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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the home-schooling-never-stops dept.

Education 421

Around the world, American schools' long summer break is viewed as an anomaly, and the long summer seems to be getting shorter. While most American primary and secondary schools used to start after Labor Day, more and more of them now open sometime in August (and that's not counting the ones that have gone to a year-round schedule). Some of my younger relatives started a new school year last week (in Indiana), while Baltimore schools start later this month. Both Seattle and Portland's kids have until after Labor Day (with start dates of the 3rd and 4th of September, respectively). The 4th is also the start date for students in New York City's public schools, the country's largest district. Colleges more often start in September, but some get a jump start in August, especially with required seminars or orientation programs for new students. Whether you're in school, out of school, or back in school by proxy (packing lunches or paying tuition), what time does (or did) your school-year start? Would you prefer that your local public schools run all year round, if they're of the long-summer variety? (And conversely, if your local schools give short shrift to summer, whether that's in the U.S. or anywhere else, do you think that's a good idea?)

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scooing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639319)

I'm not familiar with this technology...

Re: scooing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639337)

Its part of the short shrifting paradigm

Whether it be scooing or schooling, it is dead (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639423)

Schooling as we know it has become industrialized

Young children becomes the raw input

Teachers / administrators become the robotic hands to turn screws

Textbooks and all other teaching aids become the paint / lubrication

And out goes the finished product - something that has all its innate creativities and curiosity wiped

The industrialized schooling method might have worked in the 18th, 19th or even the 20th century but in the 21st century and beyond, what the world needs are human beings capable to tap into their FULL POTENTIALS, not some drones regurgitating whatever they have been programmed with

Re:Whether it be scooing or schooling, it is dead (1, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47639571)

Input accepted. We are drones regurgitating whatever we have been programmed with. Awaiting next command.

Re: scooing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639341)

Maybe you are more familiar with Schooing?

scooing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639441)

Please, somebody send Timothy back to scoo.

send ya back to schoo-lee. (0)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 4 months ago | (#47639327)

Led Zep sez yes.

Re:send ya back to schoo-lee. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47639407)

You've been coolin', baby I'm not foolin'.

No, school should not be year-round. (5, Informative)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 4 months ago | (#47639339)

Kids should have at least a couple of months out of the year when they can just not worry about their studies and have fun and BE KIDS.

I mean, jeez! You only get to be a kid once. Let them enjoy those summer vacations. When I think back to my childhood, my fondest memories are during those summer vacations! Why the heck should we take that away from our future generations?

Leave summer vacation in place. And stop freaking shortening it.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639365)

School is not and never has been about education; it's about indoctrinating people into accepting authority (authority that matters, not petty school teachers) and rote memorization.

We should not be "schooling" anyone at all; we should be educating. Schooling is different from educating.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1, Troll)

DivineKnight (3763507) | about 4 months ago | (#47639405)

Hush. The god of education demands his sacrifice -> the minds and souls of millions of children, being taught to warm a chair and loosely follow some obscure lesson by someone engaged in private theatre. If you don't teach them, they might learn something other than what has been planned...and if that happens, anything could happen!

 

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639521)

I grew up in a rural area. We had three months off during the summer, and didn't return to school until after Labor Day. During each summer hiatus, I learned the fundementals of practical physics and chemistry by playing and digging and chopping and burning and exploding stuff. We climbed, swam, ran. We spent whole days in the fields and woods. They were the best days of my life. I don't know that I will ever see such freedom again. It makes me treasure what precious few freedoms we have left.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (5, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | about 4 months ago | (#47639373)

Kids should have at least a couple of months out of the year when they can just not worry about their studies and have fun and BE KIDS.

Sure. Give them 2-3 weeks a season. 3 months off in the summer currently means that they spend the first month back getting back into the swing of schooling and relearning some of what they've forgotten.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639501)

If we're going to do that, then we're going to have to give teachers a massive raise to compensate for the lost income and freedom that came from having summers off. As it is, teachers are paid far less than other professionals with a similar level of education and similar amount of work.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (5, Interesting)

the phantom (107624) | about 4 months ago | (#47639545)

First off, there would be no need to change the compensation. Teacher are currently contracted and paid to teach for nine months out of the year. Since year round schools also only hold classes for nine months out of the year, the amount of time spent teaching is the same and the contracts require no major changes.

Second, I and many of the teachers that I have worked with *really* like the year round schedule. I can't speak for every teacher, and there are certainly a lot of teacher that prefer the traditional schedule, but I find the year round schedule to give me more useful freetime. On the one hand, I can more efficiently plan for shorter periods of time (I can make plans and have a chance of getting to them before I have completely forgotten what I was thinking---late September to mid December is a much easier period of time to plan for than mid August to mid December). On the other hand the year round schedule means that I am off when other people are still in school (and since year round schedules can vary quite a lot, even if everyone were year round, I would still be off at a different time from many people), which means that I can get into tourist attractions (Yosemite or Disneyland or whatever you prefer) without having to fight massive crowds. My experience with working in year round schools has been much better than my experience in traditional schools.

None of this, of course, takes away from the argument that teachers ought to be paid more (which I think they should). I just don't think that a year round schedule makes much difference in that debate.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#47639771)

If they forget it over the summer, they never actually learned it.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (2, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#47639401)

american education either sucks or is very good (depending on where you live). I used to live in cupertino and the rent was crazy and its now TOTALLY crazy (my previous LL wanted to raise the rent $400 more each month because, well, she thinks she can; and the stupid parents who think their snowflakes NEED the local school system are willing to pay thru the nose). people move away from areas just to get away from bad (or normal) school systems.

if you come from another country and raise kids you, it seems you care a lot about school and will do anything to get your snowflakes into 'the best schools'; but americans seem to care very little, push their kids into sports more than academics and the rest of the world is overcoming us in how educated the kids will be.

given all that, just to stay competitive, I'd say yes, have school all year round. a 2 week break here and there would help allow for vacations and a few 2 week breaks instead of a long summer break makes much more sense to me, anyway.

most parents hate having their crotchfruits hanging around the house all summer, anyway. when I was growing up, we went off to camp during the summer (even if only day-camp). so that's another reason to have school all year round; it will save money for parents who don't want to have to pay for summer camps and things like that.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639443)

american education either sucks or is very good (depending on where you live).

