Back to school

Three words I love and dread equally.  I welcome the summer hols as I would a dear friend I haven’t seen in a long time, and turn my back on the groundhog days of school runs and hurtling across Dubai to ferry the kids to afterschool activities.  At the start of the hols I am jittery with excitement, making plans and writing bucket lists.  My sense of urgency is palpable.  Not a moment can be wasted; we must embrace the holidays and make the most of the time of year we have been wishing for since Santa last retired to the North Pole for his annual holiday. The summer break is so short compared to the academic year; it is sure to zip by.

Well, after almost 10 weeks off, a trip back home, summer sports camp, swimming, skateboarding/scootering, play areas, iPads, Wii, TV I feel like a novice (and completely unprepared) long distance runner crawling towards the marathon finish line: spluttering, sweating, and about to keel over; batteries drained.

Why are the summer school holidays so loooonnnnggg?’ I bemoan.

10 weeks????  Who thought that would be a good idea????  It is tooooo long for a break.  I am sure my lot have forgotten everything they learned last year, including how to read!  I think they may have forgotten what their friends look like!  When I heard UK schools have 6 weeks off, I turned green with envy.  6 weeks is the perfect amount of time for a break: ample time to feel like an extended, privileged holiday, but not so long, mums are pulling their hair out thinking of ways to entertain the sweaty, cabin fever infected kids.

I recall reading about the rationale behind school summer holidays.  Apparently, it was originally based on the approach to farming.  Agricultural fields, having been farmed intensively for most of the year, are left fallow for a time in order to allow them to ‘recuperate’.  Similarly, children’s minds are given their ‘fallow’ time during summer so they may rest and be gunning to go in September.

And yet yesterday, when we arrived at the school gates for the first day back to school, all I could wonder was ‘wow……where did summer go?’

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