T Nation

School Start Too Early?


#1

My son starts the first grade next week. I know of a lot of schools around the country that have already started. It really seems to me that it is starting way too early any more. I seem to remember not starting until around Labor Day when I was a kid. It will still be very hot in most parts of the country, where several schools are not very well cooled. Anyone else have an opinion?


#2

My 5 yr old starts kinder on the 20th. We're in Central TX.

I grew up in CT and we were in school the last 3 weekdays of August, off for the weekend, back to school, off for 3 days (labor day) then school again. We got out for summer in mid June.

In Texas kids start in august and get out in late May. My area of TX doesn't have snow days. (Well, I suppose it could, but I've never seen it.)


#3

I feel the same way. When I was younger it felt like summer was forever. I was always exited to go back. That's how long it seemed.

Now that I'm in college, and I have to work during my summers, it feels like summer has just started by the time I go back.

Do you think it just has a lot to do with the weather changing?

I've been in Alberta this summer, and our weather didn't warm up until mid July. We've had more rain here this year, then we've had since 1908.

It barely feels like I've had a summer at all, and I go back Sept 19th.

I remember last year in Ontario, Sept, and early Oct was our most consistently hot period.


#4

My kids started July 19th. They'll already be done with their first six-weeks by Labor Day. They go 6 weeks on/1 week off, two weeks off for Xmas, six weeks off after May.

It makes no sense to teach kids for 9 months, and then let it all drain out of their itty-bitty brains for three months. The only kids it is really hard on are the migrant workers who stay up north until mid-September.


#5

I really never remember this being an issue when I was in school. It just seems to me that we don't want kids to be kids any longer. Playing is as important in younger kids as book learning.

I could see how forgetting lessons learned might be a bigger problem in say jr. high and high school, but in the earlier elementary years I say let them be kids.


#6

Given the current state of most school systems, the kids need all the school time they can get. Summer vacation was originally for summer plantings. How many of those kids live on farms?


#7

My boy goes back August 22, and summer break usually starts around June 10.

I really wish there we had the 6 on/1 off thing like Doogie's kids do. I think they would be better for families to take vacations, better for the kids not to get 'burned out' (scary seeing this in elementary kids) from too much routine and better as far as retention goes. Yes, kids need to be kids and play and all that. That exact reason is why I'd favor year 'round schooling with more frequent, shorter breaks.


#8

I hear that schools elsewhere are doing that. Honestly, it's intriguing to me! I think even as a student I could go for that.

Where in TX are you? (General vicinity is fine. I don't need your home addy. lol!)


#9

Good point. and that brings me to my next gripe: daylight savings. why do we even HAVE that anymore??? Be done with it.


#10

They are adding 4 weeks to daylight savings in 2007.


#11

Right outside Corpus Christi.


#12

I agree there's not enough school. Kids can be kids and still be in school at the same time. It doesn't take away from their childhood. The public education system is terrible, there's not enough learning for these kids. I'm a social worker and I have three close friends who teach. It seems that at least every two weeks the kids get a day off for inservices or whatever other reason. The 6/1 idea sounds pretty good to me also. There just doesn't seem to enough importance put on education anymore by the parents, and the school system itself.


#13

as long as the poor kids get recess (where they are allowed to RUN/EXERCISE) every day!


#14

I've long thought that we need to get the education system away from government control...it's way to PC and too worried about campaign slogans.


#15

To save energy they add 4 weeks but screw up watches, clocks, computer programs, etc. to achieve it. Great. I'd probably prefer year round DLS, but status quo is preferable to this.

As for school years, I do think the year round model is a better option so far as retention goes. Moreover, with shorter breaks kids may be slightly less likely to get into the serious mischief I remember from my youth that resulted from the mid-later summer boredom as other amusements petered out.


#16

I need to put that idea in front of our school board. We're an hour NW of San Antonio.


#17

Yeah, I heard. eyes rolling What a load of crap. Drop it all together - make everyone's life simpler!


#18

I love daylight savings. What's the point of having the sun go away at five in the afternoon? It's just way to early to be considered "night" in my opinion.