Thursday, June 01, 2006

Schools out for summer

SCHOOLS out, finished, no more until September. For those of you who do not know school holidays in Ireland (not the north) begin at the start of June until the start of September. That is some holiday (three months) and a massive headache for many parents.

What do you do with a 14-year-old who is too old for childminding though ironically they probably need more minding at this stage than they did at 10 and too teenagey to be left to their own devices.

Besides the devil making work for idle hands there is boredom over this seriously long stretch without the mental stimulation of school.

I will be sending the Young Wan to holiday with her Nanny under the strict order that she is not to leave her Nanny's side thats the deal. A summer in the sun how lucky is she? And how lucky am I not to have the worry of keeping her entertained and out of mischief?

What will other parents do? Well those who have to work anyway.

There are two things I disagree with the education system here, one is the long holidays - they are too long. In England they get six weeks and up north we got two months which was great and a lovely long break. Three months is mad.

The other point I wanted to make is the age our kids start secondary school here at 12/13, I think this is a year too old. And there is no doubt my view is tempered by my own experience of primary school from the age of four for seven years.

Then there was the 11+ which is another post for another time and you moved into secondary school at the age of 11 to 12.

While I am not suggesting that 11 and 12 year olds are flung into the full expectations of a secondary school pupil, they are eased into what is expected from them. Come one they need to learn how to do secondary.

As it is now our kids are handed everything in primary school where they only have to pay attention and do their homework to do well. Secondary school is different, they have to learn how to do for themselves to some degree.

Take essays, in primary school where they are little more than a large paragraph, not so in secondary school. And I just think it is unfair to start second-level education two years before the year of a major exam the Junior Cert.

That is not very long in my mind.

I had five years of second-level education before sitting my O-Levels, the Young Wan gets three before sitting her Junior Cert. Of those five years for me, three were spent bringing you up a particular standard with two years O-Level orientated study. The Young Wan got two years to settle down and prepare with one year directed Junior Cert work. That is a quare difference.

It also strikes me that most children start secondary level education here in the midst of pubery, surely that alone is a mad addition to an already fraught/changing/developing time.

Anyway thats my rant of the week over, I'd be very interested to hear what you think.

[And here's a link to a post I wrote last year when the Young Wan was 13 about a summer holiday I had when I was 13 where we broke down 13 times driving to and from Portugal called 13, 13 and well ehm 13! - Just in case you are interested in what I was lucky to do as a teenager during the summer.]

Oh and here is a rare picture of the Young Wan holding my hand - a really unusual sight! She continued to hold my hand, while I had her in a vice-grip and she didn't pull away.

A rare of picture1

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KnackeredKaz said...

Ha! I love the chipped black nail polish! How ultra cool is she?!

Ah, it's a lovely shot though.

Three months in the sun with Nanny? Excellent stuff, she loves it at her Nanny's and you'll get a bit of a break too.

Party round at yours so?

Red Mum said...

Shes about as cool as someone with black chipped nail polish, need we say more!

So yup Free House at Red Mum's gaff! Hopefully, I still have things to sort out, like passport, etc. And not as easy as it sounds. But I am sure I will post on that as some stage.

Anonymous said...

Three months vacation?! That's absurd. Six weeks would be plenty! Children are not spending enough time in school. What are the teachers doing for the three months? Are they not paid for 12 months? With Christmas and March break,and Summer off,teachers here in Ontario work about eight and a half months a year, but are paid for a year. This nonsense has to stop!
Mac Ui Tomas, Canada.

Ms Ann Thrope said...

Jaysus, it's bad enough keeping kids occupied and minded for two months when they're in primary school. I forgot about secondary school.

Bernie said...

Just wondering if she might be interested in filling some of her summer with some talking. We have a third level project spinning up that involves a "wondering moleskine" and it might be fun to get teens involved in one of the rotating books.

If you think there's some interest in your home, I'll add you to the pool.


Anonymous said...

this is the young wan and UP THE ANXTY TEENS WOOHOO.yea i agree summer is way to long like wat are we ment to do? anyway keep the compliments coming xxx