A grand majority of it sucks. And, from what I've seen, people who think their schools are good usually just don't know what a good education even looks like to begin with, though that's not always the case.

given all that, just to stay competitive

Competitive? At what? Education isn't about getting jobs or any other such nonsense; it's about furthering people's understanding of the universe. Schools shouldn't be job training, unless they're trade schools.

I dropped out of public school, and I dropped out for a damn good reason; it was awful. More of it would have only made me despise it even more. Fortunately, I got into a good state university and saw what education was supposed to be like.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (3, Insightful)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | about 4 months ago | (#47639655)

given all that, just to stay competitive

Competitive? At what? Education isn't about getting jobs or any other such nonsense; it's about furthering people's understanding of the universe. Schools shouldn't be job training, unless they're trade schools.

One of my co-workers is an immigrant from India. She got a real education resulting in 2 BA and 1 MA degree, all of it for free. Job training was her first few months at some company in India - during which she was paid.. Because of her education, she is actually a much better worker than most of her US "educated" colleagues.

So yes, US born and raised people have a lot to be worried about vs their forgien counterparts.

I dropped out of public school, and I dropped out for a damn good reason; it was awful. More of it would have only made me despise it even more. Fortunately, I got into a good state university and saw what education was supposed to be like.

I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to private school, then scholarships to a top university, so I could receive a real education. Now, many fewer US kids get the opportunities that I did.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639591)

I have to say that judging by your writing, your school sucked. I don't complain too much about such things, but the lack of punctuation, capitalization, and the grammatical errors make your post nearly unreadable. I couldn't finish it.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 4 months ago | (#47639783)

I'm not going to defend the OP's writing skills, but if his writing is nearly unreadable to you, you might want to consider the quality of the education you received as well.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639417)

Right on. A lot of kids that are 15+ get summer jobs which is also educational, and before that let them enjoy being kids at least during the summer.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1, Informative)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 4 months ago | (#47639419)

Umm, Summer Vacation was never for kids to go out and screw around, summer vacation was intended for children to go home and provide labor for their families since the kids screw off the rest of the year in school.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639503)

That and *many* schools have 0 AC. Yep none. Apparently 120 inside a building is not a good place to learn (who knew). I went to one of these schools. If it got slightly warm outside (90) it was an oven.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about 4 months ago | (#47639539)

No Anonymous Cowards? Any??

I sometimes dream of a 0 AC Slashdot...

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639553)

Wasn't all that long ago Maine had a three week period where school was out so kids would go home and help with the potato harvest.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704483004575524550523305796

Also lets be honest, going to school in 100+ weather crammed in a room with 25 mouth breathers will hurt education far more then help. Creating an active dislike/hate for the institution. AC is expensive as well and thats even if you have it.

However up north we still have school on sub 0 degree days venturing out into black ice, and being let out during blizzards. Imagine the fuel savings if we changed the school schedule. Two half summer vacations where the coldest/hottest portions of the year are taken off of school.

Its a dream tho, Teacher unions, and to a far lesser extent, parents would never allow it. Because tradition

    Tradition... treating cheaters and labeling adulteress ( literally, ex the scarlet letter) used to be traditions, some cultures still uphold female genital mutilation and stoning girls that got raped as traditional and moral

pss don't compare male circumcision, to female, one is bad, ones crippling.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47639449)

Kids should have at least a couple of months out of the year when they can just not worry about their studies and have fun and BE KIDS.

Sure, but it doesn't have to be one big block of time. Give them more three (or four) day weekends, a longer Christmas break, a whole week off for Thanksgiving, make Halloween a holiday, etc. This will give kids more time to go sled riding and build snowmen, rather than just do summer stuff. It will also give them a break and let them catch up on their sleep during the school year, when they need it most.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1)

the phantom (107624) | about 4 months ago | (#47639551)

We already give our students Halloween off, we just call it Nevada Day, you insensitive clod!

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639495)

You know, thinking about it, I have no fond memories of summer vacation. I didn't enjoy it. I can't think of anything I did during summer vacation that I'd want to repeat.

So you know what, screw summer vacation. End it.

Not that I feel any better about going to school. The schools I went to were horrible places, that after years later, I finally realized were actually toxic due to poor building maintenance. I had allergy problems and sinus issues all the time, and only after getting out of school for years was I able to realize the problems.

I should have dropped out.

So fuck life. It's terrible.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639567)

My summer vacations were essentially spent watching TV... so honestly, I would've been better off in school.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (4, Insightful)

shess (31691) | about 4 months ago | (#47639587)

Kids should have at least a couple of months out of the year when they can just not worry about their studies and have fun and BE KIDS.

The root problem is that school is a stultifying experience in the first place, arguing about whether you're going to somehow improve kids lives by varying the length of vacations isn't really going to change that at all.

One of the reasons we moved our kids to a year-round Montessori school was because of the incredible amount of emphasis public schools have on attendance, at all costs, even at the elementary level. You want to take your kids to Washington, DC to visit the Smithsonian? Fuck that, it's more important for their butts to be in seats at school than to actually engage their minds on something new and challenging. Since we now pay out-of-pocket directly, the main rule on attendance is basically not to be disruptive. Got a chance to take them to the state capitol for a visit on Friday? That's great, go for it!

