Every year I hear talk of trying to make the summer break shorter. Teachers complain that because kids have spent so much time out of school it takes weeks to get them back to where they were at the end of the previous year. According to Wiki, year round schooling (or YRS) has been around since the 1900s and first appeared in urban areas like Chicago, that were not tied to the agricultural cycle. (Kids used to be taken out of school during the summer to help on the farms.) I must say though, I'm not aware of any YRS's in Chicago today. A bit of research however, tells me that Chicago introduced year round school in 2009 - but in true Chicago fashion, only about a quarter of its schools were put on this schedule. Sigh. Not surprisingly, it dropped the experiment in 2014 because many families with kids in different schools found it too difficult to juggle. I'll say.
Three months off also gets to be rather expensive. For working parents there's obviously the "What to do with the kids" question, hence the reason for so many American kids attending day and sleepover camps. Even if you're home with your kids, it's not much fun when all their friends aren't around. I remember one summer when the big kids were little, I decided I'd be a fun mom, and do fun things with them instead of sticking them in expensive camps they didn't much enjoy. That plan lasted about a week when it became clear that there is such a thing as too much mom-fun. Back to camp with their little friends they went.
This year the newly minted teenager (no longer the Little Guy) has an eclectic range of camps lined up - Metal-working, Archery, Tennis, School of Rock - Beatles show, and something that involves going all over the city and having adventures. For the rest of today however, I am making him empty his backpack and throw 99% of its contents away. This kid hoards more than I do given the chance!