would have had to work too many hours, and that would have interfered with academics.
Summers are also good, as they get older and get fed up with us old and busted parents for intensive language courses, or courses away. Things like choir camp, writers' workshops, science camps, Outward Bound, traditional summer camp, basically get the kid away from parents and make them do something difficult that makes them more independent. Certainly, if they don't go to boarding school, they should do some of these away activities in the summer so they aren't smothered by well meaning hover parents. Obviously travel. Or going and staying a long time with a relative. When I was 17 I spent a summer looking after a grandparent who had been ill.
With our kids, we spent a large part of the summer filling in the gaps in their education (they went to a good public school, but all kinds of subjects were ignored or taught in a PC way). So we would spend the summer going on field trips, and doing projects, a kind of modified home school part of each day.
In college one of my kids worked three jobs through the school year and was fortunate enough that her school had great summer jobs kids could apply for related to their field, that she did, with stipends and living expenses. But during the weeks at the end, while her peers played and took family vacations, she tutored dumb rich kids in our home town to get better SAT scores, so as to save up more money for school So summer was never relaxing. As a result of all this work, said kid had no trouble finding a good job after graduation...
Short form: year round school is good if you view school as day care for working parents. But if you think of education, it's good for kids to have variation. After nine months of classes and RUSH RUSH RUSH to get to school, and sports and music lessons and choir and every other commitment, and 5 hours a night of homework, kids need a break. Perhaps not to loaf, but to learn different things, at a different pace. Then, again, being bored leads to a lot of creativity (as well as mischief). Kids need to daydream, to explore, to build forts in the woods, play war games, go rowing and sailing and camping like the kids in Swallows and Amazons, kids need to spend hours sketching things and writing stories and lying in the grass scratching the dog's ears and wondering about the world. People invent things and solve problems and imagine wonderful things when they have space to dream them up. Summers are good for that...
But we have to recognise that most parents nowadays DO view school as day care. So probably there will be more moves for all year school. Good for the harried working parents, hard on the kids....
As a public school teacher I know exactly why we do not do year-round schooling. The public of that funds the school system could not afford it. I can barely afford the bloated bureaucracy we have right now.
In summers, I earned enough money to pay for school, and almost enough to buy food for the next school year.
Summers off were always great - time to relax and rejuvenate. Nowadays we hear calls for "year-round" schools, with a couple of weeks off here and there, as being "better" for students. But the lazy days of summer really are the best time for being off. If nothing else, summer is great for relatively inexpensive vacations.
Back in the day, we would go camping to a favourite campground on a small lake. We packed everything - Coleman stove, dishes, food, tents, sleeping bags, etc., etc. The offsprings and I also packed books. After a day of hard driving, we would pick our campsite and set up our home for the next 18 or so days. Supper the first night was the left-over hamburger stew from the night before, popped in the freezer and then allowed to gently thaw en route. We had pancakes for breakfast, some form of sandwich for lunch, and a stew for dinner. In between, we swam, read, hiked, and picked huckleberries. It was a great time, and the offsprings all remember those days as being truly wonderful.
Before and after our three weeks away? Swimming lessons at the local pool were a priority beforehand. After, it was getting ready for school, and general lazing about. The offsprings returned to school ready and eager to resume classes.
But the best thing about a summer vacation is that it is SUMMER. There are a lot of inexpensive options available to families during July and August, options which aren't available mid-winter, or even spring or fall. Our family greatly benefited from those camping summers. We had enough activity to wear every one out, and enough down time to let the young bodies and minds just relax.
Why do children have the summers off? Respite for the little buttercups from days of indoctrination. Let's give them nine months off and teach real academics for three months. They would probably fare much better in a real world environment instead of the leftist think tank we call public education.
I was going to reply with more snark this exact sentiment. Until we have true school choice, let's also give the children two months around Thanksgiving to New Year's.
Here in Quebec (aka Venezuela North), the construction workers get a mandatory 2 week holiday in the middle of the summer. The unions and their governmental cronies have made it illegal to work. It's bad enough that we have winter for 6 months, but to shutdown all construction in the middle of summer, is ludicrous.