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Why August has Become the New September
#1
This is the first day of August, and unlike when I was growing up back in the 1950s, most school-age children and college students will be returning to their classrooms before the month is out. For most of the 20th Century the traditional school start date was the day after Labor Day, and some even waited until the following week to begin classes. But this is no longer the case, even though the school calendars don't require any more actual classroom days than was the case when start dates were later. In fact college often didn't resume classes until mid-September. And high school and college sports now start before Labor Day.

And while there have been petitions in some areas to return the start date to after Labor Day, most have been unsuccessful; the city of Chicago being one of the rare exceptions. It is hotter and better swimming weather in late August that in late May and early June, but for some reason you can't tell that to a school board. On the Internet I have found articles actually suggesting shortening the school year to eight months, starting around October 1 and running through May. But I seriously doubt that the PTB would ever go for it.

For the past three decades the trend seems to have been for parents to be pressured to instill in their kids that their determination, focus and strong will can more mountains. Kids really can't be kids and have lots of playtime the way we did back when I was growing up. And yet I often wonder whether the student loan crisis is making folks long for the days when even an eighth grade education was sufficient to get you somewhere. The businesses that are hurting with the earlier start dates are those such as public swimming pools, campgrounds and amusement parks which often end up shortening their seasons and closing just when often the weather is at its hottest, because they are unable to find lifeguards and other essential staff once school resumes.

Many school districts will cry wolf when it comes to lack of funding, and very often have threatened to shorten class time as a result. But in reality the only time that happens is when there is a teachers' and school employees' strike, which in itself has gotten less frequent in recent years. Somehow they always managed to find the money somewhere. And is the increasing emphasis on more and more education really worth it in the long run, when often folks might be approaching 30 before they become full-time workers and begin families? Would love to hear your thoughts on all of this.
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#2
The oversubscribed child is an experiment in social engineering that may very well backfire in a monumental way. For the life of me, I can't see how the social skills developed by unorganized childhood activities can be replicated, to say nothing of improved, by scheduling every spare minute of children's' lives.

I observe my own grandchildren. They will return to class as 9th graders on the 19th of August. This will complete a summer of perpetual organized activities that began the Monday following the end of the last school year. All told, they will have gotten less than 2 weeks of open-schedule time, and most of that will be spent in front of screens of one sort or another. It's sad that they only relate to others their age in organized settings. Yes, they can be teammates or competitors, but only very rarely just companions.

Soon enough, they will be adults. I'm less than sanguine about their ability to march their way through the labyrinth of adult life without having an artificial structure to conform to.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#3
(08-01-2019, 10:12 AM)David Horn Wrote: The oversubscribed child is an experiment in social engineering that may very well backfire in a monumental way.  For the life of me, I can't see how the social skills developed by unorganized childhood activities can be replicated, to say nothing of improved, by scheduling every spare minute of children's' lives.  

I observe my own grandchildren.  They will return to class as 9th graders on the 19th of August.  This will complete a summer of perpetual organized activities that began the Monday following the end of the last school year.  All told, they will have gotten less than 2 weeks of open-schedule time, and most of that will be spent in front of screens of one sort or another.  It's sad that they only relate to others their age in organized settings.  Yes, they can be teammates or competitors, but only very rarely just companions.

Soon enough, they will be adults.  I'm less than sanguine about their ability to march their way through the labyrinth of adult life without having an artificial structure to conform to.

If structure is what works for the young generation, they will reshape the adult world to make it more structured. Though I do think the unstructured way that previous generations have left it is part of the reason for the "epidemic of loneliness" that the media reports.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#4
(08-03-2019, 07:48 AM)sbarrera Wrote:
(08-01-2019, 10:12 AM)David Horn Wrote: The oversubscribed child is an experiment in social engineering that may very well backfire in a monumental way.  For the life of me, I can't see how the social skills developed by unorganized childhood activities can be replicated, to say nothing of improved, by scheduling every spare minute of children's' lives.  

I observe my own grandchildren.  They will return to class as 9th graders on the 19th of August.  This will complete a summer of perpetual organized activities that began the Monday following the end of the last school year.  All told, they will have gotten less than 2 weeks of open-schedule time, and most of that will be spent in front of screens of one sort or another.  It's sad that they only relate to others their age in organized settings.  Yes, they can be teammates or competitors, but only very rarely just companions.

Soon enough, they will be adults.  I'm less than sanguine about their ability to march their way through the labyrinth of adult life without having an artificial structure to conform to.

If structure is what works for the young generation, they will reshape the adult world to make it more structured. Though I do think the unstructured way that previous generations have left it is part of the reason for the "epidemic of loneliness" that the media reports.

Too much structure becomes rigidity, and that's not good at any time.  When at least some degree of flexibility is unachievable, group think becomes universal.  Once there, it's hard to address problems that don't fit the mold -- which is most problems.

In all fairness, there is no ideal model.  Everyone has some glaring faults that create problems.  I still prefer with less structure than more, but I definitely don't prefer none at all.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#5
I guess this is evidence of the next adaptive generation that grows up repressed. They will have to break out of their scheduled mentality in mid-life, during the Awakening. In MBTI terms, we can call it too much J in childhood, and a reaction toward P in mid-life. And THEIR children will be the next nomads who are given no structure.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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