It just so happens that it is now SUMMER VACATION! At least for those lucky seniors here in the US. Then, in about a month, all students (maybe even teachers?!) will be enjoying their summer break. At least here in the US. Across the globe, even across the nation, summer vacation does not mean the same thing! Some schools are off for 6 weeks. Some? Over 12 weeks. We'll take a closer look at the differing summer breaks - here in the US, with our neighbors Canada & Mexico, and then finally abroad.
US summer vacation can last anywhere from 2-3 months. These are typically the summer months with two distinct timelines: Early June to Early September, or Late May to Late August. This break is often believed to be due to the alignment of the academic calendar to the traditional agrarian calendar - children were needed at home to help plant and harvest craps. This does not seem to be the case as the major harvest seasons are spring and fall, and often times classes would resume after long harvest breaks. The leading theory to explain this long period of school-less-ness seems to be the growth in the population of urban areas - and the subsequent desire of families to escape the sweltering cities during the summer.
Canada experiences a similar summer break from scholastic endeavors, yet their summer starts at the end of June, lasting through to Labour Day in September. The difference in summer vacation days seems to be made up in longer breaks during the school year, for example a longer Christmas Break or spring break.
Mexico seems to have an even shorter summer vacation at only about a month long, starting in July. Much like Canada, holidays and breaks seem to be longer and occur more often during the school year.
In Japan, however, Summer Break occurs from July to September, and happens in the middle of a school grade/level (vs. Western schooling where the summer break is taken between school grades/levels.) Japan also offers a longer spring break towards the beginning of summer (April or May) and also ends the school year in Winter with another smaller break to separate school grades/levels.