Summer Vacation

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Do you remember that feeling you'd get on the last day of school? Remember how excited you'd be to finally get to do those summer things like ride bikes with your friends, stay up all night planning pranks, and chasing down the ice cream man after dinner? These are just a few of my favorite memories from those long summer days. Now picture this. It's a beautiful July day, perfect to spend a few lazy hours by the pool, but instead you'll be in school. Okay, sure you could come home and relax in the sun or take a walk with the kids next door. Think again, you'll have homework to do and tests to study for. But when will you have time to be a kid? That's what I'm questioning.

President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan both believe that the school year in America is not adequate enought for kids to catch up to students in other countries where the school year is significantly longer than ours. Last April, Duncan said, "...I think schools should be open six, seven days a week, eleven, twelve months a year." They want to deprive kids of their summer vacation and personally, I think it's an idea that will not only be very unpopular, but should not be put into effect.

When making such a big decision, many things must be put into consideration. One thing, I think, is important is the stress level of kids. I know, from personal experience, that between a seven hour school day, homework, projects, and tests to study for, kids get extremely stressed out. I'm sure everyone can relate to this. Effects of long-term stress on kids can be very harmful. One symptom in particular can be confused with being rebellious, a kid who "blows up" at nothing could be dealing with chronic stress. Other effects of stress include being nervous, jumpy, and having a lack in concentration. Stressed out kids may also stop eating and have sleeping problem. All of this could affect schoolwork, which would have the opposite effect of what the government wants to happen by...
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