I don’t know the precise history of summer vacation, but it has to do with an agricultural mode of living that Sunday visits to the local farmers’ market don’t quite track. Isn’t it time we questioned why we sentence our kids (and ourselves!) to, let’s face it, no learning for 1/4 of every year? Does that seem a good approach during the years their brains are in rapid-fire mode? And who is not sick of the struggle to get their kids off their butts and away from screens?
Not only are kids missing development time, it is well known that they backslide over the summer, actually losing some of the previous year’s learning. Teachers are then faced with spending time in the fall reteaching old material, thus setting back kids’ development further.
Not that teachers would complain about that. Let’s face it, we teachers love our summer breaks. I would practically get giddy submitting my final grade reports each May. The teachers’ unions would not be so jiggy with curtailing the greatest perk of their profession.
But for the sake of our children and, if you think about it, our nation’s future, we’ve got to make a change. How about just a month off for summer break, or even 6 weeks? Why is that not enough time for kids to de-stress, attend camp, take a family vacation, or do whatever it is that makes their summer delightful, and then get back to real life? I think this discussion is long overdue. Do you agree?