Monday, 19 July 2004

Too Much School

There are times I really, really wish I still lived in the country. Yesterday, for whatever reason, the neighbourhood kids had to run around and scream. And I do mean scream. Worse yet, they did it for literally hours.  Usually the kids around here are very well behaved.  I guess it was the fact that yesterday was very cool for a July day. Too school starts in about a month and I suppose that maybe they are just sowing their oats while they can.  

Not that I blame them. As an adult I tend to hate summer because of the heat and humidity, but as a child I always looked forward to it. Summer meant one thing: freedom. I always did well in school. I got A's in nearly everything except math and science. But I never liked school. I did not like being confined to a room all day, forced to study subjects in which I might not be interested (to this day I hate math), and confined to a building for most of the day. Even though summer meant hot and muggy weather, then, I always looked forward to it. Okay, it may be hot and muggy, but then there was no school either.

I do feel sorry for children today. When I was in school, we let out for summer vacation around May 15. Now they do not let out for school until May 25. Worse yet, it seems to me that they start back to school earlier in August than we did. And their Christmas vacation is shorter too. That means that kids today are attending more school than I did when I was a child. The sad thing is that I don't think the longer school year does children that much good. I know a lot of people seem to be believe that the more school a child has, the more he or she is going to learn, but I don't believe it. I remember when I was a kid. At the start of the school year I learned a good deal. But as time passed, I would grow bored with it. My attention span would decrease. By May I would be learning next to nothing. I have no reason to believe children today are any different.

Besides which, it seems to me that the more time a child spends in school, the less time he or she spends with their parents. And I really think kids need to spend more time with their parents today. It's no secret that a strong parent/child relationship will usually keep kids out of trouble. Children with a strong relationship with their parents are less likely to do drugs, become involved in crime, and so on. It seems to me that the longer school year decreases the amount of time a child spends with his or her parents.

Don't get me wrong. I think school is important. Children need to learn. And as much as I hated math, I have to admit that I needed to learn it to function as an adult in today's society. But I do think it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Kids need time to spend with their parents, not to mention time to spend just being kids.

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