Oh the delights of the 7, almost 8, long weeks of the glorious summer holidays are almost upon us…maybe, perhaps, for the last time if Mr Gove gets his way and the summer holiday as we have always known it is scrapped!
Now, I bet readers with school age children fall into one of two camps…
a) “Hooray.” you cry “Go Gove! I am not a lady of leisure, a teacher or a self employed entrepreneur that can afford to take 7+ weeks out of work to look after my kids. Shortening the summer holidays is a fantastic idea!”
b) “You total and utter scrooge! First it was the weather forecasters and now the government want to abolish summer! Well bleeeeeeeeeeeep you!”
Officially Gove’s proposal ensures no such thing. All the new move would do is remove the power to set term dates from local authorities and hand it to school heads, who could, if they wish, keep things just the way they are. Gove hopes that in a contest of headteachers against those he’ll call “local bureaucrats”, the public will back the former every time.
In my eyes this still sucks! There is a reason that coming of age stories happen over long hazy summers because children have the freedom outside of the regiment of school to just be and find their own ways. Childhood without summer is like errrr pancake without Nutella. Wrong.
Gove aside, I can also understand that the summer holidays can also be a royal pain in the arse. Most of us work – so childcare is a problem as well as ridiculously expensive. I saw at my local farm this week that they will look after your child, give them a curled up sandwich and biscuit style packed lunch…all for just £36 per day per child. Wowzers…that bill will mount up! So without the luxury of a bottomless wallet, entertainment should be made on some what of a budget – with the odd play date* with friends sandwiched in to relieve the childcare drama.
(*Can it still be called a play date when the child I have to entertain this summer is 14? She’s probably die to hear me say it! Tee hee)
Anyhow…In our house we have a strategy and that is a SUMMER HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST 10 things we simply must do before the summer is out and/or Gove robs us of our summer breaks!
Here is our, mine and my teenage step daughter’s, collective bucket list – click on the links for further info:
1. Go wild swimming.
2. Make lemonade.
3. Sleep out in the wild…or at least the back garden(!) and tell ghost stories.
4. Go on a canoeing expedition.
5. Do some torch painting at night and photograph it. (My teenage step daughter’s idea, which she is desperate to do!)
6. Get up and watch the sunrise.
7. Finish decorating her bedroom.
8. Set up a projector and screen/TV outside and have a film festival in the back garden. Invite friends round. Have a BBQ and blankets. (Have a feeling this will turn into a Lord of the Rings Marathon…if she gets her way!)
9. Start the mosaic we have been talking about for the last 5 years in the back garden.
10. Go to Paris for at least a day.
That’s a lot of adventure to be had right? Some super economical…Paris maybe not so…
…Note to self: Don’t worry it’ll soon be September! 🙂