I am ready for my kids to go back to school now.
I have purchased all the supplies and fashion updates they require to begin the academic year. But that is not my point.
I am ready for them to go back to school because Holy Mackerel, they are driving me crazy. And I'm not even home during the day.
The last two weeks of summer break are the best argument for year-round schooling imaginable.
The good news is that my 14-year-old is going out for JV soccer in the weeks before he starts high school. After a summer of lazing at home, he is being worked into exhaustion on a daily basis.
The bad news is that his practice times change every day, and the school buses aren't running yet. If it weren't for the kindness of another mom (thanks Lisa Z!!!), he would be walking back and forth to his twice-daily practices.
(Then my mother-in-law would be reporting me to child protective services for endangering the health of a minor. But that's a topic for another column.)
My younger kids are home. When I get home at night they physically attach themselves to me and demand entertainment. The boy is wild, the girl is mopey.
They had me home for most of the summer, then they spent two weeks at "Camp Grumpy" (11-year-old son visiting my parents in Florida) or Slayton House Camp of the Arts (8-year-old daughter attending drama day camp). The lack of stimulation now is driving them crazy.
The summer break is a survival of the days when kids were needed to work on family farms during harvest season. Most employers these days are less eager to have our kids' help.
(According to my uncle the farmer, his harvests are so automated now that the only time he needs help is planting season, in the spring. That gives us some interesting spring break options, but it doesn't help out with the summer doldrums.)
It would cost the county and state government a lot of money to run schools year round. But parents are already paying a lot of money to keep their kids occupied over the summer.
Long breaks make it harder for kids to retain what they've learned. Why not make it easier on kids and parents alike and invest in a more practical school calendar?