History of the 300-year-old traditional school calendar

The standard school calendar as we know it actually harks back to 18th century England, when much of that country relied on an agrarian society a society that depends on agriculture as its primary means for support and sustenance.

The thinking behind the make-up of school calendars more than 300 years ago was to have children free to work on the farms in the busy summer months, sometimes from June right through to September.

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This would explain the extended length of the summer break from schooling that still exists to this day.

Such a society acknowledged other means of livelihood and work habits, but had agriculture and farming at the top of its work tree.

At the time, it was the most common form of socio-economic organization for most of recorded human history and was the main source for Medieval European countries to gain wealth.

The changes during the British Agricultural Revolution in the 18th century then subsequently spread to the rest of Europe and the United States. Former U.S. president Thomas Jefferson promoted an agrarian society for the United States during the nation's early formation.

Traditionally, in the States, school began after Labor Day and ended in late May or early June, so that older children could help harvest the crops grown by farming families.

In the early 1900s, a few year-round schools popped up in urban areas, but dwindled during the Great Depression.

Since the end of World War II, North America has become less agrarian and the traditional calendar less essential to family circumstances.

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