Mom to Mom: Longing for year-round school
Year-round school. Yes, I said it. And I’m in favor of it. There are so many benefits for kids to go to school year-round, and since my kids go to school in Pickens County, we had a semi-taste of that this year since school started back on Aug. 3 after only an eight-week break.
School all year doesn’t literally mean school goes all year for 52 weeks. Most areas with year-round schedules break the school year up by quarters. After each quarter, the kids get a break, with longer breaks at Christmas and summer – plus they still get long weekends for holidays. The school year still begins in late summer and ends in early summer as usual.
One of the biggest benefits of this different schedule is knowledge retention. Kids in year-round programs don’t end up in a post-summer slump, having forgotten half of what they learned at the end of the previous year. This means teachers don’t spend the entire month of September refreshing fractions or defining what a haiku is.
It also gives the kids more mental breaks. As a parent, one of the worst times of year is that stretch from New Year’s Day to Spring Break. It’s often three tortuous months of burned-out kids. More frequent breaks in the schedule mean the kids are more refreshed and ready to learn. It also means the lines at Disney World are shorter because you’re on a school break and nobody else is.
I realize there are drawbacks as well, mainly childcare needs. But if parents have a year to plan before a year-round schedule is implemented, I think most of the issues could be prevented.
While I don’t know that my kids will ever see a year-round school schedule, I hope more districts will consider it in the years to come and help our kids live up to their full potential.
Allison Wells is a wife, mother of four and an author. Her motto is "Life is short, eat the Oreos." Visit her online at www.allisonwellswrites.com.