One of the common interests that brought the founders of our academy together was their belief that Montessori education should be offered year-round, not just during the nine months that most public schools are in session. While summer vacation might have had its place in history, today it simply makes more sense for kids to attend school throughout the year. There are so many reasons for this, which we’re going to take a look at below.
But first, let’s talk about…
WHY SUMMER VACATION EXISTS
While the country has tried many different schedules for public education over the last 200 years, the traditional September through May schedule is a holdover from the days before air conditioning. It was incredibly hot in most areas of the country, which would lead to distraction and less-efficient learning. While it certainly can get hot in May and September, it’s not nearly as bad as the sweltering heat of June, July, and August when many of the kids would rather be at the watering hole (or, if they lived in the city, making use of an opened fire hydrant).
IT AFFECTS LEARNING
The biggest argument against the traditional summers-off approach is “brain drain.” When children have summers off, they lose the learning skills that they’ve built up during the previous year. When they return in fall, teachers have to spend an inordinate amount of time re-teaching kids what they already learned three months before.
If a three-year-old takes off three months from intentional learning, that amount of time off equals an 1/12 of their entire life! Do you think you could take 1/12 of your current age away from work and return to it without losing some of your aptitude? Probably not. Expecting children to do so, especially at this young and curious age, just isn’t feasible.
IT KEEPS KIDS ON A SCHEDULE
Kids love to be able to do what they want, but it’s also important to keep them on a schedule. A schedule is comforting to children, because they know what to look forward to and when to look forward to it. Taking them away from the comforting schedule we offer can make it difficult to get back “into the groove” if they’re taken away for the entire summer.
PARENTS WANT IT
Most of the parents we work with are the parents of very young children and aren’t yet aware of the problems that a long summer vacation causes for family schedules. But those long summers off cause all sorts of headaches. While grandparents might be willing to watch a child during the day for a couple of weeks, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to accommodate them for three months. Most summer camps don’t actually last the entire summer, meaning that parents have to pay application fees to multiple activities and daycares in order to find a place for their child each day. (Of course, that also messes with the child’s schedule like we mentioned above.)
KIDS DON’T KNOW THEY’RE IN SCHOOL ANYWAY!
Kids learn by playing, and they truly enjoy being at our Montessori Academy each and every day. So because they’re playing inside and out, doing crafts, singing, and dancing, they don’t need a break from school that is so popular in public schools.
Most kids this age don’t even think of themselves as being in school, even though they’re constantly learning. At this age they aren’t looking forward to a long summer break like middle schoolers are, who are actively seeking a break from homework.
YOU CAN STILL GO ON VACATION
When children are off for summer vacation, there’s a 10-week window in which nearly every school in the country is off. That means everything is busier, whether you’re heading to a crowded national park or a popular theme park. At the same time, all of your coworkers are interested in having time off during those months as well, which means that everyone is vying for the right to take their vacation without leaving the company short-staffed.
Year-round schools are going to give you many more options to take vacations. Instead of heading to Disney World when it’s at its most hot, why not go in October? Not only will it be cheaper, but there will be about ⅓ of the people at the park than there are during the summer months. This means less time in the lines and more times on the rides, as well as easier booking of your favorite hotel.
We truly believe in having children in a specialized learning environment as much as possible. Not only does it help them learn, but it also gives them the stability that they crave. If you’re interested in year-round early education, contact us today to learn more about our Montessori academies in Golden Valley and Eden Prairie.