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (3, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | about 4 months ago | (#47639713)

That's a side affect of schools only getting state and federal aid money for time kids spend in school. It is also why schools like to delay snow days as much as possible. And why they love half days. Both of which are miserable for parents who you know work for a living.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639607)

With 5 children, my mother in law (a retired Catholic School Teacher) told us to Home School for public and some Christian Schools were not good anymore. Education changed drastically. So we home schooled YEAR ROUND. Oldest made one B+ and all A's in College and graduated at the top of her class. 2nd oldest also made one B+ and then all A's thru the rest of undergrad and grad school. She finished at the top of her two classes.
3rd child is an A- and B+ student in Accounting. She is entering her senior year. Oldest son starts as freshman to major in Engineering & Computer Science (Robots on horizon for him) and he has full tuition paid for his test scores on the ACT booted him up to that. Last child is 16 and wants music and probably Mechanical Engineering. Last three have been taking Mandarin Chinese for almost 8 years not and will continue. They all took/take piano and participate in Chemistry/Biology/Math/Language labs from 4th grade onward. They don't have tattoos/rings or do drugs or Alcohol. They all got their drivers licenses at age 19 (not a day before) and that was after driving on permits for 2 years and driving school. My wife and I decided that the government did NOT know a darn thing about education, and therefore we took it under our own roof as our responsibility. I cannot think of a single thing positive to say about public education in todays world. In the 1950’s/1960’s when we went thru public education, it was different.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47639635)

Our damn jobs shouldn't be year-round either. We all need more time off, and we should be demanding it, not begging for it.

But since "school" is really day care, most parents will probably like it. In fact they would probably like to see three shifts, to match their work hours.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1)

naasking (94116) | about 4 months ago | (#47639667)

Kids should have at least a couple of months out of the year when they can just not worry about their studies and have fun and BE KIDS.

School should be year-round and only 4 days a week. Maybe a 2-3 week break like their parents too.

Long breaks are very detrimental to learning.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 4 months ago | (#47639805)

Short breaks can be worse. Imagine having people at work taking a vacation every 5 weeks.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639671)

You're an idiot. "Year round" schools give kids MORE time off. A regular US school schedule is 3 months off in the summer and 2 weeks off in the winter. A year round schedule is 2 months off in the summer and 2 months off in the winter.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (3, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#47639707)

I mean, jeez! You only get to be a kid once. Let them enjoy those summer vacations. When I think back to my childhood, my fondest memories are during those summer vacations! Why the heck should we take that away from our future generations?

They don't have to eliminate vacations to have year-round schooling.

What they should do is FIRST give students a 10-hour schoolday, just like office workers have; so instead of getting out at 2pm, students start at 7am and school lets out at 5pm, with a 1hour break/lunch.

Next they should give students a 2 week vacation every 4 months.

And reduce the number of schooldays from 5 to 4, so students have Wednesday off for self-study and go to school Mon, Tue, Thu, and Friday.

(Poor) kids get dumber during holidays (4, Interesting)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 4 months ago | (#47639745)

Research concluded that poor kids, where parents usually don't spend as much 'meaningful' time with the children, because they're busy working three jobs to get food on the table, actually lose knowledge (math, reading comprehension) during summer. Blue collar/middle class children usually were leveled whereas middle class/rich kids actually got a bit smarter during summer. (http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Summer_Learning_Loss/).
So for some children there may certainly be a benefit to less vacation.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (2)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | about 4 months ago | (#47639749)

Regardless of its origin, the long summer break can work very well for kids - if our society would let today's (and tomorrow's) kids be like many of us were back when we were kids. I would say that the move for year long school is more because todays parents can neither take more than a very few weeks per year of vacation nor give kids as little supervision as their parents (or grandparents) did.

That aside, our daughter's long summer breaks were (still are) good for her and her mother (my grilfriend). They spend the summer at the family farm. (I can only take 2 weeks vacation (and 10 mostly individual holidays) per year, so I only spend weekends, plus 1 week, there. (my girlfriend is a teacher)) Our daughter loves it - especially since some of her friends are allowed by their parents to go there, too.

Re:No, school should not be year-round. (4, Informative)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 4 months ago | (#47639855)

I agree. Don't take away summer vacation. Smart kids can use it to educate themselves independently. And all of us citizens of Earth need to educate ourselves over our entire lives. This whole "Done at secondary education" stuff doesn't fly anymore now that we can study on the Internet.

Schools need to improve first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639353)

Year round in a high security school where firearms are confiscated and teachers try to stay alive rather than teach: NO
Year round don't you dare take your child out of school or we'll throw you in prison: NO
Year round schooling where creativity and rational logical thought is taught: YES

There is always summer school for those who want it.

The reason this is being done has nothing to do with improved education and everything to do with indoctrinating a workforce to work year round without holidays.

Re:Schools need to improve first (2)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | about 4 months ago | (#47639651)

Year round in a high security school where firearms are confiscated and teachers try to stay alive rather than teach: NO Year round don't you dare take your child out of school or we'll throw you in prison: NO Year round schooling where creativity and rational logical thought is taught: YES

And that pretty much sums up why we homeschooled our two, who ended up with full scholarships to the state U for their efforts. Did we make them sit at a desk 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year? Of course not. We took vacations whenever the heck we wanted, we let them stop whenever they had demonstrated understanding of the day's lesson (average time: 2 hours a day doing schoolwork), and we shut down just about the entire month of December to accomodate visiting relatives, Christmas parties and other activities, and playing in the snow.

Of course, the subtitle of the TFS ("from the home-schooling-never-stops dept.") is exactly right. For (good) homeschoolers, EVERYTHING is a learning opportunity. For the little 'uns, sounding out words in the grocery store or learning to identify different animals. For the older students, anything from existentialism to comparitive religion to politics on any level to physics to algebra to constitutional law to history to classic literature to an assortment of foreign languages, theater, music history... you never know what may come up in the course of a day while we go about our lives.

Go back to schoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639363)

timothy needs to go back to schoo for more schooing

Betteridge called (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639377)

He wants his 50 cent consulting fee for being right again.

"timothy" need definitely needs more "schooing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639381)

I wouldn't say that everyone does.

Nalej is gud ,kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639383)

The older I get the more I think kids should stay in school longer. Maybe also be taught by their parents to not whine so much.

does not work here (2)

Kariles70 (3750637) | about 4 months ago | (#47639387)

This year round stupidity came from parents who don't want their kids around the house. So they shove the child rearing off onto the schools who cannot punish them properly, can't do many things, and are not designed to raise their kids. Also, if you make them go year round, even though the drop out rate is already high, the drop out rate will go through the roof. They look at schools as holding pens for young thugs to keep them off the streets.

