For many parents around the country, fall break is just around the corner. Followed closely by two days off for Thanksgiving and nearly two weeks with no classes for Christmas, it is important that parents have plans in place for these days when children will not be in school. And while parents of high school students do not have to worry as much about what older children will do on their days off, it is important o realize that there are many parents of younger children who need to have some detailed plans in place.
There are, of course, fortunate families who are able to make sure that at least one parent can take vacation days anytime that school is out. Other families, have to find things to do for their children when school is not in session. Because this is such a common occurrence, however, there are more and more places that are offering day camp like settings for children on non school days. To get a feel for just how popular these offerings are, you only need to realize how fast many of these camps and outings fill up. From a downtown children museum for children to other kinds of educational museums, there are many times when parents are looking for things to do with their children even when they are home with them.
Not All Families Can Afford Educational Experiences on No School Days
When students are worrying about where their next meal is coming from, who they are going to stay with this week, or how they are supposed to wash their clothes it is difficult for them to learn in school. For the students in some fortunate districts, however, family transition programs are giving them extra help so they can succeed inside and outside of the classroom. These services, however, may be even more important on days when school is not in session.
As schools continue to serve a wider range of problems for children, it can be more and more difficult to teach the basics of reading, math, and science. This is the new reality though and educators across the nation continue to search for the best ways to meet children where they are and help them move forward on their educational road to success. Joining forces with local play museums, art museums, and other environments where children are allowed to learn through play, many school districts are asking for the community’s help in making sure that fewer children are left behind in a world that can see so divided.
There are, of course, many families with children who fall through the gaps. Children whose parents have no where near the kind of resources to take them to a local pumpkin patch with a $25 admission per person. And for every mom posting adorable photos of their children surrounded by pumpkins and gourds of all sizes and colors, there are many more mothers who know that this is just one more example of what they cannot provide for their children.
Fortunately, in some large cities, there are places that provide both educational and entertaining things to do free of charge. The challenge, of course, for working parents is to find a way to have the time away from work to take advantage of these free opportunities. A family where both parents work full time, for instance, have to rely on more easily accessible things to do for their children when there is no school. A growing number of school districts provide free or affordable before school, after school, and weekday programs for families who qualify for free and reduced lunches.
Learning through play is nothing new, but the sad reality in our world is that it is often those with the most resources who are able to take advantage of these experiences. Those who are struggling to make ends meet are not often able to take advantage of these educational, or other, options. As communities find ways to even the playing field for some of the most disadvantaged youth, however, it is often a combination of the efforts of schools, churches, and local business that make these opportunities happen.