So as we enter the third week of our summer holidays many of us may be lagging for ideas on keeping our kids occupied when its raining, or sick of forcing them out of the house when it’s dry. I swear my kids have watched more TV while hiding from the heat of the sun, than they do during the winter months!
Working parents may be struggling to find childcare, possibly taking a few weeks off each to cover the majority of the holiday, possibly not managing to have any time off together at all!
Let’s be honest, here in Britain the majority of adults believe that the six or seven weeks our children are off during the summer is too long. But does the length of our summer holidays actually make a difference to our children’s education, do our kids forget a lot of what they are taught and spend the first few weeks or months back catching back up with the previous year?
For the last few years there have even been talks from the government of moving toward a four week summer holiday with longer half-term breaks to put a stop to this problem.
I was curious about where we stood against the rest of the world so I did a little digging and came up with this information, bear in mind that some countries south of the equator have their summer holidays between December and February:
Okay so it’s not the prettiest infographic around but it does the job 🙂
So by the looks of it, we are in pretty good company with a fair amount of countries falling in the 6-7 week camp.
It also shows us that the majority of the world actually have much longer summer breaks than we do! The most common length of summer holidays seem to be around 8-12 weeks long. A few countries like Egypt and Nigeria can even creep up to the 14 week mark!
Then at the opposite end of the spectrum you have the few countries with shorter summer holidays than ours. I could literally only find the four mentioned and I scoured the net for ages!
Now there is a toss up for the unluckiest school children. On the one hand you have Indonesia who only have 2-3 weeks off. On the other you have Japan, whose children have roughly 5 weeks but they still attend school for clubs and activities, plus they have lots of homework that they must take in to school to show their teachers how they are advancing. Either way these kids seem to be having a bum deal if you ask me!
But does the length of holidays actually have any bearing on whether children do well in school?
Well, according to a report by the education firm Pearson not that much it seems.
The report does show that since 2012 Finland- that has 2.5-3 months off – has lost it’s 1st place ranking, but it has only dropped to number 5, still not too shoddy in my opinion considering the UK is number 6!
But Japan have jumped from 4th right up to second place. So maybe they do have the right idea after all.
Overall, reading through the whole list, there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between length of summer holidays to academic achievement. It’s purely down to how good the actual education system is in each country.
So, we don’t have the shortest summer holidays in the world, but we are far from having the longest. What’s your opinion, should we wish for longer/shorter holidays? Or should we just stick to what we know?