Absolutely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639391)

Maybe you'll learn how to spell "Schooling".

Entepreneurial education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639393)

I would prefer entrepreneurs, rather than addicted wage-slaves, as I prefer wealth creation and preservatoin to its mindless destruction through ignorance and short-sighted whims.

So, more schooling is not really a good answer. More varied, holistic and individualistic schooling is.
Ie. every child should get a chance to some basic life-education. What's the use if they do algebra well if they fail to understand potential impacts from compounding effects and exponential growth? How can someone be trusted with our environment, if they fail to understand how we all depend on clean water, recycling and sustainable living?

Sounds like an editor needs more Schooing (5, Funny)

penguinoid (724646) | about 4 months ago | (#47639399)

Who cares to even read the titles anymore?

Wait, when did the screwing ever stop? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47639411)

Inquiring minds want to know.

If the title is any indication (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 4 months ago | (#47639415)

Yes

No summer vacation = No time for major maintenance (2)

xfade551 (2627499) | about 4 months ago | (#47639421)

One thing that gets missed in this whole year-round school debate is: when is the school going to have time for major maintenance, repairs, and renovations? Many schools are already packed through to the brim (in terms of classroom capacity) so it's not like they can close down an area of the campus/building to get work down while class is in session; construction noise and construction zone safety are major factors too. Ever been on the floor above when a construction worker is using an impact driver into a wafer ceiling?? If you have, you have probably noticed it's louder and more annoying noise for you that for the construction worker. On the safety side, do you really think it's a wise idea to do a crane lift of a large HVAC unit while there are unwatchful, unrulely, or apathetic students down below?

Re:No summer vacation = No time for major maintena (1)

the phantom (107624) | about 4 months ago | (#47639473)

From my experience teaching at a year round school, there seems to be plenty of time for major maintenance and remodeling during the various breaks. Remember that year round schools generally meet for the same number of days each year, split between three sessions (a fall, spring, and summer session) with 4-6 weeks off between each session.

Re: No summer vacation = No time for major mainten (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639519)

Not only that. There is time for maintenance needed in the young's mind. However given the self-entitled spoiled Bart nature of American children, full year imprisonment makes sense. But calling the American summer school vacation long is ridiculous. Where I am from, school starts every year on Sept 15. You get 1 week for Christmas&New Year and one week for Easter, you know, moments that are official holidays anyways and parents will be home. Those vacations are for visiting family out of town. The school goes to May 24 for years 1-4, June 15 for 5-8 and June 30 for 9-11. Then again may 24 for 12, since the university placement exams are right after and each university conducts their own, so they add a few weeks to try to decrease double booking of dates, but still there are days where two unis will have a placement exam the same starting hour.

Anyway summer vacation should be longer to allow the brain to detach and reorganize the information within itself.

Re:No summer vacation = No time for major maintena (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#47639753)

One thing that gets missed in this whole year-round school debate is: when is the school going to have time for major maintenance, repairs, and renovations? Many schools are already packed through to the brim (in terms of classroom capacity) so it's not like they can close down an area of the campus/building to get work down while class is in session

Office buildings don't seem to have this problem.

I think the answer is simple: DONT OVERPACK STUDENTS; overbuild capacity is a must. Or construct additional buildings.

Crane lifting a HVAC unit is a once in 30 or 40 years type event.

Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (3, Insightful)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 4 months ago | (#47639429)

When I have children, I will do everything in my power to keep them out of school as much as possible. They will learn far more by just idly dicking around at a library. Our pedagogy is a terrible joke, and even good teachers' efforts are wasted due to the poisonous atmosphere created by forcing a heterogenous population of few thousand stressed and bored children to spend several hours a day together.

Re:Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639461)

Find an alternative learning school. I did for my kid, and the results have been great.

School is human traficking, abduction, neglect. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639575)

Teachers will always cover their asses as accusing your child with "failure to learn" instead of the teacher as "failure to teach."

Public school is even more of an abuse of process: nobody legally and lawfully paid for it, forced to attend, and yet are not liable if they fail to teach!

This video is what I think of schooling away from home, URL... Motherless DOT Com/g/lezdom/1BD4F42

Re:Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639613)

That's great news for my kids because when it's time for job interviews come, mine will be a lot better off than yours.

Re: Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 4 months ago | (#47639669)

Yes, they certainly will. The one thing that public school does tech effectively is how to be a cog. I choose to value people, especially my family, by metrics other their ability to make money for rich people.

Re: Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 4 months ago | (#47639677)

The one thing they TEACH effectively. Autocorrect makes me look like a public school graduate. :(

Re: Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639785)

Judging by your wonderful skills at mangling the English language I can certainly tell you are a dropout for sure. Most likely you dropped out to illegally wed your sibling and your children will do the same. They will also learn how to be a proper racist, smoke cigarettes. which regressive political party to be brainwashed by, etc. Go ahead, go to your favorite GOP brainwashing session on that there talk radio then go to the closest GOP brainwashing institute you fine sheep of the GOP call "Community Colleges"

--
"Eventu rerum stolidi didicere magistro."
(The stupid have no teacher except their own experience.)

Re:Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639741)

What I would tell my kids (though I do not have any yet):
“Don't let schooling interfere with your education” - Mark Twain

Looking back at primary and secondary school, I'm astonished at how effective it was at making me hate subjects I'm naturally inclined to love. It made me loathe literature and learning foreign languages. It even made me temporarily dislike mathematics and physics. I did well in terms of grades, but I hated school. Only in university did I experience that schooling does not have to equal forced labour, teachers can actually be knowledgeable, and they do not -in fact- all strive for maximum suffering of their students.

Do not underestimate the power of primary and secondary schools, staffed with dimwitted, spiteful and often sadistic teachers, to utterly destroy the inherent curiosity of kids. I have known few school teachers who could endure *any* sort of intelligence in their students. Power really does corrupt some people, and not few of those susceptible to its effects are drawn to teaching jobs, unfortunately.

