There’s a difference between what’s best for students in general and what’s best for kids. That difference may be year-round education.
Year-round education has gained popularity as another option to improve America’s struggling education system. Many believe that students completely shut down mentally over the summer, forgetting everything they learned that year. That makes the first month back from summer a review month, instead of a progression month.
But, to many, summer is a long-held tradition of going to fairs and pools, sleeping in and catching up with friends. It’s a needed, extended break from the everyday grind of school and homework. It’s a tradition many kids and parents aren’t willing to give up.
Right now, most schools operate on roughly a 10-month (180 days) calendar with a two-month summer vacation. In year-round schooling, students attend for 45 straight days then have 15 days off. Some schools run 60 straight days with 20 days off, and others operate on 90-30 splits.
Some schools use a single-track system where all students attend the same 45 days and then have the same 15 days off. However, others use multi-track systems with multiple groups of students, altering vacations so there are always some students in school and some on vacation. This keeps their facilities open all year.
This can help schools educate more students each year as they constantly cycle students in and out. If they plan correctly, they can even offer smaller class sizes. Research consistently indicates that smaller class sizes improve learning and test scores for example, the ISEE.
Educators and politicians see year-round schooling as an opportunity to add a few more days…or even a few more weeks to the typical school calendar, dropping them in to shorten the already-smaller breaks. To them, there’s no such thing as too much education.
However, research does not quite indicate that. Researcher Elena Silva, a policy analyst at Education Sector, suggests that more time in school is not the solution, but rather more quality time. Her publication, “Economics of Education Review,” states that more schooling does not equate to higher achievement. However, more engaged students yield higher achievements.
Year-round education simply makes school more tedious. It’s something students have to do every single day, all year long. That doesn’t seem engaging. Then, if the solution is more engagement, is the answer less schooling? Probably not.
However, nearly all other foreign countries have year-round schooling. And everyone knows many foreign countries simply have better education systems. So, if we want our students to compete in a global economy, it might be best to prepare them similarly.
Many Southern and even Midwestern schools reject year-round schooling simply because of resources. The costs of installing and running air conditioning units is just too high for schools to actually offer summer classes.
Also, summer gives high school students a great opportunity to work and save up for college. Tuition and student loan debts have soared recently; any dent students can make before college would be incredibly valuable.This guest post article was written and provided by Janice Mitchell who is a stay-at-home mother and has homeschooled her children with the help of VarsityTutors.com for over 10 years.