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What about the Children?

Real Estate Sales Representative with Keller Williams Consultants Realty

So what about the Children? 

Children today seem to be victims of so many issues over which they have no control whatsoever. And yet they, according the the prescription of life, continue to grow up and become whatever they become.  But what determines the important aspects of their time?  During the school year children have little option but to attend their hours of schooling.  Most children start school in the morning and return home in the afternoon. Depending on the time of year, there is still some discretionary time left in their day to get outside and enjoy some physical activity.

Again, depending on their age, some of them might be active in other organized programs such as clubs and/or sports.  Still others, and this depends more on the parents than anything else, may have only their home time to spend after school.  Whether or not a parent is home after the schooling hours has something to do with how that time is spent.  With parents home, the children might have a snack and work on homework or practice a musical instrument or just play....either outside or on the computer or with computer games.  With a parent not at home, due to work or whatever, the child might engage in similar activities.

Parents of younger children generally keep close tabs on their little ones more than those of older children.  Since children over age 12 can be left alone without parental supervision for longer periods of time after school, the activities of those children might become a bit different.  According to my sources---neighborhood kids--this is generally the time kids get into mischief.  That mischief can take many forms, but the one most disconcerting to me was the experimentation with the family alcohol stash, which generally is unlocked and unmonitored.  The cigarette experimentation can also take place at this time, but generally does not take place at home as access to cigarettes and other tobacco enties

All summer long Children have "home" time. How that time is filled again depends on the adults in charge. In my area, children still seem to flock together, play games in yards, share dolls and other toys such as Webkinz,stay overnight at each other's homes and in general, have a very open play time.  Some children might have a bit more scheduled agenda with swimming lessons and summer Bible School, plus the usual family vacation to the beach or mountains for a week or two. But what actually happens during the daytime with these children each and every day of the summer?

With little doubt, most of them are not applying their nearly three months of out of school time to improving themselves to enter the next grade.  Is it really any wonder our schools trail behind other countries in student learning? There is irrefutable research that children lose a great deal of their learning over the summer, requiring much review on their return in the fall.  Would it not be much better for all concerned if there were year around school with frequent breaks for vacation time?  With only two week breaks, children would retain a great deal more of what they learn, have time to take vacations with their families at different times of the year, have built-in times for remediation and/or excelleration programs and not be left idle and bored or usurped by mindless television and/or video games.

This is not to say children do not need time just to play and be themselves, but a rationing of this time would make a great deal more sense and be much more productive for all concerned. Except, maybe for the summertime children amusement parks, that is.  On the other hand, with frequent breaks in the schooling schedule and possible shorter hours of learning in the summer, or even possible "shifts" for schooling, even that industry would possibly see benefits. 

If we could all cooperate in dispelling the agrarian calendar in favor of a more modern consideration of a calendar we could provide better child care, observance and performance on the part of all.  It might even make that time that parents plan to spend with their children much more affirmative.

jp endres-fein
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Scarsdale, NY

And.... unfortunately, parents sometimes add to the stresses of their own. I hate to hear stories of childern from seperated parents worrying about money, or if they will be able to stay in their home.  So many times these childern hear things from the "other" parent about so many different topics which are really meant as get even remarks for their ex other half yet them miss the damage caused to the childern in the process.  Kids learn too much bad in the world from tv, and newspapers, and conversations with others.... why do we have to add to the stress.  why cant childern just get to be childern like i was able to do growing up?

Jul 31, 2008 02:59 PM
Linda Whiting
Real Living HER - Powell, OH

Communities have a very difficult time passing bond issues to build more schools--why not use the buildings that are already there and that sit vacant for 3 months?  Year-round school makes a lot of sense--in newer communities, buildings already air-conditioned. Use the existing buildings to their capacity for 12 months before ever considering building new.  Teachers are available--just write their contracts differently.  We need to get a handle on spending!

Aug 12, 2008 04:42 AM