Gatto on Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (4, Insightful)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 4 months ago | (#47639775)

We homeschool/unschool -- however, at great expense in terms of professional opportunity cost. As others have pointed out to echo your point, there is a big difference between "schooling" and "education". This is true even in the very "best" school districts which can be terribly oppressive places for children whose interests are not mostly academic or, in some cases, artsy and who don't plan to go to a top college and so would bring down the schools college acceptance scores. This can include hands-on practically-oriented children or wide-ranging people-oriented children or free-thinking imaginative children and so on who may not do well in settings focusing on abstraction or interactions with only-same age peers and authority figures or working on assigned tasks with arbitrary structure and with arbitrary timetables.

Your point also connects with bullying, A normal resolution to bullying by another kid might be to avoid him or her and choose different kids to associate with. However, school structure does not permit that for kids crammed together in a classroom. Izzy Kalman and "Bullies to Buddies" provides help for for unavoidable bullies though.

See also by John Taylor Gatto:
  "The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher"
    http://www.worldtrans.org/whol... [worldtrans.org]
"After an adult lifetime spent teaching school I believe the method of mass-schooling is the only real content it has, don't be fooled into thinking that good curriculum or good equipment or good teachers are the critical determinants of your son and daughter's schooltime. All the pathologies we've considered come about in large measure because the lessons of school prevent children from keeping important appointments with themselves and with their families, to learn lessons in self- motivation, perseverance, self-reliance, courage, dignity and love and lessons in service to others, which are among the key lessons of home life.
            Thirty years ago these things could still be learned in the time left after school. But television has eaten up most of that time, and a combination of television and the stresses peculiar to two-income or single-parent families have swallowed up most of what used to be family time. Our kids have no time left to grow up fully human, and only thin-soil wastelands to do it in. A future is rushing down upon our culture which will insist that all of us learn the wisdom of non-material experience; a future which will demand as the price of survival that we follow a pace of natural life economical in material cost. [PDF: I question the previous point on material scarcity...] These lessons cannot be learned in schools as they are. School is like starting life with a 12-year jail sentence in which bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned. I teach school and win awards doing it.
    I should know."

More by John Taylor Gatto (1992 New York State Teacher of the year) here: https://www.johntaylorgatto.co... [johntaylorgatto.com]

Especially: http://www.johntaylorgatto.com... [johntaylorgatto.com]
"Before you can reach a point of effectiveness in defending your own children or your principles against the assault of blind social machinery, you have to stop conspiring against yourself by attempting to negotiate with a set of abstract principles and rules which, by its nature, cannot respond. Under all its disguises, that is what institutional schooling is, an abstraction which has escaped its handlers. Nobody can reform it. First you have to realize that human values are the stuff of madness to a system; in systems-logic the schools we have are already the schools the system needs; the only way they could be much improved is to have kids eat, sleep, live, and die there."

Also: http://www.the-open-boat.com/G... [the-open-boat.com]
"Schooling is a form of adoption. You give your kid up in his or her most plastic years to a group of strangers. You accept a promise, sometimes stated and more often implied that the state through its agents knows better how to raise your children and educate them than you, your neighbors, your grandparents, your local traditions do. And that your kid will be better off so adopted.
    But by the time the child returns to the family, or has the option of doing that, very few want to. Their parents are some form of friendly stranger too and why not? In the key hours of growing up, strangers have reared the kid.
    Now let's look at the strangers of which you (interviewer) was one and I was one. Regardless of our good feeling toward children. Regardless of our individual talents or intelligence, we have so little time each day with each of these kids, we can't possibly know enough vital information about that particular kid to tailor a set of exercises for that kid. Oh, you know, some of us will try more than others, but there simply isn't any time to do it to a significant degree."

See also links I've collected here:
http://p2pfoundation.net/backu... [p2pfoundation.net]

Alternatives:
http://www.educationrevolution... [educationrevolution.org]
http://www.pdfernhout.net/towa... [pdfernhout.net]
http://www.pdfernhout.net/basi... [pdfernhout.net]

Good luck. Hopefully there will be more and more alternatives down the road.

Re:Public School Is Wrongful Imprisonment (1)

xeos (174989) | about 4 months ago | (#47639837)

It's called home schooling. And often there isn't that much schooling going on, and yet the kids do way better than in public school. A low bar, I know.

I say Year Round (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639439)

I personally like year round myself.

I would much rather have several two week sessions off than one big long stretch of time.

Yes, the more schooling the better (0)

X10 (186866) | about 4 months ago | (#47639465)

I see language skills of people deteriorate. Young people are awful at spelling and language in general. We should give kids as much education as possible, or we'll find ourselves back in the dark ages.

Re:Yes, the more schooling the better (1)

redeIm (3779401) | about 4 months ago | (#47639483)

No, "schooling" is bad. Education is good. The two things are very, very different. But if you want to give kids an education, you shouldn't send them to our one-size-fits-all rote memorization factories.

As a teacher... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639479)

I say yes. Keep the number of total days of school close to or slightly below 200 (most districts are 180 right now), and space the breaks out throughout the school year. This would maximize retention, which would greatly increase the value we get out of the instruction time we've got now. Summer break is so long that kids know they won't remember much, thus they stop learning about a month before school lets out. The first month back is complete reteaching of stuff they knew well, but forgot. More frequent, shorter breaks whould give you more bang for your buck on vacation days as well. After all, most kids go 100 mph for the first couple weeks of summer break, then they tend to sit around and complain about being bored.

Only real downside is the demise of the summer job.

Routine is valuable - accomadate life. (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 4 months ago | (#47639505)

I believe that the problems in education are not unlike the problems that Americans encounter in living their lives. Its very hard for an individual to manage a successful life these days, even with an education. For parents with children and scarce resources and education its even harder. If year round schooling can be part of a routine for working parents so that they can consistently manage work and supervision of their children while they are at work, then I believe that will have a profoundly positive effect on the overall quality of education in the United States. If we can accommodate the lives of families to be successful in their daily routines, then our education system will find routine success as well. Dropping out has always been our biggest educational problem , so this is a sensible place to START.

