Monday, September 28, 2009

Summer Vacation in Jeopardy?

Photo courtesy Nader Moussa

I don't know how I feel about this story.

You know that I like to drag my family around the country for many weeks during the summer.

But there are some really good reasons to rethink the way we do things. And if the powers that be compensate for longer school days/year round school by lengthening other breaks, I might be willing to support it.

I love to travel, but I hate to think that for two months, so many children are going without learning or even a decent meal while my children are enjoying museums and plays and good eats.

Must ponder this. What do you think?


Simple Mama said...

I would love this. For a couple of reasons. So much is lost over the summer. Teachers spend much time re-teaching the previous quarters lessons when school starts up because retention is so poor. Such a waste of time and resources. I also hate to think of the children home alone because parents can't afford day care during the summer months, or children going without proper meals. 100% behind this idea.

Barry said...

I like the idea and I totally agree with this quote:

""Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press."

Bee said...

Really, the three month summer break is ridiculous -- for exactly the reasons that simple mama and Barry have already pointed out. It is also a logistical, expensive nightmare for parents who work full-time outside the home.

I say take away 4 weeks in the summer and make the spring break longer.

Kathy Amen said...

I would have LOVED having longer breaks at other times during the year when our kids were in school. (That's one of the great things about having them out--unless they become teachers!) And the academic reasons are hard to argue with.

Lisa said...

Our kids went to an alternative calendar school in Illinois and it was great. They had the same number of days, just spread out differently. The one consideration must be, of course, that if they are adding to the number of days, then teacher pay must increase accordingly. They are already undervalued, in my opinion, and to add to the number of teaching days will have likely residual effects of increasing the amount of planning time they'll need, too. And most are on a 10 month pay contract that will have to be addressed.

But the education part of it works well. We've lived it and it really does improve learning for the students.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

So, totally ignoring any reasons but my own, I think it would be nice to perhaps have a year-round system broken up into trimesters with 3-4 week breaks in between each trimester. That way, there is still the opportunity for a long roadtrip, but that opportunity is available in seasons other than summer.

kyooty said...

I wouldn't like it for my kids, it's hard enough that my kids start school at 810am and go until 310pm and that doens't include the time on the bus, 710am-4pm! that's a long enough time as it is. They come home they have to do homework, eat, and get ready for bed because well they have to get up in time to get that early bus! the weekends are for socializing and chillaxing here. My boys are too over tired as it is to participate in things like scouts at night. It's crazy to think that kids should be burning the candle at both ends. year roudn? I can see longer breaks for fall and spring breaks but I don't like the idea of summer school. You can't camp up here in december or even March! I hope Canada doesn't get any silly ideas.

phd in yogurtry said...

Hadn't thought of it quite that way before. Good food for thought.

I do like the idea of rotating vacations. Would like the option of a fall vacation every year. Which would definately mean traveling. Our fall weather is depressing. It's just a sad, unwanted extension of summer (except for the good tennis weather, so not all bad).

Anonymous said...

I don't know what I feel about this.

I have very fond memories of my summer vacations...They were almost a magical time for me, and I would hate for other children to miss out on that experience. My parents never took me to museums or anything, but it was just nice to play with other children, or have time to dream and think.

Also, as good as KIPP is, I feel it's probably wrong to compare its successes with the public school system because most children who attend KIPP have parents who were motivated enough to find them a good school, and fill out the paperwork to get them in. In other words, the students at KIPP probably have parents who are much more involved in their children's education than the average public school child.

Having longer school hours isn't a solution for the ills of the American public school system. It's merely a band-aid.

Anonymous said...

The only hesitations I've ever had over the year-round proposal are a) I've seen first hand school districts who have had children in the same family (elementary school and middle school) on different break schedules. b) It's tough for parents who have to work outside of the home to find care for the summer, but I would think finding it for a three month stretch would be a lot easier than finding it for a couple weeks here and a couple weeks there. With that said - too many of our kids sit around all summer watching tv, playing video games and whining that they are bored. I'm all for extending the school year and wouldn't be too concerned if the longer year wasn't compensated by more breaks.