Thursday, April 3, 2014

(a rather late) Thoughtful Thursday: Year-round schooling

So, I have been doing a pre-SAT study recently, and one of the things they had me do was write a mock essay with the prompt being on year-round schooling. I have never written an essay before, per se, so I am not sure how good composition-wise the essay below is. But practice makes perfect, right? This post may stray a little bit from my typical TT posts, but I didn't have anything else to post about. So here you go, take it or leave it ;0)

Year-Round Schooling

School: Kindergarten, middle school, high school; pre-K through 12 grade; Months of school Monday through Friday, with Spring, Sumer, and Winter breaks sandwiched somewhere in between. We all know how school works and what it is. For many years, our society has followed this same model for the education of our children. Some would suggest, though, that this model is no longer viable for today’s students, that we need to extend the time of learning each year in light of students’ plummeting grades. I for one would strongly disagree with this suggestion. True, the declining quality of education of today’s students is a big concern, but I believe the fix is not found in just plunking them in front of a desk for more hours. Instead, I believe we can find an answer to this problem in both how and by whom we educate our students.

First, we must take a close look at the supposed claim that having children in school for more hours will increase their level of education. You see, most people who advocate year-round schooling claim that students forget most of what they learned in the past school year over the course of long breaks from school. I won’t deny this fact, but I want to point out that to quickly make the jump to conclude that keeping students in school year-round will keep them from forgetting what they have learned is quite an assumption.

Secondly, it would also be argued by advocates of year-round schooling that keeping teenagers in school year-round will protect them from getting in trouble. After all, statistics have proven that teenagers are less prone to crime when they are in school. However, it is another giant assumption to assume that just by keeping kids in school will keep them out of trouble. Kids looking to get into trouble will find a way to do just that, whether they have to play hooky from school to do it or not.

In the end, we have to look elsewhere for a way to solve the education problem we have in our nation today. Remember, the problem is that many students are forgetting what they learn. The problem is not that they don’t show up for school, but that they are unable to retain what they have learned! Unless we fix our education system to where students are retaining what they learn, it won’t matter how long we require them to sit in front of a desk.

The fix? Make what we teach relevant and exciting for students to learn! If students enjoy and benefit from what they learn, they will remember it! As a homeschooled student, I have seen this best in my own life and the life of my homeschooled siblings. Our parents have done a fantastic job of making education exciting for us to learn. They have always supported our hobbies and educational interests, which has made the whole schooling process enjoyable and efficient!

The Biblical passage of Deuteronomy 6:4-7 describes the roles of parents in the training of their children. We learn that parents are to train children “when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” In short, parents are the ones who are held responsible by God to teach their children—all the time. Perhaps, then, we need to reevaluate by whom our students are primarily taught as well. I realize that it is not always possible for a parent to be involved in the education of their child, but I think we all can agree that when a parent is actively involved in the schooling of their child, that student’s grades are much better overall.

In conclusion, keeping students in school year-round will only be a costly solution that won’t supply a fix to this problem. Instead, we need to reevaluate our educational process. If we can make learning exciting and relatable to students’ lives, then their grades can only improve! Also, we need to keep in mind that it takes a parent to raise a child. No amount of schooling will ever supersede the vast impact a parent will have in the training of their child.
As always, I would love to hear your comments, constructive corrections, or encouragement! Is there any proficient essay writer out there who can give me advice/tips on how to improve my essay writing? Thanks!


  1. I think you might mention also that not all learning happens within the classroom. Summer is when I (and other students) have the spare time for other learning experiences: family time, extra sports/hobbies time, ministry opportunities, etc. These important things would be lost with year-round schooling. Also, year-round schooling would really increase burnout and senioritis, making childhood an endless cycle of homework. I think year-round schooling is a bad idea as well.

  2. Thanks, Kari! Yes, after writing my essay, the pre-SAT course gave me an example of an essay that would have scored the highest 12 points, and what you said about the learning done outside of the classroom was the main thesis of the example essay. Good point!

  3. Hey Kyle! Good essay and good points, the only thing I think on year round schooling is not more hours but scheduling school better by region you live in. Here in Az after 1 month(week, haha) kids are bored. Because of the heat the kids can rarely go outside, unless we run sprinklers and have loads of sunscreen on. I know a few friends whose kids will be in school almost all year making up snow days. Instead of having 2 1/2 to 3 months off at once maybe breaking it up to a month off when it typically snows the most or in school when it's too hot to do anything else. Since my children were little until now with my grandchildren it seemed to me maybe 3 "separate summers" then instead of the whole country out for summer at once parents can choose fun things in diff seasons.. But since we are only out in the summer if you can't afford to leave the state it's too hot to do anything fun. This is just my opinion, not maybe the true meaning of year round school, but I think they need to consider region when making decisions not just everyone else does it so we do it... Just like with homeschooling you can choose to take a month off here and work on school at a diff time. Maybe teachers would not burn out so bad either..maybe they like the whole summer off. I don't know ...just a thought. But I don't think more days the answer just better scheduling! It was soooo good to see you! Glad u enjoyed the sun so much! You r so cute! I love you.