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6 weeks off is so good for kids.

(112 Posts)
Fraxinus Tue 30-Jul-13 20:18:54

Agree or disagree?

I agree! My kids seem so much more themselves after only 10 days off school. Less stressed, more communicative, more fun, less whinging. LOVE it.

PastSellByDate Wed 31-Jul-13 06:49:19

intheshed Tue 30-Jul-13 21:05:59

I agree but not sure if 5yo DD does... this morning she sat down and wrote out a long list of sums ( just 2+2=4 etc), wrote 'my work' at the top and told me I had to mark it!

I told her I'm in holiday too so I don't do marking grin



Women in STEM subjects are sorely under-represented.

For example:

I understand that you're tired out (it sounds like you're a teacher and have just finished a busy term and understandably are exhausted). However - without realising it (?perhaps) you've just signalled to your five year old daughter effort in maths will not be rewarded by you/ is not valued by you.

Please rethink this. You don't have to mark it right there and then - but your DD has clearly off her own back done some maths - because she enjoys it - this is what she is interested in and values. It may not be what you value (or enjoy)- but if this could be where her talents lie perhaps you should consider whether you would support it in the same way you might support music, dance, drama, sport.....

I don't know whether she was playing at school or trying to play with you (pretending your her teacher) - but I don't see anything wrong with encouraging a child in maths (sure it may involve you in more work than sitting on a bench while she has a swimming lesson), but what could your supporting this interest (as valid as any other) achieve?

Ken Robinson gave this talk on investing in talent:

Finally - I've written a lot about maths here. If your DD is really interested and would like to be doing math for her play please consider allowing her time on the following websites:

BBC bitesize KS1: (free)

Woodlands Junior School Maths zone: (free)

Maths Champs age 5 - 7 games:


If she wants worksheets but you don't want to mark them - consider printing out sheets from:

worksheet works (BETA - so does have some glitches) - but you can design your own maths sheets (# of questions/ difficult/ etc...) and it will print out the sheet & the answer sheet:

Math drills has hundreds of worksheets and also will supply answer sheets:

With the answer sheets she can mark her own work - she just needs
your help selecting appropriate work & printing this kind of thing out.


Finally there are on-line tutorials which will teach, provide practice and mark the work for you. These do all require subscription and prices vary but various people on MN have written to say they have had success with:

Maths Whizz:

I also know that some parents have been posting about Squeebles maths apps - more info here: - and there is an addition/ subtraction APP for iphone/ ipad/ android/ kindle Fire platforms.

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 07:25:50

Phoenix I know several people who have been unemployed for longer than 6 weeks- you get up and make a useful routine.

I used to live in the arse end of nowhere during the hols as a teenager with a mother who couldn't drive.We still made the holidays a positive experience.

Don't agree something as valuable for children as the 6 week holiday should be derided because of adult lifestyle.

Hulababy Wed 31-Jul-13 07:43:16

Dd is starting a new school inSeptember as she's off to secondary. Still not hell here in any way.

But then dd still sees friends and is in constant touch with them via text and email type stuff. She has always loved school but the holidays are great for her. She has a week longer than me but its never been an issue. After a week of adjustment she will go off on her own and do lots of stuff she normally doesn't get time for or doesn't have the patience for.

PhoenixUprising Wed 31-Jul-13 08:07:59

MrButtercat - what we're debating here is if a 6 week holiday is valuable for children. It's a contentious issue. It's absolutely not a given. And there's certainly a lot more to it than 'adult lifestyle'.

I don't even know what you mean by 'derided because of adult lifestyle'. I think you're having a go at me, but I'm not sure (there's been lots of posts on this thread.)

If you're having a go at me, you'll need to explain yourself better.

Hulababy - I'm really glad that your DD is enjoying her holidays. But many kids are so anxious about going up to secondary school that they don't relax for 6 weeks.

Also many kids don't have friends or don't have friends who they can stay in contact with over the holidays. Your daughter is very lucky - it's not a given.

I'm jealous of all you guys who are having fabulous time and whose kids are having a fabulous time. But that doesn't mean long holidays are good any more than other kids not having a fabulous time means long holidays are bad.

The question can only be answered by exploring a) what we want kids to get out of the holidays and b) do they achieve that - or rather what proportion of kids achieve that and what happens to the kids who don't.

We've touched on those questions, but not discussed it much in this thread.

PhoenixUprising Wed 31-Jul-13 08:10:46

As always on MN group-think kicks in, so only people agreeing with the first few posters post.

I don't think the replies on this thread are representative either of the majority of MNers or of the majority of parents.

There's been loads of threads in the last week about how hard the holidays are. Which is not the impression you get from reading this thread.

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 08:16:22

Children are not adults.

They need downtime and a lot of it.

Schools are expecting more and more from children.They need a proper break from that.As a society we need to look at the needs of children and work round it not fit kids into adult life.

Yes more parents will be working but that is no excuse for criticising or getting rid of something that is beneficial for the majority of children.

We should instead be looking to providing more quality childcare, supporting parents who struggle and helping parents with flexi hours.

Instead the gov would like to use schools as cheap childcare,criticise and cut holidays.

