Let’s enjoy this extra family time

Published 7:19 pm Friday, October 14, 2005

By Staff
Whatever happened to the family car trip? I remember a day or two visiting Greenfield Village when my kids were small, learning about Thomas Edison and products made in Michigan.
In our busy lives, families where both parents hold down full time jobs and children are involved in a multitude of sports and extra activities not related to school, maybe this new law is a good thing.
Next fall, schools in Michigan, according to a bill just signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, will be required to start after Labor Day.
"There is no doubt in this state that tourism is an important part of our economy," the governor said. "I made sure that this would not harm education. … You can have both a robust economy and a robust education system."
The school will still be held to 1,098 hours of instruction.
Though the governor would prefer that schools have the school year go longer into June, or cut their extra vacation days, it still is the choice of each school district.
With the energy concerns and prices soaring, I am sure some districts would see an advantage to having less bus trips and longer days.
I have always felt it was hard for parents who work outside the home to deal with those extra after school hours when the children are unsupervised.
Since businesses and others who would profit from a stronger tourism in the state are the ones advocating the change to an after Labor Day start, I hope the results will be actual and not just predicted.
I am sure this decision will cause scheduling problems with the fall sports season and also for those in band or other activities which normally begin in August.
Still I hope that the students, schools and districts can work around these problems and have this decision become a benefit and not just a source of complaints.
I know only all too well how quickly children grow and leave the nest to begin their own lives.
Take time to plan a family vacation while your children are young. I realize there are costs involved, not only gasoline, but hotel/motels, eating out and admission tickets, but believe it, the trip will be worth it.
Years from now those trips will be the high points in your children's lives, like when we met Spiderman in the lobby, as he was checking into the hotel.
Remembering the time when my parents, myself and my two brothers were cramped into a cabin, in two beds, still brings a smile to my face. I kept sliding toward my mother on the warped mattress.
I don't think we got much sleep, but we did have a good time. We just wished my dad would have just once stopped at a place with a pool.