Summer vacation is evil

marshallz10(z9-10 CA)July 25, 2013

"The country claims to take schooling seriously, but the school calendar says otherwise. ThereâÂÂs no other public service that we would allow to just vanish for months at a time. To have no Army in February, no buses or subways in March, airports closed down for all of October, or the police vacationing en masse in December would be absurd. Schools, it turns out, matter a lot, too, and having them shut down all summer critically undermines them."

Here is a link that might be useful: Summer school vacation is evil

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Nope, disagree totally. Kids should be allowed time to be kids. Summer is already shorter and shorter. School starts here Aug. 12 this year. Kids have vacation Bible School, baseball, reading programs at the library, all of which are free. Mine goes to a summer camp every year. I pay because I can afford to. The camp is filled with inner city kids who are required to pay nothing. For many of them it is the only chance they will have to experience the swimming, the campfires, the games and fun they get for that week each year. I've seen kids who grow into counselors and mentors. And starting next year, mine will start training as a counselor. Nope, nothing evil about summer vacation.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:22AM
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I've heard people mention "summer learning loss" numerous times.

I wasn't affected by this as all of my valuable and marketable skills, knowledge and experience were acquired via parents, relatives, mentors, family businesses, my own businesses, hands on training, trial, error, self education etc which was a "year round" process.

Much of our local economy is also based on summer activities, staycationers, seasonal residents, tourism - boating, camping, fishing, hiking, horse racing, amusement parks etc.

Summer break is also when many young inexperienced job seekers work their first jobs.

The best times in my life were spent on the lakes during the summer. I wouldn't trade them for anything and I'm certainly glad I didn't spend them in a boring classroom.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Summer break in Canada is from the end of June until the Tuesday after Labour Day weekend. HS gets out a little bit earlier in June but goes back at the same time.

I loved when my son was out of school for the summer and would have preferred summer break to be a month longer.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 12:24PM
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It's the best. It's the only time of the year I can take the grandkids somewhere for a day trip and every other kid in town isn't there, too.

Of course, there are states where summers are just too hot to spend much time outside. They might want to consider a fall or winter vacation!

They've been to nature camp, the zoo, went fishing with grandpa, we'll be spending a week in the mountains. They get to sleep late, eat lots of fresh fruit, wade in the creek, catch crayfish and frogs, toast marshmallows, go out late for frozen custard, catch fireflies.

Wish I had the whole summer off, too.

Some nearby school districts do year round school, with a couple of month long breaks, but they always seem to screw it up, family wise, they can't seem to coordinate the month so all the kids in the family are off at the same time. That is just wasted time.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 12:43PM
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Despite always liking school, summers off were anticipated. It wasn't exactly 3 months devoid of learning, just different and lacking the school term regimentation. We used our library cards or read book from the home library, got to play with our friends and develop social skills...

...Got to see what was growing in the woods; played city organized tennis and softball, checked out the lady who taught us all about embellishing, painting, and firing pottery greenware. All the things kids can be curious about and don't get from classrooms.

Probably lived in the "doesn't everyone" bubble through at least 12 years of school. Took exposure to a wider world to see that the answer to that is no.

But if many kids are bored and listless and not learning now in 9 months what's the real pick up with adding 3 more? The additional "wrap-around social services"? Would year 'round really bridge any learning gaps and keep down any cumulative effect? With budgets slashed and crashed, where's the funding going to come from?

Not being connected to schools in any way for eons - how would any state's public school system mandate this change? Obviously laws, but there's got to be many more considerations than those.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Like everyone else, I disagree with eliminating summer vacation. Kids need time to relax. Do kid things. Sleep late. Go to baseball games in the evenings during the week and skip camp the next day if they're too tired. Play baseball!

Older kids get to work summers to make some money and learn what it takes to get and keep a job.

I do understand the problems the poor have during summer vacation. I do understand that some kids don't get as much nutrition in the summer because they're not getting school breakfasts and lunches. And I think we need to do something to help with that. But making school 12 months is not the answer, IMO.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:04PM
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Most of the kids who have activities over the summer (like mine) are kids who need it least. I actually make them work over the summer too. In fact, we bring worksheets in the car for a 10 hour drive to the beach. I am the meanest Mother ever.

What I don't like are these constant days off. Every time I turn around, they either have a long weekend (I'm not opposed to that) or time off for "teacher training." I don't recall that school was closed for a few days multiple times a year when I was a kid for "teacher training." There are too many vacations as well.

