Summer….

So, I wasn’t planning on posting again so soon, but I had something to say and I have never been very good at keeping my mouth shut. I wanted to post a link to this article in last week’s Boston Globe, Parade Magazine, by  Mitch Albom. I thought it was fantastic. (http://www.parade.com/news/views/mitch-albom/110807-the-joys-of-summer.html).

I can’t say it better than him, but let me try to sum it up for you. Basically he is saying, when did we lose summer? When did we decide  to let our anxiety, our competitiveness, our need to keep up with the Joneses in every way, take over our lives? And why are the schools making all the rules for us? Summer is supposed to be a vacation. VA-CA-TION!   Is your child not going to make it in this world because instead of doing their summer reading, summer math, book reports, they stayed up playing flashlight tag and night swimming? Are they going to fail because they didn’t go to the right camp or get some sort of academic enrichment? I think they’ll be okay.

I love to read. I read as a kid all the time. I practically grew up  in the  library. It was air-conditioned,  free, and quiet.  All good things in the hot summer when you come from a large family.  If I could, I would do nothing else but read all day. I just resent the fact that our children are slowly being required to do more and more academic work over their summer break.  And it isn’t just summer, it’s over winter break, Thanksgiving break, February break, and long weekends as well.  How would you feel if you planned a vacation, say in the Bahamas. You are looking forward to sitting on the beach, swimming in the waves, hanging out and reconnecting with your family, and then, on your way out the door your boss hands you a stack of papers saying, “Hey, have a great vacation! Oh, and by the way, have all these reports done by the time you come back.”  I see this over and over again with my kids. They are pulling out backpacks on the plane, worrying while we are at Disney about studying for tests, or trying to finish the research paper they were assigned. Crazy. That’s  it. I am done ranting, for now….

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4 responses »

  1. Well put, for a rant, and I totally agree. Let kids be kids.
    The way I see it, it all comes down to who it is that truly values a good report card. If you stress about their grades in grammar school, you stress. If they do, they do. If neither of you or your kids stress about grades then there’s no stress.
    Who really cares if they get a B or C in English in the fifth grade?
    They’ll still get into and graduate from college, and their grades aren’t exceedingly important there either. At that point, they aren’t kids anymore anyway.

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