Summer break has significance

Re: B.C. education system needs to be rebuilt, Letters, July 10.

To the Editor,

Re: B.C. education system needs to be rebuilt, Letters, July 10.

In Ron Dale’s letter he states that we should reconstruct our schools to meet the needs of special needs children and develop a new curricula that gives the trades as much importance as a university track.

This may sound good, but  his only actual suggestion to achieving this was to copy what a few other countries are doing by cancelling summer break and spreading it out in two-week mini-breaks throughout the year. I hate that idea.

Do you know any kids who would love to go to school in July or August? Kids need that summer break to recalibrate themselves, emotionally disconnect from an unnatural environment, have fun, and spend more time with family.

So many outdoor activities and educational opportunities are already set up for kids in the summer and teens have time for other interests they can pursue without homework.

I’m familiar with this new idea of banning summer break and the protagonists state that summer break was needed when parents needed the children’s help on the farm, when we were more of an agrarian society, and some kids may forget their lessons with such a break of academic instruction.

Employment in our latitude is still dependent on the seasons, like with tourism, horticulture, construction and recreation, and summer is the best time for a teen to get work experience and save money.

Who is going to train a teen if they can only commit two weeks in summer? Working and going to school at the same time can be taxing on school performance, especially for special needs students.

Summer break is part of our culture and it is a misguided idea that banning summer break is going to make any difference in school performance.

Kids are not computers and too much school without a significant break supresses independent thinking, individuality, freedom and happiness. Kids and teens need to have time to be themselves within the grace of their own families and the summer break is critical for that development.

There is much more to life than school and people should stop being so anal about test scores and stop giving their teachers a hard time because of this obsession of comparison, competition, and perfection.

Holden Southward

Nanaimo