For us, the school day is plenty long. When the children get in the car, it is 4:00 and that leaves little time for afternoon activities and homework. So, I would prefer fewer days off because a longer school day would require them to sleep there.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:28PM
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As a teacher, I'm a big supporter of summer vacation! But I do know that there is learning loss for many kids. It's a hard balance.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:31PM
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I remember summer as being carefree, riding my bike to the ice cream store, playing hide& seek in the summer evenings, church camp for a week in the mountains, staying up later, swinmming at the local lake ,going to the Jersey shore for a week. Just a care- free time for a kid.

Grandson , on the other hand, needs a social secretary. First week--adventure camp in the mountains, second week at the other grandparents house, third, another camp, fourth, three days in Phila and the Jersey shore, fifth week soccer camp at Bucknell, 6th week ten days on Turks & Caicos with parents, 7th... two weeks in Costa Rica with his Spanish/biology AP class. He's presently in the jungle there. When he returns a Phillies game in DC and more time at the Jersey Shore. Makes me tired thinking of it all and am not sure I approve of such a structured summer.But for sure the school trip to CR will certainly be an experience of a lifetime which may help him decide on an environmental career. .

My childhood was sooo boring by comparison.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:09PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I may be the odd one out here, but I like the year long model that often involves school for 3 months and then 1 month off, then back for 3 months and 1 month off, and so forth. I would find it especially splendid if some of that vacation lasted from Thanksgiving to New Years. Despite this, I would find it quite a reach to state summer vacation is evil.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:32PM
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We had massive reading lists & book reports due first week of school when I went to school spit was both vacation & education! We were also asked usually to chose at least 1 or 2 books of our own to read during summer! It worked out to about a book a week!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:33PM
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Summer is so short here. It seems cruel to expect children to spend it in a classroom.
We also discount the learning that happens when children play and socialize.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:54PM
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No summer isn't evil but may be too long. In our district the students get out mid June until after Labor Day. Could be end of June until Labor Day.
The thing that gets me is the time off during the school year. Every Monday is a half day district wide. Then their are 3 day weekends, conference weeks (2 a year for elementary and middle school) which means 1/2 days again, then Christmas break, winter break, spring break. The kids are never in school!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 4:52PM
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My wife spent 30 years in a school for very troubled kids; she sure needed that 3 months away from them. Man has she changed since retirement! for the better.
Rural kids work on the farm all summer just as they have for a long time. others have summer jobs and summer sports. There are many activities which are also a form of education, which doesn't just come from books. I think the break is important for students and teachers.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Mandatory 9-month schooling was invented so parents could work in factories. Those parents are now in Asia, so why the old school paradigm?

Lets think outside the box and use that massive amount of resource a lot more effectively.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:01PM
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None of our schools were air conditioned! I couldn't imagine being in an un airconditioned classroom in what we just went through in the last couple of weeks

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:04PM
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Depending on what children do on their summer vacation, they could learn as much if not more than what they learn in school.
Besides, taking a break is important for everyone, children and adults alike.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:26PM
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I like that there are no pesky school buses getting in my way when I'm driving to work. I guess it's all about me on this one.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:54PM
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Several schools here are doing the year-round schedule where the kids get shorter but more frequent breaks instead of the long summer vacations. My friends who have kids on this schedule say they like it & so do the kids.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:26AM
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" they could learn as much if not more than what they learn in school. "

So why school, then, and the immense amount of money spent on it? We could rebuild all the infrastructure with that money. Just eliminate high schools, and let that age bracket work on all the various jobs as interns. That would be some serious learning. The vast majority of people learn by doing.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:32AM
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I disagree... everyone, whether child or adult, requires some kind of downtime, a mental and physical rebooting, some sort of vacation to ease stresses and relax, time to do things other than study hard or work hard... I think summer vacation, some time off, is critical to maintaining that good work or study ethic.

The same can be said for extra-curricular or other activities like music, art, sports, etc... I think it actually helps in the education process.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:29PM
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I would agree almost completely with both tishtokshnm and Kacee's comments.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Removal of dbl posting.

This post was edited by mylab123 on Sun, Jul 28, 13 at 0:13

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:50PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

tishtoshnm you are not alone. I do not agree with the three months in a block. I think there should be mini breaks throughout the year.

True everyone needs a break but 3 months in a block does not help with the rest of the school year need for downtime.

I really think it should be removed for the older students. To prepare them for the work world they need to get in the mindset of Corporate US slavery mindset.

