Oh No, It’s Spring Break!

April 20th, 2011

Category: News

Yesterday, my 14-year old daughter Elizabeth asked me what we were going “to do” for Spring Break.   This is an excellent question – what are we going to do for Spring Break exactly…beginning in a mere two days?  While I’m sure she is dreaming of amazing rides in Disney World or dipping her toes into the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean, unfortunately for her (and me) an exotic Spring Break vacation is not in the cards. 

The real question is, “What are parents supposed to do with their school-aged children over Spring Break?”  You see, as much as I’d like to run off and have fun with my kids for a week in April, I—like most parents—have a job that doesn’t celebrate Spring Break.  So the challenge becomes what to do with the kids for the week while I go off to work every day. It helps that my husband works from home and my mother lives nearby, so I will have some assistance with keeping two kids entertained. And while it won’t be Disney World, it will be a chance for them to relax and take a break from the regular school routine.

But it will also be ten days of brain lethargy and ten days away from the routine of school.  This year seems especially hard, as Spring Break comes so late in the school year.  My kids will go from over a week of vegging out straight back into the rush of the end of the school year, with finals and papers and projects galore. I wonder how the break will affect their performance.  

The concept of year-round education fascinates me.  Going to school “year-round” does not mean going to school non-stop, but it does allow students to have more time in the classroom.  Year-round schools promote a balanced academic calendar to reduce learning loss and extensive review time that decreases time for new learning.  Students are usually scheduled to be in the classroom for eight-to-ten week blocks with short breaks between each block. 

Year-round education or programs with similar structure are beginning to pop up in Delaware. For example, Seaford School District, offers a balanced school calendar with classes beginning earlier in the summer than other districts, allowing for more learning time in the classroom.

For me, I’ll just have to juggle work and kids for the next week –and find some time for a trip to the library to keep their brains busy.   I will make sure that Elizabeth checks out a book about the Caribbean so at least she can learn about her dream Spring Break location. 

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Nancy Millard




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