Ask most kids, “When does one year end and another begin?,” and they’ll probably tell you that the year begins in July or August, ends in May, with a chunk of summer between the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Kids are way more aware of the school year than they are the calendar year.
Every subject in school is important. Whether it’s math, science, history, social studies, or English, the knowledge students gain in elementary school will be referenced and used the rest of their lives. However, of all the important subjects just mentioned, only one is a crucial component of them all: English.
At the end of each school year, there’s always concern on the part of parents and teachers that students will be victimized by brain drain over summer break. It’s no myth. Over the two to three months students are on summer break, they experience an overall learning loss of one month and it takes the first six weeks of school for kids to relearn old material.
Parents may remember, back when they were kids, schools had real classes—math, science, history—and fun classes—art and music. Parents may also remember they perhaps didn’t take art or music very seriously, looking at it more like a break from the demands of serious academics than an actual learning experience.
Everyone knows what it’s like to go to work when we’re tired or not feeling well. The day is long, we don’t do as good a job as we usually do, and we’re sluggish and unenthusiastic. If that’s how it is for adults, think of how long and difficult the school day must be for children who aren’t feeling as well as they could be feeling.