In our September issue I suggested a change in our traditional school terms so as to allow for a winter vacation beginning with the Christmas holiday and extending through the month of January. This would bring the second semester to a close about the middle of July, leaving approximately six weeks for the summer vacation. And I asked whether six weeks wasn’t a long enough vacation for most children.
There has been considerable response to this suggestion, and parents as well as children have expressed themselves about the matter. To date the reaction is four to one in favor of a winter vacation and a shorter summer vacation.
The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that something should be done about these unnecessarily long summer interruptions in the schooling of our children. Why should we close our schools during those months in the year when it is most economical to operate them? I am thinking here particularly of the fuel and light bills. Then, too, our children during the summer forget so much of what they have learned. If our teachers at the commencement of the fall term were given the same classes they had the previous semester, they would discover for themselves the dissipation in learning that occurs during the long summer vacation. The time spent in September reviewing the material given the previous semester is wasted time.
By the middle of the summer most of our children are bored with their vacation. They don’t know what to do with themselves. And this boredom becomes a family irritation from which the parents suffer as much as their children.
Let’s think it over some more. Perhaps additional comments will be forthcoming.