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Summer: Relax your brain or retain your knowledge?

I was a fairly typical young person and, like my peers, counted down the days until summer. My mother was a math professor, so I never stopped doing math during the summer, but felt like other parts of my brain became a little mushy in the summer. Come September, it was difficult to get back into the swing of writing papers and studying history and memorizing diagrams. I was out of practice and lost my routine. As an adult, I have almost continually taken classes, because I enjoy learning and find that from class to class, I need to maintain a routine, i.e. a study area and a time of day that I complete my assignments. I have also found that reviewing material a week or two before the course begins helps me to start the class with more confidence and competence. I am a big believer in confidence fueling success and I wonder if younger students practiced assignments in the week or two prior to return to school, if that confidence would help the transition to the school year routine be more successful.

Comments

I totally agree with your assessment.  To expand on your beliefs, I am a proponent of year round school for secondary students. I think that students would retain much more knowledge if the summer break was shortened or realigned. I agree with a great majority of the population that students need breaks to rest and relax. I have often thought why not shorten those breaks. For example, why not have 9 week semester followed by breaks of 2 week intervals betwenn semesters. This would allow the students to rejuvenate and maintain the knowledge and skills they have acquired. I also am aware that this would create logistical issues for many parents, especially parents with younger students. However, I think with creating planning, it can be logistically feasible.
 
I think if we created such a system, the students in the USA would become better educated and we as a country would begin to regain our status as a country with top quality education compared to the rest of the world. This is just my humble opinion.