The summer holiday is either a time that parents look forward to or one that they cannot wait to be over. For many working parents, it can be the latter as care has to be arranged during the week while they are working unless they are able to save up holiday time at work over the year.
Activities need to be planned, and friends hosted or visited. After working hard at school, the kids deserve a break, but is the six-week holiday a bit long? Should it be shortened, or maybe even extended?
Six or Eight Weeks
The average summer holiday at a state school is six weeks long, and the average at a private school is eight weeks. It may not seem like a large difference, but an extra two weeks can have a significant impact on children when it comes to relaxing their minds and getting them ready for the new school year.
After all, the summer holidays go by incredibly fast, and the students need all the time they can to refresh themselves. School is mentally and physically exhausting, so many would argue that they need the time to recover.
Intelligence doesn’t come from education alone; it also comes from life experiences. Many families will take their children abroad over the summer to show them new cultures and teach them about life in other countries. A simple family holiday to France can have a huge positive impact on their lives and outlook.
The summer holiday allows families to take them time to explore other countries, or new places within their own so that their children can look at things a little differently and learn more about the world around them. It is a hugely beneficial feature of the holidays, and a sure reason why they are not too long.
Family and Friend Time
It also allows families to spend some time together. During term time, there is not as much time as many would like to spend together and simply hang out or take day trips. The summer holidays make time for this, as well as time for the children to hang out with their friends for the day, go out for lunch, or enjoy other social activities with them. It all comes back to relaxation.
However, for working parents it can be a nightmare trying to organise care during the summer holidays, especially when it comes to the expense. This can be stressful for the parents, which is why some of them feel that six weeks is too long.
Do They Forget?
Some people say that a long summer holiday causes children to forget what they have learned as well as the structure of the school day. As a result, they wonder if children would benefit from shorter holidays so that they slip back into the school routine with little hassle.
It also means that teachers can fit more time in for the curriculum, so that everything is covered. Many schools find themselves running out of time by the end of the academic year.
It is fair to say that six weeks is definitely not too long for students, and in fact they could benefit from an additional two. While it can take a week to get back into the swing of things at school, it is worth it when you have students arriving with fresh, relaxed, minds that are ready to start the new school year.
The summer holidays are not too long for students, and they might not be long enough. Parents may have a different opinion, of course!
As a child we may well have thought that the summer holiday wasn’t long enough but, as a teacher (and possibly a parent), do you now think that a more even distribution of holiday and term time (4 terms a year anyone?) would be easier to manage? Let us know in the comments below.