Parents and children alike both shudder at the thought of year round schools and the prospect of life without summer vacation. There are some parents who see the benefits to additional schooling for their children and many teachers also enjoy the idea, as it allows them to come up with a more detailed lesson plan and gives them more time to allow these lessons to breathe before moving on to the next topic.
The majority of children have lived their entire lives without year round schools, but the times are changing and more and more school districts have been making the switch. While there are advantages to maintaining the status quo of traditional schooling, there are also advantages to year round schools, as well as disadvantages. The following is a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks.
List of Pros of Year Round Schooling
1. More Retention of Knowledge.
When kids do not have long summer breaks, they are far more likely to retain what they have learned over the course of the school year. Long summer breaks typically lead to what is known as “summer learning loss”, which is a common problem for school aged children. Most parents do not have the time to tutor their children during the summer and they are bound to forget a few things.
With year round schooling, a teacher can spend their time on more important subjects, as opposed to re-teaching a lesson that the child has already learned and forgotten. It makes for a much more efficient educational experience for all parties involved and allows the child to spend more of their time learning about new subjects and broadening their horizons.
2. Decrease In Budgetary Concerns.
School districts will usually have to set aside a significant amount of funding to handle children’s remedial needs in summer school programs. By having year round schooling, these budgetary concerns are eliminated and all of the necessary remedial work is taken care of during the school year, with the teacher that the child is accustomed to.
The more money schools have in their budgets, the more programs they are able to offer. Instead of cutting the budget for art related programs or cutting back on physical education, a school can keep their curriculum intact, ensuring that their students get the best education possible.
3. Less Stress For Families.
In the majority of households, both parents are working full time to support their children. This can make the summers very tricky, as these parents are forced to spend thousands of dollars over the course of their children’s vacation period on babysitters. When children are in school all year round, this decreases a family’s stress level and allows them to save money.
Child care facilities are not always up to par, as some parents cannot afford to spend the money on a professional babysitting service. With year round schooling, parents no longer have to worry about placing their children in the hands of those who cannot adequately take care of them. Knowing that their children are in school and learning is a huge boost to the parents’ peace of mind.
List of Cons of Year Round Schooling
1. Increased Utility Costs.
Schools are large buildings and the larger a building, the higher the utility costs are. If a school is open for an additional three months each year, this leads to a significant increase in a school’s utility bills. Transportation is also affected by the shift to year round schooling. School buses require extra maintenance, develop added wear and tear and require more gasoline, all of which lead to increased expenses.
The day to day upkeep of a school falls onto the custodial staff, who must also be paid more. In many instances, traditional schools are able to pay their custodial staffs for part time work and avoid paying out benefits. Year round schooling means hiring a full time maintenance staff, which can also cause a budget crunch.
2. Less Jobs For Teens.
There are those who believe that working a job during the teenage years helps a person to become responsible and learn about the importance of a honest day’s work for a honest day’s pay. Most teenagers end up working some form of summer job in order to start saving money for college and to develop their own nest egg.
Some teens may need to work, because their family is in dire straits financially. Families who are relying on this income are forced to find other methods of obtaining it. Teens also lose out on the chance to develop job skills at a young age, which could adversely affect their ability to hold a job in the future.
3. Does Not Work For All Students.
Certain children have minds like sponges and they can pick up as much as you are able to throw at them. However, some children learn differently from others. Not all children have the ability to sit down for longer periods of time and absorb additional knowledge, especially children who are used to receiving some sort of break during the summer months.
Younger students who make the switch to year round schooling can often become a disciplinary issue in the classroom, becoming restless. Increasing the length of a school year does not guarantee that 100 percent of the students who make the shift will be able to retain more knowledge. Everyone learns at their own rate of speed.