Making the best of the summer Holidays

Is the summer holiday too long?

History has it that the purpose of the long school summer holiday, which started a couple of hundred years ago in Britain, is due to agriculture as it allows for cheap labour. During the Victorian time, school children were employed for harvesting crops during school holidays. Many politicians, including the former education secretary Michael Gove, have described the long summer holiday as being pointless and of no real value. Whilst some parents do not mind the length of the summer holiday, some dread the 6 to 8-week summer holiday in the UK. While the summer break can be as short as 4 weeks in some countries, it is up to 14 weeks long in other countries. In the United States for example, it can be as long as 12 weeks in some regions. Looking at the two extremes, it is probably just about right in the UK.


Time to bond and have life-lasting experiences

We probably have it just right in Britain with the length of the summer holiday being six weeks in most schools and up to nine weeks in some of the top public schools (independent schools). It has been reported widely in the media that young people in Britain – more than in most countries – have more pressure on them to achieve high exam grades and that for how much they are tested and the formality of school uniform and so on, perhaps they deserve to have jolly long summer!

The thing with children is that they grow so fast and by the time you blink they are young adults and really do not want to know you anymore – they’ve got their own life and they want to move on. As a parent, if you happen to have some time off over the summer, it is an opportunity to try and spend some time with your children and perhaps to find a way of having what people call quality time with them. Speaking of quality time, there is a school of thought that says there is no such thing as quality time but quantity time. I’m not sure if I agree with the notion of ‘no quality time’ as I think there is such thing as quality time. What I agree with is that you can’t always plan it ahead of time, but I will be exploring this issue in my next blog.


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