Should public schools be in session all year long, with shorter breaks?
Does the summer break hurt or harm our kids' educations? Should school be required 12 months out of the year with shorter breaks for vacation time?
Yes. I liked the trimester system that I had in graduate library science school. Each trimester was 10 weeks. Subtracting 30 weeks total school time per year from 52 weeks in a year left 22 weeks of vacation time—about seven weeks at a time three times per year.
I don't think 12 months a year would be beneficial to kids. I think actually teaching children while they attend school and making an education a priority is more important.
Perhaps Brian Leekley is on to something. Making the semesters shorter could be a good idea. Instead of just two painfully long semesters that most schools use, perhaps dividing up the school year into 3 or 4 sections would be best. I am still all for giving kids some type of summer break, but perhaps not as long. A month might be enough.
I remember being in school and hating it because the end of August or beginning of September meant being stuck in school until June of next year with pretty much the same boring old subjects. Perhaps a better strategy to keep children wanting to learn would be breaking the school year up.
After a few months, kids get to pick some different optional subjects they would like to take the next few months. Sure, English and Reading and Math and all that type of thing would still be required, but other optional subjects could change... like 3 months of Earth Science, but then 3 months of Biology, and after 3 months of French, then the child could choose, "Do I want to stay with French the next months or switch to Spanish?" Making school interesting for children of all ages would probably help a lot.
I can see the pros and cons of both types of school years. Year round school is probably best because of all the testing we do now. Students have less chance of forgetting lessons. Families can vacation at different times of the year instead of the yearly blackout dates (especially when flying),
The traditional school year with three months off in the summer was originally made when our country was agarian and children were needed to work on the farm during summer months. As a teacher I always liked the three months off during summer to recharge my batteries. The kids also can recharge their batteries. By September both teachers and students are refreshed and ready to return to school. Children also mature during the three months off. So the traditional year is good for the maturation process. Because of all the testing, the three months off have been whittled down to about 10 or 11 weeks anyway. I think it is best left up to each community to decide which type of school year is best for them.
Why? Is there something different about them which I do not know? As far as I know all schools should be the same.
Long periods without academic work leads to forgetting the material. Year round school with short breaks AND more days in the class overall would improve academics.
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