History of Summer Vacation

posted in: Schools and Education | 0

Question: What was the first school year, where, which country started the first school year? How did they come up with it? Please reply.



I always believed that the summer vacation was created for rural students to work the fields during the summer. I was wrong.

children long for a break from school

So what’s the true story?

Before the Civil War, farm students stayed home to plant in the spring and harvest in the fall.  This meant they attended school in the winter and summer months.

Children in the city would attend school year-round. “In 1842, Detroit’s academic year lasted 260 days!”

As cities began to populate and grow, roads of bricks, concrete and eventually asphalt began to appear. The hotter months only grew hotter, as families sought a cooler countryside to escape to if they could afford it.

School attendance was not mandatory at the time, but teachers noticed a considerable drop off over the summer months.  The school houses were also extremely hot and probably felt like an oven, considering air condition did not yet

summer vacation is great fun for all


Leisure time was becoming more important and laws were being passed to form the eight-hour work day and labor unions. Legislators began to discuss the matter and eventually agreed that students should not go to school year-round “because it could strain their brains”.

Reformers began to advocate for a standardized school year across the nation to get everyone on the same school schedule. The hope was also that more students would begin to attend school, as it was not yet mandatory in many areas.

The summer vacation also allowed teachers to work on their on-education requirements and training.

Districts began to cut down the number of school days required, and a more structured school year was developed. While children looked forward to the summer break, business owners began to capitalize on the new opportunities springing up for tourist and vacation options and a new industry was born.

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