Dear Crabby, What Do You Think About Year-Round Schooling?

Dear Crabby,
What do you think about year-round school? It looks like they are moving towards that where I live.

Thanks!
Grams

Dear Grams,

I think I just heard the sounds of children crying and parents cheering at the thought of this idea. Before I give my esteemed opinion, I think I should debunk the notion anyone reading this might have that year-round school means kids are in school for 365 days a year. While I’m sure that would be preferable for some (cough, the parents, cough), sadly that’s just not the case. Here are some of the reasons why fans of year-round school find it so appealing:

  • It seems like more families have both parents working to bring home the bacon, which means trying to find someplace their kids can hang out during the summer can be difficult and expensive. Year-round schooling has shorter breaks spread throughout the school year, which makes that task a tad easier.
  • Speaking of shorter breaks… families will have more vacation options because there are more breaks. No more waiting until summer to take that bank-breaking trip to Disney. No siree, Bob! You can do it sooner, like in the winter when hopefully there are less people there and it’s probably warmer. At least if you’re traveling from Michigan. Pretty much every state is warmer than Michigan in the winter.
  • It’s easier on the teachers. Not only do they enjoy time off as much as their students (Shocking, I know!), but with those shorter breaks, there’s no ‘academic slide.’ That means students actually retain what they’re being taught. Eureka!

Now I’m not saying this concept is right for every district in every state, but it does raise some valid points. Times are changing. I remember as a kid getting out of school for the summer, throwing my stuff in my closet, and never looking back. My buddies and I already had a full agenda of swimming, fishing, and playing baseball in any open lot we could find. But it doesn’t seem like kids have that same kind of imagination these days. They need to constantly be ‘entertained.’ And let’s face it, most parents aren’t just going to let their kids roam outside like we did. Mostly because they’re too afraid someone will call social services and claim they’re bad parents for letting their kids, well, be kids. And then when school did start back up again, even though we were in a new grade, our teacher would go over some of what we learned the year before. Some students needed the refresher, while others didn’t.

So, while I no longer have school-aged children, I definitely think year-round schools are worth looking into. Sometimes change is good and if it works – go for it! Just don’t tell my grandkids I think it’s a good idea. They may never speak to me again.

Hope this helps and thanks for your question!
Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at DearCrabby@rochestermedia.com.

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