Think about this....You are conditioned for 18 years of your life that you get 3 months off every year and our laws do not demand that Corporations honor the need that the body needs a 3 month block of downtime. What happens when the mind and body now has to perform for a year until, as some benefits of Corporation, do not include vacation until one year of employment? Even after that one year many Corporations may only give a one week vacation benefit.

Change one or the other....... Change the School Schedule or Change the Laws for Corporations.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:02PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I teach at a Title One school with more than 1000 students K-5 in one of the richest districts in the country. For about 10 years we had what was called a modified calendar schedule. The kids came back to school the first week of August (yes, AC is a must!). At the end of the first quarter, we had a two week break called intersession. It was optional for students and teachers. Most of our students signed up. Two academic classes (reading and math) were required and then the kids could choose a third class that might include art, music, etc. The classes were innovative and fun (math taught by studying football or music for instance). The younger teachers loved to teach then in order to earn extra money since the intersessions are in addition to the normal ten month schedule and the older teachers enjoyed the freedom to come up with a new curriculum. There was an intersession of one week or a little more in January after winter break and another tacked on at the beginning or end of spring break depending on when it fell. The kids got five weeks off in the summer and teachers got a month off.

It was a fabulous schedule! No long breaks for our kids who do not have access to camps and family vacations and who often end up without food or supervision since their parents have to work. It was a more relaxed atmosphere and our test scores went up. Then, new superintendent who just hated that the modified calendar was only used in six schools in the county (middle and upper class neighborhoods did not want the schedule) and who was not willing to allocate the extra funds necessary. We are now back to the regular calendar (two years now). Our test scores have dropped and teachers are transferring because it is just so very difficult and demanding to work at schools like ours. I love our kids and our families, but I am one who transferred. The extra hours we have to put in to try to get our kids to grade level in math and reading is extraordinary. The two classes I co-taught in last year (I am a special ed. teacher) had not one student reading on grade level in Spetember. For kids below grade level, we are required to increase their reading levels by 1.5 years in order to be rated proficient. I was on track to do that with my special ed kiddoes until February when our testing and practice tests for end-of-year state tests started. I was unable to continue with my two hours of reading instruction every day. Had I been in my summative evaluation year, I would not have been rated as a proficient teacher. That is BS. I am a National Board certified teacher and am very good at what I do.

Schools need to make kids the priority and do what they need. The break after every quarter was perfect.

Oh, and I think the "corporations don't give such long vacations" is a false analogy. There is a huge difference in that mature adults have responsibilities for which children are not ready.

This post was...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:38PM
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david52 Zone 6

But then who will stand behind the fast food counters and work all these minimum wage summer jobs that teenagers take so we don't have to worry about paying some sort of living wage because they live with their parents and just blow it on iPods anyway?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Touche', David...

I worked summer jobs beginning at the age of 12... babysitting, housekeeping, and as I got older I worked in a variety of minimum wage job positions over the summer months and in the evenings... and I think it was a great experience, helping to prepare me for life after school.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 9:25PM
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"None of our schools were air conditioned! I couldn't imagine being in an un airconditioned classroom in what we just went through in the last couple of weeks."

Not a problem here labrea. Classrooms so crowded here in summer at the public schools, they had to get huge window units for the classrooms.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:20PM
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Interesting case in VA tangential to the OP:

Here is a link that might be useful: leaving home

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:03AM
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What a mess, pnbrown... a potential for illiteracy.

"No one can reasonably claim a religious objection to fundamental literacy.âÂÂ

Home-schooling can be good, but there must be some kind of accountability for maintaining the basics, at a fairly equal level...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 4:29PM
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This was news to me...

FTA: "...not only are their children excused from attending school -" as those educated under the stateâÂÂs home-school statute are -" but they also are exempt from all government oversight.

School officials donâÂÂt ever ask them for transcripts, test scores or proof of education of any kind: Parents have total control."

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 4:37PM
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When it comes to the extreme fundamentalists, they don't want their children to gain any knowledge of the outside world... for fear they might broaden their outlook and leave the religion. But this leaves some children very lacking in a lot of skills necessary to adult life.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 5:18PM
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I understand that aspect of it, but my thinking was the state(s) required some parental accountability and the state exercised some control over standardized testing, etc. Obviously, Virginia does not.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Yes, I agree... some accountability should be required by the parents who choose the home-schooling route.

As one of the comments following the article noted, not many parents can effectively teach every subject necessary from Kindergarten through high school.

