PJ O’Rourke over at the WSJ vents his case against “summer vacation”:
Supposedly, summer vacation happens because that’s when the kids are home from school, although having the kids home from school is no vacation. And supposedly the kids are home from school because of some vestigial throwback to our agricultural past.
This is nonsense. The little helping hands of farm children were needed during spring planting and fall harvest. (And they must have been more helpful than the little hands of today’s children, or our grandparents would have died of starvation.) Farm kids, if they went to school at all, went in midsummer and midwinter, when nothing much was doing around the barn.
Summer vacation is, in fact, based on horse crap. American urbanization predated the automobile. Horses and what they leave behind them clogged cities that were already insalubrious from coal smoke, industry and notional sewage systems. Come summer, it was vacation time because “if you had any sense, common or olfactory, you vacated.”
I have to say, I love having the kids home from school but wow, it is a lot of work to keep them occupied and not at each other’s throats.