Re:Routine is valuable - accomodate life. (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 4 months ago | (#47639515)

sorry about typo

Do to do away with schooling altogether... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639509)

I learned more on my own than I ever did in school. While I'm all for teaching the fundamentals (reading, writing, and arithmetic) to students in good learning environments most subjects are poorly taught and non-core subjects are essentially barely more than 'babysitting time'.

I'm for there being people to lead students in voluntary self-learning and one-on-one time with teachers. The reality is we end up with mediocre to poor learning environments as teachers lecture to groups of students who can't/don't follow along. Part of this is the teachers losing the students and students not really being able to speak up (it's hard). How many times are teachers suppose to repeat themselves to entire class? It wastes other students precious learning time, yet, if teachers don't repeat for individual students they won't grasp the concepts taught. I think it would be better to have better prepared materials to learn from (more focus on the materials rather than the teachers) and then when students don't get something let the students seek answers out from teachers. Ultimately students should be able to easily repeat the materials in order to gain a better grasp of the concepts... but for that to work we need both short and long forms (in some cases) of problems such that if a student has forgotten something learned that is needed to carry out solving of a problem they can 'cheat' quickly to re-gain an understanding of a lost concept a new set of problems requires in order to solve the new harder problems.

Enough (0)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 4 months ago | (#47639511)

Schools are not daycare/nanycare for your rug rats.

Re:Enough (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about 4 months ago | (#47639641)

Schools are not daycare/nanycare for your rug rats.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but for many people in the US they are just that. It's more likely to be that way for low income parents. Especially those low income parents who work more than 40 hours a week.

Classic school hours are 8am to 3pm. If the child takes the bus then add on average about an hour to both. So they leave at 7am and arrive at 8am. After school activities mean the child can't take the bus home, but typically last for about 2 hours. So, a parent doesn't need to pick them up until around 5pm.

This lets a working parent not have to worry about his or her child, and may be why some parents encourage after school activities. Of course far too many parents think their kid will be the next sports superstar and make millions of dollars. Those people are idiots.

Around the world? (1)

mapuche (41699) | about 4 months ago | (#47639513)

We have very long summer breaks. My kids have the French calendar, two whole months for vacarions, and a week break every six weeks.

Re:Around the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639705)

South Korea has roughly two months in winter and one in the summer. Granted, during these periods Korean parents typically enroll their students in various private academies, but that's different than year round schooling.

depends (1)

khallow (566160) | about 4 months ago | (#47639535)

If the school is a hell-hole, then the students would probably be better off working in a sweatshop full time. At least, they'd be getting paid.

If it's a nice place with a solid education near the degree of progress of a good college or vocational school, then year round would work out, I think. I would miss summer vacation though in that situation.

No, abolish public education entirely (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639537)

The idea that it takes 12 years of schooling to produce a student ready for college is completely wrong, and is shown to be so by several lines of evidence :

0) Read 'Summerhill' by O'Neill. Kids who attend class don't do so much better than kids who don't. Kids who were illiterate went to college after a year or so of self-study.
1) Adult ed classes around the world take a couple of weeks in a classroom to get students to the point where they can continue entirely on their own, using books, and continue into college in 2 or 3 years, depending on time, motivation, intelligence.

The mind matures, it can learn more and much faster.

So the proper goal of education is to produce good mature brains : music, art, play, acting, singing, languages and a lot of practical experience at doing things , anything. Cooking, wood working, gardening, ...

We got into this mess by a historical accident amplified by teacher's self-interest. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, kids got a year of school or so before they went to work. Under those conditions, it made sense to teach as much as possible in the first year, then do it again next year, etc. From that + the teacher's desire to be employeed, we got the idea that we had to build knowledge, that first grade reading was required for 2nd grade, etc.

In fact, it is completely normal for kids to be several grades behind in a subject at the beginning of the year, and at least up to grade level with a couple of hours of tutoring every week. Every teacher who gives a damn about kids produces those 'miracles' routinely.

Longitudinal studies show that social effects of the present educational system and pedagogical approach are very likely the source of much of our society's pathologies, e.g. the divorce rate, crime rate, ...

Western educatin systems are just another example of a socialist utopian scheme. They have all failed.

UK System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639547)

UK has it where the kids break off from school around the last Friday to the 21st July or thereabouts, they typically go back closest Monday to the 5th September or thereabouts for the new year's school term.

An idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639583)

The nine-day fortnight.

Instead of running from early September through around June 20th, you'd start in August. You'd still have the 180 days required, but give every other Friday off provided...
1. The previous week was a 5 day school week (meaning the year starts off with school on Friday), and
2. The following week is expected to be a 5 day school week.

These days would be make-up days officially, and I would, if funds permit, have teachers paid on these off-days every other Friday. More time to prep and grade homework.

You get the benefit of having less long breaks, which may cause forgetting. You also get the benefit of 3 day weekends more often, to play or study. Although, if teachers end up showing up to school, why not keep school open and let students get assistance on said days anyways? (They'd have to get their own transportation.)

Yo ignant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639589)

Kids need schoo. They gots to go. I can't be fuggin they mamas if they at home.

Why? (1)

meburke (736645) | about 4 months ago | (#47639597)

I have had to interview numerous High School graduates and Junior College attendees who were so bad at math they couldn't run a cash register. What evidence is there to indicate that "schooling" over the summer is a benefit to them or Society at large?

Although I object to his lack of citations, real proof, and his use of innuendo and other false arguments, I strongly agree that John Taylor Gatto http://johntaylorgatto.com/ [johntaylorgatto.com] is right: The American Education system is irrevocably broken and must be redesigned from scratch. The school system is (WARNING!:GROSS GENERALIZATION AHEAD!) something where you send your kids to prison during the working hours to have their heads messed with by persons only marginally capable of feeding themselves .

OK, I agree that there are SOME dedicated and competent teachers, but I suspect they are working in an environment that systematically sabotages their best efforts. It is also true that some students do well in spite of the average school environment. These anomalous students maybe have access to better schools, better teachers, and better parents.

