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