I saw a commercial last night which said that our children are losing valuable information taught to them during the school year over the summer. That they were starting school in the fall at a deficit. This commercial advised that we send our kids to summer classes so as not to let all that pertinent school stuff just leak out of their feeble little heads.
I had summers off as a child and remarkably I can still do basic addition, subtraction and multiplication. I remember what year WWII started, I can conjugate Spanish verbs and for reasons I can’t really fathom I have an uncanny recollection of the battle at Bunker Hill.
But what I learned over the summer was so much more than anything my parents tax dollars could buy me in the classroom.
I learned how to get along with others – sometimes compromising, sometimes holding my ground. I learned the laws of gravity and the repercussions of this awesome power. I learned how to do things for myself, how to be alone, how to make fun from nothing, how to fight, how to make up, how to be a good friend and a bad one.
These are things that blossom in the unstructured environment of the neighborhood streets and lawns and woods.
Having kids sit in classrooms during these invaluable summer months robs them of their greatest and most memorable learning experiences... and some of their most colossal mistakes.
Parents get a grip.
Let the world be their classroom, even if that world is only a block wide, and two months long.