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Are there too many school holidays?
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
My 6 year old started Kindergarten this year (public school) and I was pretty surprised at all of the time off.

Here's an interesting post from a WebMD expert about this topic.

http://blogs.webmd.com/all-ears/2011/02/why-are-there-so-many-school-holidays.html

Parents, what do you think? Do your kids have too many holidays or teachers meetings or other days out of school? What about the length of Spring Break and Winter Holiday Break?

Haylen
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An_222245 responded:
It' sup to each parent to get the information they need about the number of holidays their child will have. There is no excuse for not knowing. The information is there.


The number of holidays can't be changed but that's not an excuse for not finding out and dealing with the number of days off.

Responsible parents take charge ...
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to An_222245's response:
What I found interesting in the article was the discussion of the time kids spend in school in relation to other countries. A quote:

Japanese high school children go to school for 240 days per year. Add that up over 12 years, and it comes out to an extra 720 more classroom days; or four more years of instruction compared to U.S. schools.


Personally, I think American kids could benefit from more time in the classroom - not to the point that increases stress, but to make sure our kids have skills to compete in a the world economy.

Haylen
 
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ryanandleigh replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Well if you take out weekends, there is 261 days that kids could attend school. That means the Japanese are taking 21 days a year (besides weekends) off. I believe our schools have to run a minimum of 180 days a year. So that leaves them with 81 days without going to class. A good portion of that is the summer break. My cousins attended a year round school but they really didn't go to school more school - there breaks were just a different times. Right now DS goes to a private preschool but they follow the regular school districts holidays (but not the in-service days). He gets a week off at Thanksgiving, 2 weeks at Christmas, one week for spring break and most major holidays. I don't think it is too much but think they probably could make that summer break shorter.
 
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An_222246 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Personally, I think would take better teaching over extra hours. More time spent in the classroom does not necessarily equate to more skills acquired...
 
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An_222247 replied to An_222246's response:
Dont forget many of those holidays are built in snow/ice/heat index days. Notice that every time weather is bad and school is canceled, one of those holidays are canceled. Otherwize the children would be going to school into the summer, when most families try to plan holidays together, and also may make them be in a classroom in a building that isn't equipped to handle summer heat.

My children attend a school that was built in the 40s, and is not air conditioned. By late June/early July the building is barely habitable when few others are there, and unbearable when all the student body is there. Why not add airconditioning? ok, with what $? the money that was going to go towards new text books and learning equipment?

I do not think there is an excess number of holidays. Wether the child is taught as to why the day is granted, thats up to the teachers and parents. I guarentee my children know why the holidays are being celebrated.

Both my husband and I work full time too. We take turns having the holiday off with the kids, with occational grandma days. Experts say having a day every couple months keeps kids (and adults) interested, and allows for mental health days.

Some schools here in the USA have experimented with the "block" system where kids go to school basicly year round and many parents complain cause it disruped their vacation plans, and test scores were no better than the children who had a "traditional" school year.

We put a diffrent emphasis on school than Japanese too. Yes the respect aspect would be wonderful, but it's also the parent's responsability to teach their kids that too, not the schools. Japanese also doesnt emphasis the team sports as much as we do.

I guess what I would say is if you think your child should be learning more, then TEACH THEM YOURSELF. Don't expect the under funded, under staffed school systems to do your jobs. When they are off school for President's Day- read a book about the presidents, do something with your kid so they learn. Dont complain that they are off school and plop them in front of the TV.
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to An_222247's response:
WELL SAID! I can't believe how involved I need to be to make sure my daughter is on track with lessons (she's only in Kinder)

Several moms in my playgroup think sending kids off to school is going to be a break - wrong! It's lots of work. But the payoff is worth it :)

Haylen


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