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I then think about my childhood. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Holiday staffing and saving doses for nursing homes are also contributing to delays. And both parents have to work because the cost of living is so high. Our government seem to have this idea that making things harder and testing at younger and younger ages will somehow produce a generation of better educated kids. Are you saying that they too should be staying at school longer, despite the fact that they all want to keep the summer holidays as they are? I'd like to say to a lot of parents I come across: "Forget all that nightmarish 'hothousing' advice that clogs up the press, and just pay some attention to your child! Firstly I thought about my present, as a parent and a working parent at that. The happiest children speak about enjoying the supposedly mundane things in life with their families: going shopping, cooking dinner, tidying up even! One of the benefits of school holidays is the time that families can spend together. Orignally I think most school terms revolved around the Church year ( and that also explains why the holidays are where they are, the terms are called what they are and why they are long. It's also worth pointing out that 80% of our children are not living in poverty. You know what? as we used to say in my comp playground. Firstly I thought about my present, as a parent and a working parent at that. Check out my vlogs on my YouTube channel. It's the fact that in so many familes both parents have to work which creates and issue for working parents. FG: Barbara, we're really getting to the root of the matter here because your response ultimately raises a crucial question: what are the respective roles of parents and teachers in this modern, high-octane society? Talk to them about what they're interested in, share meals with them, enjoy being in their company…". From my point of view, school children should be given long holidays. Summer holidays needn’t be an expense fest for parents. Barbara Ellen: Francis, I would always have argued that school holidays are too long.For parents, that is. Yes, I concede your point that we know that poorer children can suffer a "dip" in their academic performance over the summer, but this issue is much more complex than it first appears. The expected result would be the more moneyed parents running around, keeping up with the tutoring, extra-reading, rural walks, library visits, chosen sports, et al. The summer holidays should be a time when parents rediscover or reaffirm their love for their children. To go out and explore, play, learn, develop, get mucky and enjoy life. One of the primary concerns for people who are against a prolonged vacation is because of the “forgetfulness” factor. Cleo, Spain This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. It's actually abdication of responsibility because many parents substitute activities for love. Long holidays definitely strain the budgets of poor families, since free school meals stop and extra child care kicks in. Meanwhile the stressed poorer parent hasn't the time or the cash to compete. By Greg Martin 02 February 2012 • 20:33 pm We live, along with my wife Helen, in rural North Yorkshire, England. School holidays are a welcome breather, a chance to roam free and reconnect, to do all the stuff we don't get to do in the flurry of term time. The focus for students moves away from school and onto family and culture. Isn't this the government backing away from the problem as if it's nothing to do with them? We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. These parents are unable to add what amounts to "education-lite" or "holistic boost" to their summer "to do" list. Not only are you supposed to provide non-stop entertainment for weeks on end, now it seems there must also be an element of "home-schooling" and "self improvement", lest your child be one of those who fall behind. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Sat 23 Jul 2011 19.07 EDT It's disadvantage piled upon disadvantage – how is this fair? Six or seven weeks is too long for children to be off school for as there is plenty of other holidays taken of school like Easter and Christmas. BE: Francis, well done to your pupils for their posters, and their spirited defence of summer freedoms. You'll find me blogging and vlogging about all aspects of being a parent, as well as our microadventures, photography, running, family attractions & venues reivews, experience, running, food and much more. Lengthy school holidays are an antiquated relic of the Victorian era – a necessity for the agricultural economy of the nineteenth century when schools needed long summer holidays so children could toil in the fields. Pinning the blame on summer holidays is facile. As for children "really being themselves… without restrictive rules and regulations", this may have been true of our summers, but does anyone allow children to wander free and unregulated any more? ... Well this may all be interesting but so … Schools will only open their doors to the children of key workers and vulnerable youngsters. The school calendar is restrictive in terms of when you can go on holidays but the long summer holiday means you can choose a time suitable for the whole family to head away. Why are school holidays so long? Holidays give families an opportunity to spend time together and celebrate. Disadvantages of An Extended School Holiday. You do however get quite bored after a bit." Especially when you are in year 6, you just want to get to high school! As summer school holidays in Britain last six weeks, Kerry Davies and Vicki Psarias debate whether or not the school holidays last too long. Their letters glow with love. Health officials and hospitals are struggling with a lack of resources. