Every student keeps dreaming of vacations throughout the school year, Christmas break, Easter break, and especially Summer vacations.
It is certainly not only for youngster to keep dreaming and wishing for vacation time , but for adults as well.Howerver, let us focus our attention on children for time being. Why is the face of a child lit up just by listening to the word ”vacations”? Firstly, because leisure time is increasingly less throughout the school year, free time is scarce in addition to the many obligations that school imposes on students, and secondly because during their vacation time children can be free to do whatever they really want to do and breathe a sigh of relief at last!
On a superficial level, everything is as it should be and no harm done: children are tired, let them now relax, rest, gain strength, physical and mental, in preparation for for the new year to come!
But in reality, are things so simple or do we run some risks that must be taken into consideration?
Consideration No #1
It is legitimate and important if a child is to be balanced both physically and mentally to structure and organize his / her vacations. But we have to keep in mind that if there had been some pressure on the child during the year, if an academic or learning activity or lesson had been imposed on him/her, without discussing it with them first and without having their consent, this inappropriate course of action will have a nasty effect and its consequences will probably spill ino vacation time as well.
And this is because a child, having a free will of its own does not mean to do or to participate in something with his heart if he is either forced or seduced to do it. For example: We do not want our child to spend too much time glued to their smart phone. So without further ado (and while we may be more addicted to it than our children) we prohibit or impose restrictions on its use (eg one hour a day or only on Saturdays). The argument goes; “You have a lot of homework for school, you are sitting for an exam in a few months, you have swimming and English lesson …”. The child obeys (necessarily) and we think we have succeededin prsuading them. But our success is fragile and short-lived. Once the holiday season begins, it will prove true: unlimited use of their mobile phone, along with no studying on holidays, no diplomas or after- school activities.
Consideration No #2
Really, what does ”taking a break” mean? What is it that we are taking a break from? Are we machines? Yes, machines may shut down for a while or so, but we never do! We are in constant interaction with our natural and human environment. We are prone to both good, but also to evil, so we can not do whatever we randomly wish for. Our actions have consequences, good or bad.
This is a proper thing to discuss thoroughly with our child and persuade them to adopt it as a philosophy in life. Because what has been earned throughout the year, may well be lost, scattered during vacation time, and so find our child at a disadvantage at the start of the new school year .
The process of education, of is never interrupted. So we, parents and teachers alike ought to always keep that in mind. Our child needs our discreet guidance constantly, our living example, our encouraging words, our strong argument, our support in their challenges. The “holidays” are absolutely necessary: all of us, young and old alike, need to rest, change of scene and environment. However, this period is also a first-class opportunity to cure bad habits and unfortunate events that occured throughout the year. Our own recreation and of our children is the goal, so that we may return to the challenges of the new educational year refreshed and with renewed determination.
Ancient Greeks and Vacationing
The concept of vacations, as we mean it today, was unknown to our ancient ancestors. Of course they traveled often – mainly by sea for safety reasons – to visit places of worship, such as the sanctuary of Olympia, and to participate in worship and watch the games. Or for health reasons they visited the famous medical centers such as the Asklipios Centre in Epidavros.
Also, in order to ask a god’s will they went to holy-divination places, such as the Oracle of Apollo in Delphi. Those that ravelled purely to see the world and its sights, such as Solon and Herodotus, were far few and between .
The first ones to set aside vacation time for rest were the ancient Romans. In their famous and luxurious country houses, which had arcades, libraries, swimming pools, gardens with fountains and baths, the wealthy Romans vacationed from the second pre-Christian century onwards to escape their obligations and rest. Over time, as usual, this habit has “passed” down to the masses!
Happy Vacation Time!!!