As we begin our August holiday, I thought I would consider the benefits of school holidays and the impact that they have on our families. Like everything in life, school holidays affect people differently, so how do the holidays affect you?
Young people always look forward to school holidays and often make plans to be with their friends and have fun. I remember when I was at school, we used to ride our bicycles in the street and look for snakes in the ‘koppies’ behind the school. All we had to do was get home before dark. Sometimes we even took a packed lunch with us and spent the whole day out with our dogs while our parents were both at work – no cell phones or any other forms of communication. Today, our children seem to frequent the shopping malls going to movies or playing at a friend’s home. Some of our children are privileged to go on overseas trips with their parents during April and/or August. There is no underestimating just how enriching these experiences can be for young people and their parents. Being exposed to other cultures in a foreign land can be an awesome experience, and a wonderful privilege for anyone.
Our educators take a deep breath and usually take some time to relax for a few days during the holidays. Many continue with assessments, preparation for the next term, or come to school and help our young people catch up work missed or prepare for major exams. During August, in South Africa, most Matrics spend valuable time preparing for their Prelims and Final Examinations. So, the stress of bells and lesson times, homework and other tasks is replaced with focused preparation for the final two sets of exams written at school. Unless a carefully planned study timetable is designed and used every day, students will not perform to their full potential. Holiday revision is provided for students who wish to have a more structured programme during the last week of the holiday before the Prelims. Many educators also take some time to do some home maintenance and repairs resulting from neglect during the busy term.
Many of our parents continue to work very hard during our holidays so that normal living expenses and school fees can be covered. I often wonder if our children at Marist Brothers Linmeyer actually appreciate the sacrifices that many of our parents make in order to send them to our school? I do know that many of our students realise that their education is the biggest gift they are given in life (other than the love they receive from their parents and family). Some parents often say that they can’t wait for their children to go back to school at the end of a school holiday…
Finally, we need to realise that the special moments spent with our children while they are young are short-lived. Our children grow up so quickly and we need to appreciate every moment whether it be during the holidays or during term time. We, as parents need to be there for our children, with our children, while they need us.
Because, before long, they will be leaving the protection of our homes and starting a new life of their own.
ENJOY YOUR CHILDREN WHILE YOU CAN – THEY NEED YOU NOW
(AND YOU NEED THEM).
We wish our Marist Family a wonderful, blessed and safe holiday.
Mr Gary Norton
High School Principal