Are school holidays a blessing or a curse?
We're now about midway through the school year with today marking the end of the first week of the school holidays between Term 2 and 3.
Depending on your at-home situation, school holidays could be either a blessing or a curse. A child for example probably loves them while a parent may not.
I am neither a parent nor a child and I've come to the conclusion school holidays are a curse.
Let's start with the positives:
1) Traffic on the roads is a great deal lighter during the weeks of the year schools aren't open;
2) If you get time off, spending more time with your children or grandchildren;
3) And if you're at school, you get a holiday. This can be a time to recharge and actually serves as a time for children to have fun.
How about the negatives:
1) Not being able to take time off work and having to arrange care for your children, often in the form of a school holiday programme;
2) Being forced to take leave when everyone else is also on holiday and at times of the year you might not want to be away from work;
3) Some children who get out of the flow of learning may have trouble getting started again when the term rolls around again;
4) Unruly gangs of youths parading about town unsupervised may get up to mischief.
Okay, that last one makes me sound like a bit of a plonker — it's not something I'm worried about.
I'm sure there are other positives and negatives out there but that's all I can think of after some serious thought and quizzing of colleagues.
Holiday school programmes are hit and miss: some kids like them, others don't and regardless, parents need to fork out for them.
Commuting about the place sure is great when schools aren't open but that coincides with fewer people being at work but that just leaves more pressure on those not away.
And I'm sure getting children to do their homework at the best of times can be tough, especially after heading back to school after a fortnight off the tools.
However, it's clear to me the negatives outweigh the positives — at least for parents who struggle to make alternative arrangements.
The alternative to school holidays is to not have them at all and I'm not sure that's the best way forward. It'd work for some people, probably not children.
Unintentionally, this has turned into a bit of an appreciation column for teachers and other workers in the education sector.
Everyone loves to whine on about how they get a great life: working 9am-3pm and with plenty of holidays year-round when in reality they provide us with a much greater service.
They educate the next generation of children and by looking after them during the day, they allow the working population to do exactly that — work.
So the next time you find yourself bagging teachers or the education sector, take a minute to think about the work they do and how they help keep society running.