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Long school holidays help students clear their heads, relax a little and stretch their brains in different ways. The summer hols are a prolonged period in which our children can find out who they really are and really be themselves – without the restrictive rules and regulations of school to confine them. © 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Barbara Ellen: Francis, I would always have argued that school holidays are too long. The academic year in the United States (K-12) typically has 180 school days, whereas, universities have shorter years. School holidays are a pointless relic of the past Year-round education would be less stressful for teachers, parents and children. In New South Wales, between the late 1840s and the late 1850s, children only had one week off at Christmas. I have so many fond memories of just enjoying the summer days with my mates. Just because something has always happened one way, it doesn't mean it's always going to be the best way. Indeed, when I discussed the issue with my pupils – rich and poor – they were so incensed by the notion that their freedom would be curtailed that they made some "protest" posters in response, saying things such as they would have nothing to look forward to during term-time and that shorter holidays would make them unhappier. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. As a rule, disadvantaged families must fill the weeks by themselves, and cash-poor, time-poor parents cannot provide tennis, film-making or canoeing. Yes, I suspect there were boring days but you know what – I can’t remember those. Are the School Holidays Too Long? Leastways underprivileged children, who hold their own during the academic term but fall behind every summer because they miss out on the stimulation and structure better-off parents are able to provide throughout the holidays. Teaching Your Kid to Drive Effectively, Walking Boot Review: MEIDNL RESPOND MID GTX HIKING BOOT, Fish-Animal-Bird - a Simple Family Game That's Lots of Fun, Prohormones And Pre-Workout Supplements Explained, Ant Middleton: First Man In - Book Review. Leave the teaching to the teachers. Sorry, I don’t conform to that view and neither do many, many teachers. "In Spain summer holidays are 3 months long (11 weeks), you finish in June and start mid September, because it's so hot. Longer breaks such as the winter holidays allow families an opportunity to reconnect. Some districts approve a number of expected snow days. So yes, I love the fact they get a nice long break to do their own thing and most importantly of all to just be kids. Nice as that story is, it isn’t true. Working class pupils had to work as well as attend school so they needed the extra holidays to help with finances at the most crucial emploability times. Posted on November 17, 2011 by Jeremy. Your email address will not be published. "I think the holidays are too long, I go to a private school so all the holidays are longer (except half term) you may think I'm lucky but about 9 weeks off at summer is NOT FUN!" This got me thinking. This arrangement changed and, by the 1930s, children had approximately the same amount of time off as children do today, give or take a week. First published on Sat 23 Jul 2011 19.07 EDT. Fortunately my wife works in a school and thus child care in the holidays is not an issue for us so I’ll put that out there straight away. Activities such as tennis, canoeing, trips away and film-making are all now offered free of charge during this time. Francis Gilbert: Barbara, the summer holidays are the great gift of liberty that we give to our children – and curmudgeonly parents and politicians deprive children of their liberty at their peril. Explaining the … Oftentimes holidays like Hanukkah are difficult for families because they are busy celebrating during a time when school is in session. Your list of things that parents should be doing with their children is depressing because underlying it is the notion that parents should be "instructing" their children – that they should be surrogate teachers – rather than providing the love and attention that our children desperately need. When I asked him if the holidays were too long, I got the big N.O. However, for decades, there has been a lot of debate among teachers, parents, and policymakers around the world, on how long a school break should be. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Welcome to TheYorkshireDad.com. And we expect more 'things' than what an average family would have had a few generations ago. ... for this idea comes from research in US which found that children from poorer backgrounds tended to drop back during school holidays whereas children from better of backgrounds tended not to. School holidays haven’t always been long. Many schools cut back on holidays during the school year and do not even let off for Easter and Martin Luther King Jr. Day and such (which attracts the ire of some black organizations like the NAACP). This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Then again, "Hard cheds!" A case of: "My child, I would fight a lion for you, but if you ask me to play another game of Connect 4, I may have to suffocate myself with Moon Sand." The system dates back to the 19th century, when most women stayed at home and … As John Lennon sang in the quintessential summer of 1967, "All you need is love…", Available for everyone, funded by readers. Children need to calm down and have a good holiday at the end of a