I think standardized testing should be required of the students at various intervals.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 5:53PM
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I think that schools should have 5 ten week terms a year, with students being required to attend 4 terms a year, with the option to attend all 5. Families could choose any term that they want to take off. It could be in winter, summer, spring or fall. And probably in each 10 week term there would be several holidays and long weekends. Many if not most families have two working parents, so child care must be found and paid for in the summer months. This plan would give families more flexibility.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:56PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

I agree with terriks about the flexibility of a 4 or 5-term system and the chance to arrange curricula that allow more intensive study of fewer subjects per term.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:05AM
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I agree with terriks about the flexibility of a 4 or 5-term system

Here is a link that might be useful: 6 Tips to Avoid Stress on Vacation

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 7:26AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Thanks for your delayed contribution. How was your 4th?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 7:35AM
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Parents who home school belong to associations and there is testing and mentoring. They home school because they are dedicated to the childs education. The comments above that parents want to keep their children cooped up as to brain wash them is propostirous, its our jobs as parents to make sure that our children are doing their home work and completing their projects and assignments so they can get high class scores giving them a scence of accomplishment (that builds on its self). We always used the analogy of school being like a grocery store where the parent pays in advance and the child is expected to go to school daily and bring a full cart ( knowledge) home every afternoon. Like in the grocery store you might meet a friend or a neighbor and have a short hello (which is fine) but in my experience kids are doing to much visiting and not enough shopping. In short its the students whos parents are hands on daily succeed and the parents who send them off and close their eyes until report card day tha fail more often.

have a full cart day

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 9:03AM
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C6, I don't know how to put this politely but if you were my supervising parent I would be looking elsewhere for input. I would be Josh in the link who realized his parents weren't up to the job of educating him or his siblings. If you read the link you would realize that the father didn't school his children in any organized way and his oldest son recognizing this actually was helping his younger siblings. His witless father is apparently proud of having short changed his many children in a state that has abandoned those children to the defective management of parents who are not able to school their children. Being able to procreate is not synonymous with being able to teach. Why don't homeschooling parents have to take tests to prove they can teach let alone know anything to teach? I am fairly sure you don't see the errors in your post.

As for summer is great for kids who have parents who provide enrichment during the long vacation but horrible for kids who don't. I really like the idea of longer breaks during the year so that you end up with more or less the same amount of school time but parsed out differently-since most people have more than one kid these breaks need to be at the same time. That way kids can get breaks where they veg-like during summer and breaks where they have time for extra courses. There is no reason to not rethink how we manage our school year since it has changed over the years anyway.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 5:09PM
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All the air conditioning needed in the summer...all the coal being burnt causing the earth to someday burn up....I just read some of you posters on another form talking about climate change and now you want hundreds of thousands of schools to crank up the a/c during the summer months? But what about all the animals that are going extinct? all the extra busses burning diesel? where is the consistency? I would think that you would all be looking to shut down as many electrical sources as possible. Socialism appears to be good for the people but not the socialist.

just food for thought

Merry Christmas

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 7:10AM
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Most everyone here went to school without AC, not to mention grew up without it, and let me tell ya, it ain't balmy in Florida in september or may while school is on. No reason in the world why summer school couldn't happen without AC.

If anybody really could think about how things are likely to be 50 years from now, summer school would be all about horticultural training. Gasp. Yep, teach kids how to start seeds, double-dig, run a hoe.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 8:01AM
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good where you and I differ is, the gov should spend my money that I earned to make up for the laziness and the poor life style choices of others? I call that life... and on the world scale nobody is equally ranked, and I have a lot of those people working for me right now.We are all different and everyones journey is like a finger print DIFFERENT

Have a good day

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 8:17AM
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C6-you say " They home school because they are dedicated to the childs education" which is a nice thought but you are clearly not qualified to teach children English, and neither am I. I spell poorly just like you, although I believe my punctuation and sentence structuring is a touch better. I could be making mistakes I don't notice though. Being a parent would not cure this failing of ours.
It is actually to the advantage of us all that children are educated. I have no children but I do pay for other's children to go to school. I don't think of it as wasting my money. I think my culture works better when people are educated. If by giving birth I suddenly became qualified to teach everything from Math to grammar then it would be fine for me to teach my own children but unfortunately no number of pregnancies is going to teach me to spell properly and actually notice I have made a mistake so how do I judge the writing in an essay?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 12:39PM
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