Cascade Title's Manager Message
Once again as I sit staring at my computer monitor, I contemplate what to write to keep you reading. Money? Economy? Upcoming election? Nope, you are most likely inundated with this on the news and it is not going to keep you reading. So, it is the month of August, the month most of us take vacations, and who among us does not sit at their desk, looking out the window and wishing they were in some far-off land wiggling their toes in the sand or enjoying anything but work? When did this tradition of vacation start, and most especially for the school children?? You can't go on vacation and just leave them behind, can you? Well, we may give it a passing thought, but you better not do that! So here is what I found:
This summer, millions of American kids flee the despotism of the classroom bell for lifeguard stands, grandparents' homes, summer camps and amusement parks. But summer vacation hasn't always been a tradition of U.S. schoolchildren. In the years before the Civil War, schools operated on one of two calendars, neither of which included a summer break. Schools outside the cities were divided into summer and winter terms, leaving kids free to pitch in with the spring planting and fall harvest seasons. City students, meanwhile, regularly endured as many as 48 weeks of study a year, with one break per quarter. Also since education was not required, attendance was often meager; in Detroit in 1843, for example, only 30% of enrolled students attended year-round. Now the big change, in the 1840s educational reformers like Horace Mann moved to merge the two calendars out of fear that rural schooling was insufficient and brought into play the then current medical theory that over stimulating young minds could lead to nervous disorders or insanity. Summer emerged as the obvious time for a break as it offered a breather for teachers, meshed with the agrarian calendar and lessened physicians' concerns that packing students into a sweltering classroom would promote the spread of disease.
But the modern U.S. school year, which averages 180 days, has its critics too. Some experts say its long summer break, which took hold in the early 20th century, is one of the reasons math skills and graduation rates of U.S. high schoolers ranked well below average in two international-education reports issued back in 2007. Others insist that with children under increasing pressure to devote their downtime to study, there's still room for an institution that approves the lazy days of childhood. I know for me personally, I enjoyed school and all the social aspects, but my summer vacation meant I could sleep in, travel with the family and more time devoted to baseball. Either way, we are in the dog days of summer, so take the kids on vacation and enjoy the sunshine!