Summer school holidays

(19 Posts)
Maryz Thu 21-Jul-16 19:30:15

Does anyone here feel a bit sorry for English kids with their paltry couple of weeks off?

There are loads of threads on mn saying the summer holidays are too long (what are they? four weeks? [baffled]) and it's impossible to manage and occupy children for that long, and that they forget everything they've ever learned.

I'm just wondering because I always loved the summer, but I was a SAHM so managed lots of cheap and easy days out and short trips. And my children really loved the three month secondary school holidays and managed to fill them quite happily.

So are Irish parents still happy with 9 (or 13) week summer holidays and do you all think it will stay that way?

Minniemagoo Thu 21-Jul-16 21:05:18

As a kids the holidays seemed sooooooo long but now they seem much shorter. My eldest starts secondary this September so she'll have extra time next year.
I think its fab for them. They're so active and on the go and doing all sorts of fab camps.

vvviola Thu 21-Jul-16 21:23:48

I hate the school holidays. I work full time, so does DH. And with one exception all the holiday camps around here are from 10 - 2. Which, even if my childminder worked for the summer, which she doesn't, still doesn't match school hours.

This year, with the exception of a long weekend when MIL was visiting and we all went away, DH and I aren't getting any time off work together. And we still have to call in my parents to help out with collections some days.

We can't afford for me to be a SAHM, and I wouldn't want to be either, but it does seem that the holidays only work properly/easily if you have a SAHP.

Next year I'm hoping to get some unpaid leave so the DC will get some time just pottering about at home as well as a family holiday of some sort.

KanyesVest Thu 21-Jul-16 22:08:10

Dd is loving her first summer holidays, having just finished junior infants. She's going to 3 weeks of summer camp from next week, then a mix of home, nana and friends on the days I need to work. I'm very torn, I think the long break does them good, but juggling work is hard and even if you can be at home with them, their friends are all at camps!

Maryz Fri 22-Jul-16 01:08:37

Yes, that's what I was thinking viola - it's great for the kids if there is a parent (or nearby grandparents) around, but so much harder if both parents are in inflexible jobs.

What I used to love was the "doing nothing" element of the holidays - instead of the constant round of school - homework- activities- friends etc etc. Mine used to stay in pj's all day sometimes.

Interestingly, all of mine spent the summer after 1st year (secondary) doing absolutely nothing. They didn't even seem to want to see friends much, they seemed to need a rest from the socialising aspect of school as much as from the work aspect.

I think life is tough for teenagers these days; having the summers off is a real relief for them.

geekaMaxima Fri 22-Jul-16 08:49:34

I think the "doing nothing" aspect of long summer holidays are a blessing for introverts I definitely needed a rest from the intense socialising of school and would go long stretches in the holidays without seeing friends. It would have stressed me out if I had had to spend the summer in a structured programme of activities.

It must be a pain for parents and childcare alright, but I was very grateful for the long stretch of doing nothing in summer in my own schooldays!

vvviola Fri 22-Jul-16 11:29:25

I think that's one of the reasons the whole thing irritates me so much geek. I was one of those introverts (although, oddly summer holidays made me more sociable - smaller group of friends outside the chaos of school playgrounds). And I'd love for my children to be able to avail of the long break (one is my complete opposite and loves being surrounded by people, but her sister seems to be taking after me). But instead I have to juggle all sorts of camps and minders and our summers are even more of a military operation than school terms.

I'm also technically in a career that allows for flexibility - but these days, and with my workload/boss there's no chance of being able to avail of it.

I don't think there's a solution really, and it's great that some children get to benefit from it. I just wish mine could.

LuckyLuckyMe Fri 22-Jul-16 14:26:06

I think the long break is great for DC. I hated it when I worked more hours and I could see how working parents hate it. It's so hard (and expensive if you don't have willing and able family) to arrange childcare. I only work a few hours a day from home now so it's much easier.

I don't know if there is any solution for parents who both work. There is an out of school service for DC's school from 7am to 6pm and I often wonder why someone doesn't offer the same service during school holidays.

