Most London schools have 3 terms. Perpetual pregnant parents on this side of the pond. Of course they don’t call it that in school but that’s what it is. Trimesters. Threes. Kids clubs, school activities and academic calendars all follow the same rule of thumb, or maybe the first three fingers.
Now that the kids are at school full time, only a few clubs have been scheduled outside school hours. Yet, every time I finally write that check and confirm registration, it seems I trip a wire to notify the termkeepers and before I know it, a text and email reminder arrive requesting me to book ‘next term.’ Really? Already? But I just got THIS TERM sorted! I have figured out why I just can’t get the hang of it.
I grew up with the US school calendar. Most Americans are familiar with the FIRST HALF or the SECOND HALF of a school year. We only deal in threes when our cars break down (and that triple A is more appealing than the less popular AAA training bras). We like twos and fours. Halves and Quarters. Two halves to the school year, check. Two months off at summer, check. Four seasons, check. Four quarters of an annual report, check. Even our sports have a half or a quarter. Not 90 minutes of non stop play over here. Again a multiple of 3, but I digress.
The US system really is so much easier. The first half of the school year starts at the end of the summer. Then, in the New Year, the second half of the school year begins and ends at summer time. EASY! We all understand this simple concept and when we graduate to semesters at college or university, we are already speaking the same language. We know that semesters aren’t REALLY 6 month terms but two academic terms, excluding the summer. Of course. Even EASIER!!
Terms are not something that school children should be versed in anyway. It makes parents jittery. Is a college paper due? And to make matters worse, even if you manage to get the terms worked out, there is a 1/2 term in every TERM of the academic year. HUH? So it’s not 3 terms, it’s really 6 TERMitos the kids are at school. Enough! Finish Term i Nation ! TERMINOS!!!
Have a look at this year’s calendar, of which we have just finished May’s 1/2 term break in the Summer Term 2013 calendar. Got that?
ACADEMIC YEAR CALENDAR 2012/2013
Autumn Term 2012
Spring Term 2013
Summer Term 2013
So, on any given school year that our darling TRIPODS go to school, on average, there are 15 weeks (less 1 week ) in Autumn, 16 weeks( less 3) in Spring (forgot to mention 1 week in Feb and sometimes 2 or 3 weeks off at Easter!), and 10 weeks (less 1) in Summer. So 41 weeks.
Most American schools have off 2 months in the summer time. A few days at Thanksgiving, a week at Christmas, Spring Break, a few Presidents holidays and we could probably call it even. I think I shall write to the Department of Education recommending some changes. Forget this TERM i NATION and let’s extend the Spring Term, ditch the ‘Summer’ half term and finish like normal…in June.
But today, on the last day of the Summer Term’s 1/2 term, I have just received an email that C’s ‘Summer Camp’ football registration is NOW OPEN! Great. It is raining outside and summer seems a distant dream but I’ll sign up anyway and hope I get it right. If not, there’s always the first half of the Autumn Term, which starts in the Summer anyway, I think.
Three Green Tea, by Pukka
Boil water, let it cool for 3 minutes, pour over tea bag. Let it seep for 3 or even 6 minutes.
Drink tea slowly and practice your 3 times tables (multiplication tables).
Repeat every first Monday of every beginning of term, half term and end of term for all of eTERMity.