It is that time of year again. August. The kids go back to school! Wait, what ever happened to summer? You know, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day that we relaxed, slept in, etc. It has slowly been hacked away. School starts earlier and earlier, sports go all summer long, there is required summer reading. No more down time for kids! What are we doing? Doesn't anyone understand we are robbing our children of an important part of childhood?
Believe me, having been on the School Board I have heard the educational arguments for starting school in August. It is particularly important when the classes are AP, and must coincide with college testing. I get all of that. I get that there is extra pressure on the students and teachers. I have been to college though and know just how much time is open in the classes. I have seen how much extra time there is in the high school and still think that the job is getting done. Honestly, you only take the college class two or three times a week and you have the high school equivalent five days a week.
I don't know, I just think that the time spent in the summer is so valuable to kids and families. Kids need that down time to just play. Playing is the work of children!. We spend so much time organizing formal sports for them at younger and younger ages, we send them for reading time in the library, and we pre-school them to death. Whatever happened to just being a kid?!!!!
I remember playing all summer. Pickup games of baseball and basketball at the school, swimming, lazy reading, and just playing tag or hopscotch or riding your bike. Spending time learning social skills just by playing with your friends and hanging out is so important. Now our kids are scheduled with activities and can go an entire summer without human contact because they have phones and computers.
What about family vacations! Remember the time you spent annoying your parents and cramming yourselves and luggage into a car for a trip to somewhere? A break in the routine that left you actually talking to each other, even if it was in the form of squabbling! Our family skipped vacations for years. Over the past six years or so we have made it a point to travel together somewhere and it has brought us some of our best memories.
I for one wish to hang on for dear life to summer - that period of time from Memorial Day to Labor Day - and all of the old memories and the creation of new ones!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!