9 weeks. My four smalls are all now home, everyday, all day for the next nine weeks. For those of you who are math impaired (yo, I’m using a calculator for this, so I’m not judging you!) that is 63 days. 63 DAYS. In a row. And the politicians, parents and teachers wonder why kids have so much trouble succeeding in school?
9 WEEKS of debauchery. Honestly, I tell you. My kids have already decided that pants (or really clothes in general) are optional most of the time and that peanut butter is ‘da bomb for lunch. Neither of these beliefs are very popular with schools around here. So, after 9 WEEKS of living the life, (yes, they still have chores to do, but honestly, is it still a chore if you get to do it pantless?!?) they will have to find their pants, choke down a cheese sandwich and return to the daily grind that is the third and first grades, and Junior Kindergarten (the smallest small will stay home with me, being that she’s only two and all).
Thinking about this today, I remember reading about various school boards in the States that stagger school holidays throughout the year, so
teachers kids still get the same number of days away from higher learning but in smaller chunks throughout the year. So, instead of two weeks at Christmas, a week in March, and NINE weeks in the summer (still choking on that one, I just can’t help it), these school boards give fewer weeks off in more frequent bite-sized pieces. Much better. And so much more realistic in today’s world.
Now, I may be permanently brain-damaged from a prolonged case of “baby brain” but I think that I also recall that the kids who were in those “year-round” school systems scored better on all academic fronts and had fewer adjustment and behavioural issues that the kids being ‘educated’ in the traditional attendance model.
And, aside from educators and politicians, what other financially stable occupation provides the worker with 9 weeks of vacation? Um, can we say “”Setting unrealistic expectations”, anyone? No wonder ‘real work’ is such a culture shock for young adults. TWO WEEKS vacation ALL YEAR? After the equivalent of 14 weeks vacation a year, and a nice chunk of nine weeks straight, two measly weeks is certainly a huge let-down.
Maybe when the decision-makers try going back to work after having 63 days of carefree, unadulterated play time, where the most stressful part of the day is deciding on participating in water play, or watching Sponge Bob Squarepants, will the absurdity of this expectation of children sink in. Oh wait, nevermind. I forgot that in Ontario, the Legislative Assembly breaks for 13 weeks in the summer and 9 weeks over Christmas and New Year. So, the powers-that-be know exactly how hard it is to get back into the daily grind of ‘school’ after a prolonged absence. And they are doing a fabulous job – the finest in the, oh waitaminute, um, it would seem that they, like many of the kids in Ontario, have constantly failing grades and poor performance reports as well. Hmmm.
So, aside from saving the sanity of a few parents (um, yes, I admit that I’m speaking selfishly here), preserving some modesty (although I have less laundry to do) and saving a few jars of peanut butter (what is up with the price of peanut butter these days – $10 for a 2 KG jar, really?!?), maybe setting kids up to live in the real world instead of expecting to have the fairy-tale version of work that our politicians live, wouldn’t be the worst thing in world? And maybe, just maybe, had I gone through a year-round school system, I wouldn’t have needed that calculator at the beginning of this rant to figure out how many days 9 weeks translates into and I would not have needed to use Spell Check on this post?
Just sayin’ is all.