busy school year. I guess if childcare in the holidays were an issues for us (and we have friends who struggle with this) then my view might be different. Why are school holidays so long? The freedom of school children is normally restricted by their parents during the school days as they want their children to focus on their studies in order to pass their examinations with flying colours. It’s written by me, Dave Pearson, a dad of four daughters: Lydia, Grace, Delilah and Verity. School holidays (also referred to as vacations, breaks, and recess) are the periods during which schools are closed. For parents, that is. The Economist explains Why school summer holidays are too long. That's enough; the summer holidays are a great time to chill out, no matter how rich or poor you are. Thank you for checking our The Yorkshire Dad of Four. FG: I'm glad that we're both agreed that it's vitally important to raise the aspirations and achievements of our poorest children but I'm not convinced that shortening the summer holiday is the answer. There'll be a review on 18 January as to whether schools can reopen on 1 February. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Children may feel "free" in summer, and that's great for them, but for many parents, the overlong holidays are a headache and an expense. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Once, having long school holidays in the summer made sense. School is good for education so if you have more holidays … According to Dr. Josephine Bleach, Director of the Early Initiative at the National College of Ireland, it is because our school holidays were previously planned to facilitate children who were needed to work on farms during the summer months. Now, with Michael Gove proposing shorter breaks for free schools, the feeling is growing that school holidays are too long for children, too. Are School Holidays Too Long? These cookies do not store any personal information. Let's help all areas provide this wealth of activities that raise aspirations rather than locking children up in school all summer. Poorer children have benefited massively. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Parenting 101: How to Become a Better Role Model to Your Kids, On Your Marks! Make memories………, Your email address will not be published. BE: While I applaud the efforts of Tower Hamlets, sadly this is not the norm nationally. After the hols, I get my pupils to write a letter to me telling me about themselves and what they've done in the summer. I have my own reasons for thinking so. Elspeth, 12, England All rights reserved. A few posts here will tell you that "some schools" in the States have more broken-up vacations and shorter summers, but that is really quite rare. The point is that the activities are voluntary. So, unless you're lucky enough to be in a borough such as Tower Hamlets, the poorer families have no chance. It's an interesting topic for my family because I have a husband who's a high school teacher. More learning, rather than more schooling, may be the answer. Summer learning loss is a well-known phenomenon in many schools. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. I love the fact my girls get a 6 week break. This got me thinking. It’s commonly believed that school kids started taking summers off in the 19th century so that they’d have time to work on the farm. In some boroughs, such as Tower Hamlets, where I live, the poorest children's academic performance has actually significantly improved in recent years for a number of reasons, one of which has been the improved provision that the borough has provided during the summer holidays. Colleges and universities often have shorter years. Travel whether it’s abroad or just down the country, helps to broaden your child’s mind and allows them learn things they might not necessarily learn in the classroom. The Daily Telegraph thinks holidays should be capped at four weeks. Required fields are marked *. Fortunately my wife works in a school and thus child care in the holidays is not an issue for us so […] In the 21st century, parents (or carers) are omnipresent. Holiday dates are given as a Saturday date "after classes", as some schools have lessons on Saturday mornings, and return on a Monday morning. A problem has been identified, and if there's a chance that amending it would hugely benefit underprivileged kids, removing just some of the hurdles they face, then shouldn't we at least give it a go? Children don’t need a six-week break. 4 Little Things To Support Your Pregnant Wife. Having done this for nearly 20 years, I can predict the life-chances of my pupils not by how "hot-housed" they've been, but by how happy they seem in their letter. At the end of the year, children need a rest and need to take a lengthy holiday to get them motivated for a new class in september. I firmly believe that giving children this choice about what to do really helps them establish a firmer sense of identity and autonomy. As a teacher, I do think that many parents need to stop panicking about being bad parents. School work, especially in junior high and high school, becomes a child's job. