Looking forward to Summer break? Thank a farmer.

The Beechwood School in Kenton County, Ky. opened in 1858.

The Beechwood School in Kenton County, Ky. opened in 1858.

As we wind down from enjoying spring breaks and time off, we go back to school and work awaiting our next break… SUMMER! But have you ever stopped and wondered why it is that our school year is set up that way?

I sure never did, until now.  In fact, I came to find it wasn’t always this way.

Prior to the Civil War, rural schools were divided into two terms- a winter term that lasted from December to March and a summer term from mid-May to August. This allowed for students to go home in the spring and fall for planting and harvest seasons. And in some cases, schools would allow additional breaks for farm work. Yupp, that’s right- school was planned AROUND AGRICULTURE!

It’s interesting to think that schools not only valued agriculture and understood its importance but even planned their academic calendar around what was best for the farmer.

This was in large part because schools knew that this was in the best interest of those who provided them food and in essence was based upon economic needs opposed to educational needs.

Just some neat food for thought.


Author: geoffreymillerffa

Share This Post On