CremeEggThief Fri 22-Jul-16 14:31:37

I completely agree, although as I have brought up my DS in England, he's only ever had the 7 weeks off at summer. I certainly wouldn't want to see that cut down, especially as they did not the week before they broke up in school. Life is too over-scheduled these days. Doing exactly as you please, as long as it's not hurting anyone or illegal, is important for proper rest and recharging of the batteries.

mineallmine Fri 22-Jul-16 17:06:46

Should know, for all the talk, there's only 8 days in the difference. We have 183 days and it's 191 in the UK as far as I know. They just spread them out differently.

If they ever tried to shorten the holidays, I'd leave my job. I couldn't cope without them. And I speak as a late vocation, didn't start teaching til I was 28 and I only had 21 days holidays in my previous job.

FarelyKnuts Sun 24-Jul-16 06:59:05

Childcare wise the summer costs me twice as much as both DP and I work. During term time her after school care is subsidised. But it closes for the summer.

But I still think that the break is good for them. They come back to the school year refreshed and ready for action as such.
And summer means more unstructured play and not having to be so rigid over meals and bedtimes and treats etc which makes for a bit more calm around the place.

hollyisalovelyname Sun 24-Jul-16 09:53:13

What are the school holidays in the UK ?
Their summer holidays always seem really short when compared to Irish summer holidays.

Decorhate Sun 24-Jul-16 10:02:54

It's usually 6 weeks in the summer. When I worked full time that was hard enough to cover but I can work less in the holidays now & mine are old enough to leave on their own anyway.

Some years I find 6 weeks too short - if we are going away for a holiday & also want to visit family. My main gripe is finishing so late in July - we often miss the best weather.

It's good (if expensive) that there are more clubs available in Ireland now. I remember being bored a lot when I was too young to get a job

NotEnoughTime Sun 24-Jul-16 19:55:52

My DC get nearly seven weeks off this summer.

I enjoy having them at home but it is all a bit of a juggling act (I work part time)

If you are lucky enough to have family willing to help out it must make life easier. It also helps if the weather is good.

I must be honest and say that the Irish school holidays would be too long for me and my DC-I think they miss the routine of school and seeing their friends after a few weeks.

ShteakandShpuds Sun 14-Aug-16 17:08:47

For me, I think the Irish summer holiday is too long by about 6 weeks.
My DS (7) has spent most of the time either on his iPad or PS3.
He's been to one summer camp, swimming, so that was just 1.5 hours daily for 3 days. He hates football so no Cul camp this year and he isn't outdoorsy (like I was) at all. It's a shame as we're not far from a few small beaches but he's just not interested.
He's an only DC and all his school mates have siblings so no-one else is as desperate for play dates. We live rurally so there's no children living nearby.
We have no family here either so no-one to spend time with other than me and DH. We couldn't afford a holiday this year so it's been very stressful being cooped up in the house. Going to a playground isn't much fun as other kids don't generally kept him join in with them. He just hangs around watching so we end up leaving after about twenty minutes.
I want to scream when I bump into another parent from school complaining that the 10 week summer holidays aren't long enough.
But I realise that it's my problem and I'm in a minority.

TulipsInAJug Sun 14-Aug-16 18:13:39

I think Northern Ireland has it right at 8-9 weeks. Disclaimer: I work in education so get a chunk of this off myself

DD is having a nice relaxed summer but looking forward to going back to school.

BastardGoDarkly Sun 14-Aug-16 18:18:17

Ooooo there's a craicnet topic!?

I'm not in Ireland, our holidays are 7 weeks, and I'm loving it so far, I am generally at home though, this will probably be the last year I am, so I'm savouring it so far I may be sobbing come September

YellowPrimula Sun 14-Aug-16 18:23:37

I don't know any schools in England that only get 4 weeks , most get 6to7 and we have 9 ( independent ) I think English schools also get more holiday at Easter and half terms so over all it's not that different .

MarDhea Sun 14-Aug-16 18:31:17

shteak that's a shame. I can see why the hols must drag for you. Is your DC bored or enjoying the summer?

Or is there nothing locally that isn't sports? Where my family and in-laws are in Ireland (different rural areas), there are summer camps for drama, crafts, etc. I thought they were everywhere these days - very different to when I was a kid!

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