Sunday, June 29, 2008

So rare as a day in June

After relatively gentle thunderstorms most of the day on Saturday -- the rain on the roof made my morning to sleep in even more restful than usual -- today is spectacularly bright, cool and breezy. Here in Arkansas we don't get many summer days under ninety degrees. I wish I could have just sat at the park and worked on my Clapotis all afternoon, but the kids were running out of things to do at the playground and we had to bring them home.

June is about over, and that means there are about seven more weeks of summer vacation to go. We've done pretty well so far keeping the kids occupied, but the hardest slog -- July -- is still to come. Cady Gray is in day care three days a week, Archer has therapy on Monday and Wednesday, but there are still many long hours that both kids are at home while Dad's trying to get his New York film openings reviewed and his Popless tracks listened to.

I think we're going to enroll Archer in two weeks of language camp starting mid-July. There's a week of Spanish camp and a week of French camp for kids in grades 1-4, separated into two age groups. I don't know how Archer will do, but he seems enthusiastic about the idea. The price is right. And most importantly, it will give his days structure, keep his social skills sharp, and involve him with something other than the TV, computer, or magnadoodle.

I read a few days ago that one of the special school districts here in Arkansas had ended an experiment with an extended school year that was not quite year-round school (month-long breaks in midwinter, midspring, and late summer), but close. Parents didn't like it because it restricted their summer vacations to a relatively short period of time. Students didn't like it for obvious reasons. The school board didn't like it because it cost quite a bit more money.

Nobody asked me, but I'd be all for it. The long, tedious summer break may be a tradition in American culture, but it's counter-productive in almost every way. There's no reason we can't get our relaxation in less concentrated bursts, and I'm willing to bet that students and parents would be all the better for it. And after it became widespread, it wouldn't cost any more, assuming that you live in an area where the schools are already air-conditioned.

1 comment:

Alma said...
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