The idea of making students go to school year-around is case of "jumping-to-solutions" and avoids any real thinking about "How can we improve our educational system?"

Give them a summer worth remembering (1)

Jacob A. Munoz (3611379) | about 4 months ago | (#47639603)

I'm not adverse to having year-round education, but the most important and interesting things I ever did were outside of school. I spent a summer teaching myself to program GW-Basic on my 286 in the basement and another at summer camp. I took computer-focused summer courses at a special high school. I remember those days with good memories, and some good education got adsorbed along with it. If I had to spend those days sitting through the same Math and English courses I hated during the rest of the school year, I'd be a much more miserable person. My high school chemistry course involved less chemistry than my 3rd grade "rocks and minerals" course. The problem with our educational system is the lack of inspiration, we teach "classes" without focus on application or purpose. What do I use calculus for?.. little to nothing. But a "personal finances" course (which did NOT exist) could have saved me from ruining my financial history. Take me to a factory and show me how something is made, don't just waste my summer with a physics course that involves NO physical objects or demonstrations and try to convince me that I need to know it for some reason.. I don't believe you because you've provided no evidence. And my school wasn't crap, it was a highly-rated public school in Northern Va.. it's just that our cirriculum was paranoid about safety and was painfully boring - so nothing was really worth remembering. Then came the college "computer science" course that did not involve touching a computer for 2 years... leading to my abandonment of institutional academics. I have learned everything I know about computers and software from outside of school. All 23 languages I've written in (and two I've created) were done without supervision or direction. So don't take their summer away, give them a summer worth remembering.

Re:Give them a summer worth remembering (1)

Jacob A. Munoz (3611379) | about 4 months ago | (#47639629)

"cirriculum"... obviously my English courses didn't stick.

The problem is administrators, as always (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639609)

Administrators will do anything to hoard money, and this involves decreasing the amount of instructional hours. Yes, the kids don't learn as much, yes, the teachers are even more hard-pressed to cram all the material in, and yes, the administrators have even nicer cell phones and cars and apartments as a result.

One of our local districts has year-round school, and still has less educational hours than any of the neighboring districts. And because they don't offer any vocational classes, students must waste an entire class period every day doing nothing in the library or cafeteria. They are literally sitting out an entire class worth of educational hours. That's potential education down the drain. No art, no music, no woodshop, no theater, nothing for them to do.

Everything that's wrong is the fault of administrators. It always has been, and it continues to be. We don't need to re-invent school, or school schedules. We just need to fix administration.

Yes, they should: research supports this (1)

fiziko (97143) | about 4 months ago | (#47639615)

Research clearly shows that skills regress if students don't apply those skills for over three weeks (on average; different students naturally have different retention rates.) Year round schools don't generally have significantly more school days than those with long summer breaks, they just have shorter and more frequent breaks. Kids *still* get times to be kids, but the classroom spends less time in review so more forward progress can be made. Year round schooling is better for the students, but it's not the most important reform needed in North America at the moment.

Re:Yes, they should: research supports this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639633)

The 'research' is usually just based on poorly-designed tests, and not based around testing people's intuitive understanding of the material.

Dofferent strokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639617)

Asking people their opinions of this s about as valuable or interesting as asking them for their favorite color

Public Education Must Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639619)

"School is no longer constrained to how far the school bus can travel in the morning. Schools will be the last to notice." - John Pederson

Year round education can work as well as summers off. Depends how it is done, but it is easier for working parents/cheaper. They question does miss the point though. Public schools are failing at their task miserably and everyone is protecting their interests in keeping the status quo. I think we're reaching the point where it is going to start to crumble under its super-expensive weight (yes, I know, ignorance is expensive too), and better alternatives will give way.

Should let parents pick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47639643)

The parents who don't want year around schools can send kids to "summer off" schools, and the parents who do want their kids in all-year-around schools should be able to send them to such schools / summer programs. At the end, make all of them compete together with the same tests/exams and see who does better. Free market and natural selection ftw!

Hattie's Meta Analysis says........ (4, Insightful)

Proudrooster (580120) | about 4 months ago | (#47639659)

Summer vacation has an effect size of d=.02 on learning, which is not good. .4 = 1 year of growth

http://ibiologystephen.wordpre... [wordpress.com]

But here is the deal, the longer we stop doing something, the less proficient we are at doing it. Think balancing a chemical equation in chemistry or solving the a Lorentz time dilation problem in physics, or remembering the plot of Snow White (assuming you haven't seen in 10 years).

Sure kids forget, we all do, but it is easy to dive back in and strengthen those memories with review, just like exercising a muscle.

To me the point of education should be this, teach kids to love learning, be curious, and learn how to learn. As a teacher, if you have done this, you have done your job. The goal of teaching is not to turn kids into homework machines that suck the life out of them so they can perform on the standardized test, all the while making them hate school and learning. Anything you learn today is obsolete in less than 4 years anyway and many things forced on kids in schools via state standard wish-lists are useless.

Childhood is a precious time where we learn lots and lots of stuff without sitting quietly in a desk. We build, we play, we explore the world, we ride bikes, dance, sing, play with dad's tools, and make all sorts of discoveries which aren't covered on standardized tests.

So it comes down to this, do we want study machines or children? Ask the children in South Korea.

Scroll down, school is like prison.
http://www.ashesthandust.com/t... [ashesthandust.com]

Re:Hattie's Meta Analysis says........ (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#47639791)

Think balancing a chemical equation in chemistry or solving the a Lorentz time dilation problem in physics, or remembering the plot of Snow White

Elementary/High school students don't really need to retain the skills such as balancing a chemical equation. They've studied the material, they've proven they have learned it.

Students may appear to have forgotten it --- but that's just because it's not important, since they don't use it in their daily lives. They don't really need to know this, and remembering it would be a waste of the kids' mental resources.

This means the mental connections are in place, and even they lose the ability to balance chemical equations, they are equipped to easily have the capability if they need to do it in the future with a brief refresher.