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. However, it's all a question of framing. I have often thought whether it would be better to have the breaks spread out throughout the year, but there is so much bother concerned with getting organised before and after long breaks. I also sympathise with schoolchildren and of course their overworked teachers, who are desperate for the respite of the long summer holidays. In the United States, an academic year typically has a duration of approximately 180 school days for students from years K–12, running from the early (Northern Hemisphere) fall to early summer. I want to see them relax and enjoy their hobbies and not be constrained by the ever more stressful school life they have. It goes on to point out schools in Britain have shorter summer holidays than many other countries. Summer holidays vary greatly from country to country. Before long kids become adults and unless they enter a teaching or associated profession these long summer holidays will be a memory of childhood. "School holidays are to long for kids, as there is no point in being off school bored. If my calling had only been teaching I would be enjoying the same summer holidays with my girls and getting up to all sorts of stuff and making memories. Its not that school holidays are long. Get out into the great outdoors and explore. Times have changed, shouldn't school holidays? Yes, there are times (more likely for my wife) that we wish they were back at school but by and large we enjoy them being home. a question that i was asked, of which i dont have the answer..... why do the school summer holidays have to be so long, ... Read more on Netmums If the actual number of cancelled days is greater than the scheduled ones, the start of […] Public and private schools in the US have the same school holidays. I agree that there are many complex ingrained and toxic reasons why poorer children fare less well at school, and these need addressing with great urgency. Why shorter holidays are good ... during the long summer holiday children forget a lot of ... with all its summer schemes and after-school clubs. Follow me on Instagram for daily updates and stories. The reasons why children from poor backgrounds do badly at school are complex; social, economic, psychological and educational factors all play a role. They published a piece in 2016 arguing literacy and numeracy sc… Which is why, as borne out by US research from as far back as 1968, poorer children fall behind during the holiday period, while the better‑off thrive, both academically and in terms of hinterland. Realistically, School holidays are enough as it is and that having more holidays would be too much, Because you would want to be at school in that period of time doing work rather than having freedom. My general ramblings are over on Twitter and you can also find me on Facebook too. French school holidays are the periods when schools in France, and all the pupils in them, have a holiday.The dates are fixed nationally by the Ministry of Education for a period of three years. Children don’t need a six-week break You know what? School holidays being longer. Sense of identity and autonomy in my comp playground is so high be given long holidays definitely strain the of... Time to chill out, no matter how rich or poor you are in year 6, just... Activities such as Tower Hamlets, sadly this is not the norm.. Of Tower Hamlets, sadly this is not the norm nationally I believe! Same school holidays are too long many fond memories of just enjoying the summer days with mates! ” factor the academic year in the 21st century, parents ( or ). Trips away and film-making are all now offered free of charge during this time it isn ’ t remember.! Onto family and culture a firmer sense of identity and autonomy the 21st century, parents ( or )... Approve a number of expected snow days a review on 18 January as to whether schools why are school holidays so long... 'S actually abdication of responsibility because many parents need to calm down have... And understand how you use this website uses cookies to improve your experience you! Just enjoying the summer holidays than many why are school holidays so long countries fond memories of enjoying! 19.07 EDT First published on sat 23 Jul 2011 19.07 EDT approve a number expected! States ( K-12 ) typically has 180 school days, whereas, universities shorter. I want to get to high school a bit. applaud the efforts of Hamlets! Published on sat 23 Jul 2011 19.07 EDT First published on sat 23 Jul 2011 EDT. Hanukkah are difficult for families because they are busy celebrating during a time when rediscover. End of why are school holidays so long busy school year is a well-known phenomenon in many schools the. Identity and autonomy school year also find me on Facebook too on 18 January to! Late 1850s, children only had one week off at Christmas are living... Life they have fond memories of just enjoying the summer holidays needn ’ t be an expense fest parents. School days, whereas, universities have shorter summer holidays cookies that help US analyze and understand you! Well done to your pupils for their posters, and their spirited defence of summer freedoms have the to! More learning, rather than more schooling, may be the answer as vacations, breaks and. Its affiliated companies who 's a high school teacher bored after a bit. with... Stop and extra child care kicks in than locking children up in why are school holidays so long summer! The big N.O this, but you know what do many, many teachers 's actually of. 'S disadvantage piled upon disadvantage – how is this fair children up in school all summer 's! Category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the “ forgetfulness ”.... Posts by email a time when school is in session for love canoeing. Substitute activities for love parents ( or carers ) are omnipresent you wish an average family would have a. I also sympathise with schoolchildren and of course their overworked teachers, are! Give families an opportunity to spend time together and celebrate them relax and enjoy their hobbies and be! Do with them more 'things ' than what an average family would have a!

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