Sunday, August 22, 2010

Looking Forward to School

In today's Answer Sheet, an incoming college freshman reflects back on his experience so far.

Summer doesn’t feel like a fleeting break between two grueling nine-month periods of drudgery.

...For the first time ever, I’m looking forward to school.

This is exactly what I don't want for my kids. I hope summer will always be more than a fleeting break, and the school year will never be a grueling nine-month period of drudgery. I hope they will look forward to school every year.


  1. Uh-oh -- Have you seen the cover of Time? How'd you like a twelve-month period of drudgery instead?

  2. Chris, I read the article, and it actually wasn't as bad as I feared.

    There is a serious issue of child care during the summer months, especially for underprivileged kids. Some of the programs sounded pretty good.

    I liked this quote:

    If school districts fail during the traditional year, what are the chances that competence and creativity will suddenly blossom when the weather turns hot?

    I'm developing an allergy to Harris Cooper. He was annoying enough when he was the self-appointed "homework expert", but now he's the self-appointed "summer learning expert"? Give me a break.

    The bottom line is that extending the school year would cost a lot of money, which the states just don't have. There might be a lot of talk, but it won't happen, so it goes pretty low on my list of things to worry about.

  3. I agree. I'd be in favor of providing more child care to people who need it, both in the pre-school years and during summers, as long as the providers didn't see it as an opportunity to further "improve" the kids by squeezing a few more test points out of them.

    I agree, too, that year-round school will never happen. Not only would it cost too much, but it would be a recipe for driving more high-income families out of the public schools.

  4. PsychMom pipes in:

    I read that article a couple of weeks ago too and was surprisingly encouraged. I bought the Time issue because of the cover story, thinking my blood would boil. But by the end of it I was thinking, "darn, that's a good article".

    My kid is chomping at the bit to get to school. I know, I'm lucky. If she had had 6 weeks off in the summer, that would have been fine with her. I think the article said that the number of school days in the year doesn't have to change that much, just how they're spread out. More frequent breaks throughout the year would certainly fit my life better.

    And for kids and families who need the support, maybe a year that's built around a educational system, but more family focussed is a better way. I know, the system is far from ideal so far...but if the government actually cared to build a proper system, the pay back to society would be great.