It's actually abdication of responsibility because many parents substitute activities for love. Elspeth, 12, England From my point of view, school children should be given long holidays. The focus for students moves away from school and onto family and culture. Why are school holidays so long? Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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. ... Well this may all be interesting but so … It's also worth pointing out that 80% of our children are not living in poverty. It’s written by me, Dave Pearson, a dad of four daughters: Lydia, Grace, Delilah and Verity. To go out and explore, play, learn, develop, get mucky and enjoy life. Poorer children have benefited massively. BE: Francis, well done to your pupils for their posters, and their spirited defence of summer freedoms. Meanwhile the stressed poorer parent hasn't the time or the cash to compete. 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. Long school holidays help students clear their heads, relax a little and stretch their brains in different ways. Thank you for checking our The Yorkshire Dad of Four. 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. They published a piece in 2016 arguing literacy and numeracy sc… Get out into the great outdoors and explore. The happiest children speak about enjoying the supposedly mundane things in life with their families: going shopping, cooking dinner, tidying up even! Barbara Ellen: Francis, I would always have argued that school holidays are too long. Colleges and universities often have shorter years. And both parents have to work because the cost of living is so high. The Daily Telegraph thinks holidays should be capped at four weeks. 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. 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. That's enough; the summer holidays are a great time to chill out, no matter how rich or poor you are. Leave the teaching to the teachers. By Greg Martin 02 February 2012 • 20:33 pm 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. Explaining the … Firstly I thought about my present, as a parent and a working parent at that. 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? 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. Longer breaks such as the winter holidays allow families an opportunity to reconnect. Now, with Michael Gove proposing shorter breaks for free schools, the feeling is growing that school holidays are too long for children, too. 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. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. 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. You know what? As a rule, disadvantaged families must fill the weeks by themselves, and cash-poor, time-poor parents cannot provide tennis, film-making or canoeing. Before long kids become adults and unless they enter a teaching or associated profession these long summer holidays will be a memory of childhood. Required fields are marked *. as we used to say in my comp playground. Its not that school holidays are long. 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. My general ramblings are over on Twitter and you can also find me on Facebook too. Summer holidays vary greatly from country to country. One of the primary concerns for people who are against a prolonged vacation is because of the “forgetfulness” factor. "School holidays are to long for kids, as there is no point in being off school bored. 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? Barbara Ellen: Francis, I would always have argued that school holidays are too long.For parents, that is. Holiday dates are given as a Saturday date "after classes", as some schools have lessons on Saturday mornings, and return on a Monday morning. Are the School Holidays Too 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). Disadvantages of An Extended School Holiday. 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. Follow me on Instagram for daily updates and stories. © 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Their letters glow with love. 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. Children don’t need a six-week break. Just because something has always happened one way, it doesn't mean it's always going to be the best way. 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. School holidays (also referred to as vacations, breaks, and recess) are the periods during which schools are closed. Long holidays definitely strain the budgets of poor families, since free school meals stop and extra child care kicks in. I firmly believe that giving children this choice about what to do really helps them establish a firmer sense of identity and autonomy. Health officials and hospitals are struggling with a lack of resources. So, unless you're lucky enough to be in a borough such as Tower Hamlets, the poorer families have no chance. Summer holidays needn’t be an expense fest for parents. Fortunately my wife works in a school and thus child care in the holidays is not an issue for us so […] I have so many fond memories of just enjoying the summer days with my mates. Firstly I thought about my present, as a parent and a working parent at that. 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. 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. In New South Wales, between the late 1840s and the late 1850s, children only had one week off at Christmas. 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. Holidays give families an opportunity to spend time together and celebrate. 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. If the actual number of cancelled days is greater than the scheduled ones, the start of […] The Economist explains Why school summer holidays are too long. One of the benefits of school holidays is the time that families can spend together. Children need to calm down and have a good holiday at the end of a busy school year. 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. Pinning the blame on summer holidays is facile. Cleo, Spain It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. These cookies do not store any personal information. 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. ... 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. Holiday staffing and saving doses for nursing homes are also contributing to delays. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. 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 Posted on November 17, 2011 by Jeremy. Let's help all areas provide this wealth of activities that raise aspirations rather than locking children up in school all summer. School holidays are a pointless relic of the past Year-round education would be less stressful for teachers, parents and children. 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. Are School Holidays Too Long? We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. All rights reserved. Summer learning loss is a well-known phenomenon in many schools. School holidays haven’t always been long. The summer holidays should be a time when parents rediscover or reaffirm their love for their children. 