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Gains in shorter summer break?

When a majority of students look at school days and summer vacation, they think of two very contrasting subjects, but what some people do not realize is that shortening the summer vacation may be able to result in a balanced learning and fun environment.

Benjamin Liu, Camino Grove Elementary grad

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – by Benjamin Liu recent graduate of Camino Grove Elementary

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Childhood is a very important time of many people’s lives. Not only do students have to adapt to different environments and learn about different subjects, but they need to have fun. Everything is provided and adapted by adults to enable children to have the best and most memorable experiences of their lives. Education and relaxation are two very important components of a child’s life and striking a balance between them is essential if children are to grow up healthy and well adjusted. This point leads to the purpose of this discussion: should children’s summer vacation be lengthened or shortened? Although people may look at summer vacation and school curriculum as two very different things, education and relaxation can be balanced to provide children both fulfillment and personal growth. Benefits will also be that parents will not have to go through so much trouble to keep their children occupied during the summer and students will not spend two and a half months literally glued to their TV screen or typing endlessly on social networking sites and phones. Surveys conclude that a majority of students in school actually enjoy socially interacting with other students, being around peers who can answer their questions, and adapting to different learning environments.

It is understandable that parents do not want their students spending all their time on test preparations and textbook work, but they also do not want children slacking off during the summer and forgetting all of their educational concepts. Shortening the summer vacation for students does not mean that time for fun and leisure activities will be shortened as well. At school, the students will not only be able to feed their craving for education, but also share fun memories and laugh a couple times rather than stay glued to an electrical device all day. School should always be a compromise between time spent engaged in entertainment and time focused on learning. Although there are times in the classroom when people have to focus on their 4 hour tests or study their advanced English and math skills, there will always be time to interact with different students, talk with peers who have experience, and enjoy outdoor activities. If students see the school year from a different point of view, they can see that it can include both fun and learning.

People should not underestimate the importance of 12 years of learning in school, because if the time is not used correctly or is conducted poorly, people will fail to successfully prepare for the future. As of now, more advanced countries such as China or other Asian countries manage their school years with far more school days than the regular school year in the U.S. For example, the Chinese school year lasts from September to mid July, with an estimated amount of 8 hours of class time each day! If students are given more time in a school year to prepare and work on their weaknesses, they can overcome them. The extra guidance in math, English, history, science, and other subjects will help create a scholarly attitude and more developed work habits.

The change to a shortened summer vacation will not only impact students, but also affect parents of students and also teachers. For one thing, the parents will not have to go through so much trouble to keep their children occupied during the summer or find care for them. During the summer, parents with regular jobs have to stay focused on working, and often become distracted with children; therefore, they will not at all mind a shortened summer vacation. The shortened summer will also affect the teachers as much as the students. For example, during the summer, some teachers will no longer need to fear being unemployed, but as a result of a shortened summer, teachers will be able to work more and also spend more time helping students. It is a real pleasure to know that they could be teaching a very successful scholar in the future. People can depend on a shortened vacation to lift a responsibility off many parents’ shoulders and also, enable teachers to spend more time helping students learn.

Students have to make sure that they balance their time in both learning and engaging in fun activities. Spending too much time in entertainment is not good for a child’s health and the same holds true for too much working. Shortening the summer vacation can contribute to more fun and more diverse learning activities. Students will be able to learn and spend more time fixing their weaknesses while at the same time, interact socially with peers and students the same age.

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