The debate of year-round schooling or a traditional schedule is ongoing. The National Education Association has found that there are pros and cons to each model, and depending on location and district, students' gains and losses varied. When it comes to preschoolers, well, some parents simply aren't ready to be away from their kiddo that much. Some of the negative aspects include the lack of time to be involved in their kids' lives. Parents seem to live for summer, winter and spring break as a time to regroup and get back on track, and the consistent schedule during the school year provides for a hassle-free routine. For preschoolers, it can be a hard adjustment, as they are not used to a daily grind of brick and mortar learning. Dipping their toes in the water, rather than diving right in, may be an easier transition for tiny tots and parents alike. A year-round schedule leaves parents scrambling to find child care on those random brakes, making it harder to plan family vacations.
1. Child Care
Finding child care during the summer is usually not a problem for most parents. Local parks and organizations such as the YMCA offer tons of programs that appeal to a variety of interests for kids of all ages. So, your tiny tot and her big sister can attend the same camp -- no problem. Year-round schooling may give moms a headache when it comes to child care. Not all schools in a district may be on the year-round schedule, so programs can be limited. College students who may be able to babysit on a traditional schedule may be limited for time, as colleges stick to a traditional schedule as well. Additionally, if you have your tot in one school and big sister in another and they are on different yearly schedules, it can be difficult to coordinate consistent care.
2. Family Vacations
Year-round schooling may save your kiddo from the cliche "what I did on my summer vacation" sharing session, but it makes planning any type of vacation challenging. Schedules may conflict, and ensuring that each family member has the time off can prove to be difficult. And if family vacations with cousins from another state are on the agenda, you may need to hire an events coordinator to pull it all together. Summer deals and spring break specials will be off the list, too. The bonus, if you can pull it all off, is that you won't be traveling at peak season, and will have less crowds to deal with.
3. Family Time Challenges
Family time is hard to come by when in the daily grind. There are errands to run, chores to do and dinners to make. But super moms around the country fall into a routine and pull it off daily (if not, they order pizza and call it a wash.) Usually most families can make it around the table for supper or cozy up on the couch for story time or a family movie. With year-round schooling, a routine may be hard to establish, as frequent breaks can throw the consistency off.
4. Less Time With Parents
With such a hectic schedule, time with parents can be limited, and in any situation, children thrive when parents are heavily involved. The NSW Department of Education found that children are not only better learners with more parental involvement, but they are also happier. Children need their parents to be there for them providing support, even in the early formative preschool years where it may just mean reading a book to the class or being the classroom mom. A traditional schedule provides more consistency for moms to fall into a routine with less running around and jumping through hoops to ensure all the bases are covered.
- Family Education: Year-Round School
- Public School Review: Would Your Child Get Better Grades Without a Summer Break?
- Huffington post: Year-Round and Traditional Schools Elicit Debate
- NEA: Research Spotlight on Year-Round Education
- School A To Z: NSW: Children Thrive With Parental Involvement
- Scholastic Parents: The Pros and Cons of Year-Round Schools
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