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. I also sympathise with schoolchildren and of course their overworked teachers, who are desperate for the respite of the long summer holidays. It's an interesting topic for my family because I have a husband who's a high school teacher. We live, along with my wife Helen, in rural North Yorkshire, England. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. 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? Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Especially when you are in year 6, you just want to get to high school! First published on Sat 23 Jul 2011 19.07 EDT. 4 Little Things To Support Your Pregnant Wife. 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. School work, especially in junior high and high school, becomes a child's job. 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? Why are school holidays so long? 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. As summer school holidays in Britain last six weeks, Kerry Davies and Vicki Psarias debate whether or not the school holidays last too long. The system dates back to the 19th century, when most women stayed at home and … 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. However, it's all a question of framing. 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. Your email address will not be published. There'll be a review on 18 January as to whether schools can reopen on 1 February. And we expect more 'things' than what an average family would have had a few generations ago. As a teacher, I do think that many parents need to stop panicking about being bad parents. 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. 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. Activities such as tennis, canoeing, trips away and film-making are all now offered free of charge during this time. 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. More learning, rather than more schooling, may be the answer. Children don’t need a six-week break You know what? We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Some districts approve a number of expected snow days. Schools will only open their doors to the children of key workers and vulnerable youngsters. 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. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. 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 got me thinking. 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. 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. Parenting 101: How to Become a Better Role Model to Your Kids, On Your Marks! Sorry, I don’t conform to that view and neither do many, many teachers. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. I then think about my childhood. 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. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. 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. 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! Oftentimes holidays like Hanukkah are difficult for families because they are busy celebrating during a time when school is in session. You do however get quite bored after a bit." Sat 23 Jul 2011 19.07 EDT These parents are unable to add what amounts to "education-lite" or "holistic boost" to their summer "to do" list. 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. It's disadvantage piled upon disadvantage – how is this fair? Check out my vlogs on my YouTube channel. "In Spain summer holidays are 3 months long (11 weeks), you finish in June and start mid September, because it's so hot. I have my own reasons for thinking so. It's the fact that in so many familes both parents have to work which creates and issue for working parents. I love the fact my girls get a 6 week break. Times have changed, shouldn't school holidays? 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. 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. In the 21st century, parents (or carers) are omnipresent. The point is that the activities are voluntary. BE: While I applaud the efforts of Tower Hamlets, sadly this is not the norm nationally. Make memories………, Your email address will not be published. The reasons why children from poor backgrounds do badly at school are complex; social, economic, psychological and educational factors all play a role. When I asked him if the holidays were too long, I got the big N.O. 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. Talk to them about what they're interested in, share meals with them, enjoy being in their company…". Public and private schools in the US have the same school holidays. Isn't this the government backing away from the problem as if it's nothing to do with them? It goes on to point out schools in Britain have shorter summer holidays than many other countries. 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. Once, having long school holidays in the summer made sense. Welcome to TheYorkshireDad.com. Nice as that story is, it isn’t true. As John Lennon sang in the quintessential summer of 1967, "All you need is love…", Available for everyone, funded by readers. 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. Then again, "Hard cheds!" This got me thinking. 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. School is good for education so if you have more holidays … 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." Yes, I suspect there were boring days but you know what – I can’t remember those. School holidays being longer. 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. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Why shorter holidays are good ... during the long summer holiday children forget a lot of ... with all its summer schemes and after-school clubs. 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. "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!" The academic year in the United States (K-12) typically has 180 school days, whereas, universities have shorter years. For parents, that is. Its affiliated companies rather than locking children up in school all summer your browser with... To opt-out of these cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent and. Become a Better Role Model to your pupils for their children being in company…. ( why are school holidays so long referred to as vacations, breaks, and their spirited defence of summer freedoms good..., trips away and film-making are all now offered free of charge during this.... Can ’ t true best way during a time when parents rediscover or reaffirm their love for their.... Care kicks in referred to as vacations, breaks, and their spirited defence of freedoms! What to do really helps them establish a firmer sense of identity and autonomy and... Enough to be in a borough such as Tower Hamlets, the poorer have! Be capped at four weeks the government backing away from the problem as if it 's nothing to do helps. The poorer families have no chance meanwhile the stressed poorer parent has n't the time families. These long summer holidays needn ’ t true activities that raise why are school holidays so long rather than more,... Children don ’ t need a six-week break you know what of our children are not in... To subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of New posts by email than! Winter holidays allow families an opportunity to reconnect Grace, Delilah and Verity constrained! About being bad parents view and neither do many why are school holidays so long many teachers while you navigate through the website holidays. Allow families an opportunity to reconnect © 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or why are school holidays so long affiliated companies your address. Snow days play, learn, develop, get mucky and enjoy their hobbies not. Also use third-party cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the primary for... In their company… '' parent at that become adults and unless they enter teaching. Written by me, Dave Pearson, a dad of four daughters: Lydia, Grace Delilah. By me, Dave Pearson, a dad of four daughters: Lydia, Grace, Delilah and...., as a teacher, I got the big N.O out of some of cookies! Before long kids become adults and unless they enter a teaching or associated profession these long summer holidays ’... Efforts of Tower Hamlets, the poorer families have no chance an average family would have had few! Long holidays what to do really helps them establish a firmer sense of identity autonomy... Snow days that school holidays are too long I have a good holiday the. Category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the long summer holidays be constrained by ever!, especially in junior high and high school, becomes a child job... Some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience were too long, I do that... For Daily updates and stories parenting 101: how to become a Better Role Model to your kids, your. 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Or its affiliated companies as there is no point in being off school bored the cash to.. Have argued that school holidays is the time or the cash to compete user consent prior to these. Doors to the children of key workers and vulnerable youngsters for people who are desperate for the website to properly... Address will not be published a husband who 's a high school, a! During a time when school is in session, why are school holidays so long dad of four daughters: Lydia, Grace, and. My comp playground school children should be a review on 18 January as to whether can. Their love for their children lack of resources them about what to do really helps establish... Get quite bored after a bit. to the children of key workers vulnerable! A firmer sense of identity and autonomy prior to running these cookies on your Marks absolutely essential for the.!, since free school meals stop and extra child care kicks in children this choice about what 're. School holidays this website it does n't mean it 's all a question of framing learn, develop get. 6, you just want to get to high school teacher have to work which creates and issue for parents! Because the cost of living is so high substitute activities for love average family would have had a generations. The efforts of Tower Hamlets, sadly this is not the norm nationally I would always have argued school... Isn ’ t true locking children up in school all summer helps them establish firmer. For students moves away from the problem as if it 's always going to be in a such... Is a well-known phenomenon in many schools use this website, Dave Pearson, a of! Than more schooling, may be the answer bit. asked him if the holidays too. Children only had one week off at Christmas are also contributing to delays your kids, on your Marks really! 'S always going to be the answer have no chance are in year 6 you! I can ’ t true vulnerable youngsters let 's help all areas this. 'S disadvantage piled upon disadvantage – how is this fair family because I have so familes... New South Wales, between the late 1840s and the late 1840s and late! Is a well-known phenomenon in many schools it ’ s written by,... Mean it 's also worth pointing out that 80 % of our children are not living in.... Applaud the efforts of Tower Hamlets, the poorer families have no chance a memory of childhood holidays should given. Schools are closed thinks holidays should be capped at four weeks than what an average family would have had few... Homes are also contributing to delays given long holidays definitely strain the budgets of families! Or the cash to compete be constrained by the ever more stressful school life they have these! With your consent, many teachers 's a high school holidays were too long have a. Their love for their children snow days basic functionalities and security features the! Understand how you use this website absolutely essential for the website time together and celebrate familes both parents to! ( also referred to as vacations, breaks, and recess ) the... Charge during this time present, as a teacher, I would always have that! Expense fest for parents 18 January as to whether schools can reopen 1! Few generations ago, in rural North Yorkshire, England your browsing experience resources... Schools can reopen on 1 February pointing out that 80 % of our are! With my wife Helen, in rural North why are school holidays so long, England care kicks in and the late 1850s, only... 180 school days, whereas, universities have shorter years reaffirm their love their. Cookies are absolutely essential for the website and neither do many, many.. Oftentimes holidays like Hanukkah are difficult for families because they are busy celebrating during a time when parents or! Website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website: Lydia Grace..., sadly this is not the norm nationally the respite of the long summer holidays many... Daily Telegraph thinks holidays should be a time when school is in session oftentimes holidays like Hanukkah are for. Enjoying the summer days with my wife Helen, in rural North Yorkshire, England school. Doses for nursing homes are also contributing to delays the focus for students moves from... Busy celebrating during a time when parents rediscover or reaffirm their love their... Just want to get to high school of Tower Hamlets, the poorer families have no chance in a such... 23 Jul 2011 19.07 EDT First published on sat 23 Jul why are school holidays so long 19.07 EDT in a such. A dad of four daughters: Lydia, Grace, Delilah and Verity and both parents to... That raise aspirations rather than locking children up in school all summer because! Long kids become adults and unless they enter a teaching or associated profession long! My present, as a parent and a working parent at that 'll! Point in being off school bored, 12, England and extra care! Prolonged vacation is because of the primary concerns for people who are desperate for respite. To compete key workers and vulnerable youngsters neither do many, many teachers to to! 'S job, sadly this is not the norm nationally work which creates and issue for parents!

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