That fact is all the only one that primary schools are meant to have. If the student goes on to study chemistry or become a scientist or other professional that needs this mechanical skill, they will regain the ability to balance chemical equations no problem --- and they will definitively recover the knowledge and ability they have "forgotten"

Tourism industry won't allow it (4, Interesting)

Edgester (105351) | about 4 months ago | (#47639663)

In North Carolina, USA, There was a surprising opponent to year-round schooling. It was the tourism industry.

Learn more during summer (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 4 months ago | (#47639673)

I learned far more during the months off in summer than I did in school. Don't get me wrong, learning to touch type in school was valuable.

But I learned how to be a productive member of society working summers. I learned how to be an individual person at summer camp--arguably my moment of self actualization. Trips with families exposed me (back when this existed) to different societies/cultures--as well as that humans are all essentially the same ego pursuers.

If some venue taught me how to balance a checkbook and do taxes, and how to write formal correspondence, my education would be more complete than average. None of those things (save the correspondence and touch typing) happened in school.

Both my parents were educators. My father also a school psychologist part time. When I proposed to him the premise that folks need to learn on the job, that school and higher education were more for delaying folks entrance to the work force, he basically agreed. Obviously there are certain careers that require higher education, but often the knowledge base of those positions has changed by the time one graduates and you have to learn on the job anyway.

Schools tend to have artificial social environments that it's good to escape from to round out personal development.

Besides, what's the point of becoming an underpaid teacher if you don't get summers off?

School vacations are not flexible (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 months ago | (#47639679)

This is from a Norwegian perspective, so anything here may or may not apply to the US. Here in Norway the three last weeks of July are extremely common to take vacation in, it's known as the "fellesferie" = "common vacation". It's a leftover from when many industries literally stopped in the summer, with the exception of those doing maintenance/upgrades. Basically where it's hard to run with half the staff, everyone gets the the same forced vacation. There's a huge network effect so everything is closed/on skeleton crew because everything else is too. What it practically means though is that every vacation resort or activity is crowded and overbooked, prices are insane and those who can avoid it.

For this reason being able to take vacation before (June) or after (August) or really any other time has become a perk and so it's been spread relatively thin. The school vacations though, they're like forced vacations so yes they're roughly 8 weeks to accommodate when their parents have time off, and even that is challenged as they want to travel in the off season. If the vacations had been shorter, all the parents would all have to squish together in those same weeks. Either that or you'd have to make the school vacation flexible, but then you'd have to run it all summer long for those who happen to be there at that time.

As I recall, in summer school was always a place to send your kids to if both parents had to work and you needed someone to take care of you, but that was not school. There were no teachers, no classrooms. It was more like supervised play, basically they kept track that you didn't get lost or hurt but we were left to make up our own activities with those we wanted to play with and there was no forced participation in anything, though they did try to get something going if all looked bored. I suppose in retrospect I'd call it big kid daycare, that's really what it was but there was a completely different level of freedom to it than school.

Nothing beat the sense of freedom from NOT going there though, to really be unsupervised even for just a few hours. I think it's a natural part of growing up, if you're always in school with people looking after you and then always with your parents looking after you then sooner or later you're going to drop off a cliff when you're on your own. I'm mostly glad I didn't have a cell phone as a kid, I couldn't go crying to mommy and daddy and they couldn't be overprotective as independence was sort of a necessity. I think as a parent today it would be awfully hard to let go simply because you have the technological ability not to.

Homeschooling is... (2)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 4 months ago | (#47639695)

Homeschooling is all day, all week, all year, for life.

We homeschool.
We started when our kids were born.
They learn every day.
Every day of the week.
Every week of the year.
It's lifetime learning.

They still get to be kids.
And they work on our farm.
Their mastery is far above public, and private, school levels for the same age.
They don't spend weeks and months forgetting stuff over vacations and summer.
They don't waste gobs of time on wait-wait-wait and sitting around as is the way of modern schooling.
They take responsibility for learning as they develop that ability rather than being tracked by an artificial curriculum which wastes time on politically correct nonsense.
They learn real science untainted by PC sensitivities.
They love learning. The joy of it isn't killed by the grey public school agenda.

This is like life used to be and better than the disconnected of today which is a result of the dystopia of urban culture.

A Different Approach (4, Interesting)

DERoss (1919496) | about 4 months ago | (#47639731)

I was an elected school board member in the 1980s. During that time, I would attend the annual California School Boards Association conferences.

One year, I heard an interesting presentation on a form of year-round schooling. The presenter described a calendar in which regular classes would meet for 9 weeks followed by a 3-week break, making a four-quarter school year. The 3-week break would not be a break for all students. He pointed out that 9 months of failure could not be corrected in only 6 weeks of summer school, a ratio of 6.5 to 1. Instead, students not meeting expected academic performance would have to attend remedial classes during the 3-week break, a ratio of 3 to 1.

It was already a noticeable problem in our schools that students would sometime miss classes because their parents took them on a skiing trip in the winter, to visit family in the spring, or to see fall color. As a member of the 2005-2006 County Grand Jury, I learned that this problem had grown worse county-wide in the 15 years after I left the school board. This radical calendar would provide 3 weeks off for those trips for students who were performing well in class.

This calendar would also provide an extra 2 weeks around Christmas and New Year, when even remedial students and their teachers would be off. It would provide for all the holidays the state Legislature mandates on public schools. Yet it would still involve the full 182 days of instruction annually that the Legislature also mandates. By shifting teacher in-service days to the 3-week breaks, students would actually be learning during all 182 days.

Of course, there would be increased costs for the remedial instruction and for the in-service days. That likely dooms this concept since too many members of the state Legislature think cutting taxes is the most important thing they can do, more important than educating our children, repairing our roads, assuring a supply of water, or anything else.

First fix the curriculum (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 4 months ago | (#47639735)

Massachusetts has great schools, among the best in the world. [mikethemadbiologist.com]

They don't have a 12 month school year.

The first thing to do is getting the normal school year working properly across the US. Then we can come back and talk about 12 month school years.

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