Are the school summer holidays just too long?

Up until last weekend I would have said ‘yes’.

The dreary weather was really highlighting how long the holidays are. Then, a few days of good weather and it didn’t seem to matter how long they were any more. We are back to heavy rain today so I reread the article that had caught my eye a week ago in the Guardian about the length of the summer holidays. A very interesting discussion puts forward the two sides of the situation: disadvantaged children fall behind in the long holiday while other children use the freedom to discover more about themselves by participating in stimulating and structured activities that their parents can afford to send them to.

This is obviously not an easy problem to address. Many other issues come in to play here, paramount being the safety of our children who can’t always just go out in the morning with their friends to mess about playing football or whatever and come back at teatime like my dad used to do.

Another interesting activity camp I heard about was for computer gaming addicts in China. With no television or computers available they spend their time playing outside and rediscovering life before technology. Naively, I thought this was a fairly recent phenomena but searching the internet it would appear China and a few other countries have acknowledged this problem for quite a few years.

So, what is best for our children? That is a tough one to answer as public opinion seems to change with the seasons. I reckon, so long as they are happy and healthy everything else seems to sort itself out eventually.


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