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 08:16:54

YY Phoenix, the holidays are tough. I have a 14 year old and an 11 year old. Once the routine and structure is taken away it's hard.

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 08:17:53

Believe me in my RL without exception all parents I know value the holidays- the majority work!

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 08:20:14

Sparkling then things like youth clubs,street play schemes,children's centres,library activity extension activities,support etc.....should be available but they're being cut.

PhoenixUprising Wed 31-Jul-13 08:24:13

MrButtercat How do you know that children need downtime?

What is downtime? Why don't they get it after school and in the weekends and in the shorter holidays?

How much downtime do they need?

At what age do they need this downtime? After all school holidays apply for people aged 5 - 17. Do they all need downtime? Do they all need the same amount of downtime?

Should secondary schools have the same amount of holidays as primary schools?

As a 16 year old can have a full time job, it seems a leap to say that 17 year old's need downtime.

Would it be better to spread this downtime more evenly throughout the year? So have the same number of weeks of holidays without having such a long block over summer?

the majority of children - the majority is 51% - how many children does long holidays suit? Are you happy with it suiting 51% and being bad for 49%? Or is there a higher number you think it needs to suit for long holidays to be a good idea?

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 08:27:58

I agree with that MrButtercat but I know that my 14 year old in particular wouldn't want to go to anything like that. A ,lot of how tough the holidays are depends on what your children are like.

He has his paper round today, at least he has to do that and he has a deadline.

We are only a week in though, and both are still adjusting....

PhoenixUprising Wed 31-Jul-13 08:28:13

things like youth clubs,street play schemes,children's centres,library activity extension activities,support etc.....should be available but they're being cut.

But these are exactly the things teenagers don't want.

You can't force people to be social and have fun. Holidays clubs / activities are many children's idea of hell.

When I worked holidays weren't a problem at all smile My nanny looked after the kids in term time and in holidays. I didn't even really notice whether the kids were on holiday or not. Life was easy. So telling me that working parents like holidays also does not reflect my experience.

None of the other parents where I worked even noticed it was holidays. We just did our job. And childcare in one form or another took care of our kids.

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 08:36:26

Phoenix didn't somebody say full time working mothers are only a third so not sure re your 51%.

Re teenagers not wanting that well then they're perfectly at liberty to get off their backsides and sort themselves out.

Most countries have longer holidays,don't expect schools to play the role of childcarer and don't moan as a society.

Yes I think all ages need a lot of holiday,more not less.As expectations / demands from school rise -even more so.

And teachers need it too.

NotintheMiddle Wed 31-Jul-13 08:36:55

My 14 and 12 year olds have been out with friends at the river mostly. The pair of them are (mostly) relaxed and happy and glowing with health. Both of them also taking the opportunity to have some long lie ins...

PhoenixUprising Wed 31-Jul-13 08:42:10

If kids need 6 weeks downtime then it suggests there is a problem with schools. A big problem. The answer isn't more holidays. It's a more balanced term time.

My points are nothing to do with working mothers (mothers? Really?). The 51% was in response to you saying holidays were good for the majority of children. 51% is the majority.

I don't know how you know holidays are good for the majority of children. But I was really saying if they're good for 80% and bad for 20% is that ok? Or if they're bad for 30 or 40 or 49% is that ok?

I don't think it is.

Growlithe Wed 31-Jul-13 08:44:57

Phoenix what are you and your DCs doing all day at the moment that is so grim? I'm all for having a positive attitude towards enjoying school, but all this negativity about not being in school seems so depressing. sad

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 08:45:01

There are too many variables to say one way or the other.

There are factors for us that mean DS1's school mates are miles away. I don't like the assumption he is lazy-he isn't. He plays for 3 football teams but that all stops in the summer. Soccer School Summer Camp finishes at 13.

Two years ago we never saw him in the Summer, he spent all day at the park but things have changed.

PhoenixUprising Wed 31-Jul-13 08:47:13

teenagers should sort themselves out?

But how can they when we treat them like children? They have no money. They can't drive. Very few places would take them as a volunteer. Very few places need a volunteer for 6 weeks.

There lives during holidays is very much like someone who's unemployed.

6 weeks is such a long time. We'd never expect adults to do nothing for 6 weeks. Why not?

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 08:47:17

And yes most non wealthy parents of teenagers I know don't see them.They're off happily amusing themselves.

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 08:48:34

This thread is just making me feel crap now.

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 08:50:20

Sorry but many don't view the holidays like that.I found masses to do on zero budget,no car.Ditto the teenagers of friends now.You can take a bus anywhere round here as a teenager for a £1 to start with.

What you describe is an attitude problem.

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 31-Jul-13 08:50:42 there a Specific reason why your son is not enjoying the holidays? Is he not seeing his friends?

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 08:51:50

I will wake DS1 up and put him on a bus somewhere then.

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 08:52:55

Alternatively they can get on a bike/walk.

Sparkling don't feel crap,they are responsible for amusing themselves surely.If you advise and give them experience of this surely they'll get better at it.

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 31-Jul-13 08:55:02

Free buses for teenagers here.
I have to say ds 14 spends a lot of time on buses.

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