Sunday, February 15, 2009

February vacation

We don't get half term holidays over here, but we do have this week off school anyway. The school year here is 10 days shorter than in the UK - 180 days rather than 190 and the holidays are arranged a little differently.

No October half-term, but we do get two days in November for Thanksgiving. Slightly less than 2 weeks at Christmas/New Year as opposed to two full weeks in the UK. A week in February, like February half term. We don't get two weeks off at Easter. We get one week in April. In my school district that vacation will now be shortened by 2 days because of the number of snow days we've had :-( By the middle to end of June we're done, whereas the state schools in the UK still have another 3 weeks to go.

So why is it, after so many years of February half term, it feels far too early this year to be having a week off school right now? Maybe I got too used to the private school vacations of two weeks in March? (Perfect timing for cheap tickets to the UK! It's been three years now though since I had vacation in March. Sniff!) Maybe it's because I ended up with almost a month off for Christmas because of all the snow days? (If only I'd know in advance that was coming, we'd have gone to the UK!) It certainly feels as though we had just barely got started with a school routine, and now we're on holiday again. Of course, DH with his paltry annual allowance of something like 6 days off has no sympathy!

Ok, I'm off to plan our calendar so we don't get to Friday and find the week has slipped by and we haven't even left the house! Library, movies, museums, kids' theatre - there are so many choices!


Jean said...

Hi there, thought I'd pop by and visit seeing as you had done so on mine.

I'm off for the half-term with my girls and I have a To Do list as long as my arm - but I also want to include some fun things for the three of us too, like you I don't want to get to friday and realise we've only managed to vacuum the carpets.

Da Goof said...

I'm with DH on this one, have some more cheese to go with that..... ;-)

I can't really complain about vacation at this job since it is so much better than at DH's, and I can take it on short notice. BUT we get no holidays from New Years until Memorial Day! That stings a little.

Have a nice break!


Mmm said...

Thx for that comparison. I coulnd't quite recall the diffs but i do remember getting Easter breaks--miss those.

Canoez said...

Ok, so it's more than 6 days of vacation, but not much more. :-/

We earn our vacation in days per month and after being at this company for 13 years, I haven't maxed out on my vacation yet, but am close.

Then again, it's kinda strange to listen to how much complaining AA does about her vacation time. Too much?

Anonymous said...

I seem to inevitably buy airline tickets for the times when the schools in the UK are on these "half-terms" or when they let out in the summer (as you note, later than an American would expect) so I find myself at Heathrow with ten bazillion people and the poor airline people have to explain to me why there are so many people trying to fly.

Having lived in the UK 2.5 years already, it would be hard for me to go back to the US and the stingy holiday packages. My first job in the US I got 5 days of vacation per year plus the regular holidays off. It was miserable. Yes I don't take my full UK allotment but I sure like knowing it's there, and even more importantly that when I do something like go to Australia for three weeks, as I did over Christmas, that people here won't blink an eye. My family back home were stunned that I was on holiday down under for three weeks because they had never heard of such a thing!

Daffodilly said...

Get those cross country ski's on!!

Enjoy the snow more is due any minute!!!

Almost American said...

Yes - the snow is here already! I'm changing our plans for tomorrow to include some sledding I think 'cos we can do that without driving anywhere :-)

Anonymous said...

We have this week off to, but we've not been out and about much due to a welcome deluge of rain [we're facing drought condition, which makes us chuckle as people pour gallons of water through the sprinkler systems on green grass]

I miss half term, but then I always forget about all the extra days and weeks that pop up all over the place during the school year. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it by the time they get to High School.

Expat mum said...

My kids are all at the same school (thank goodness) and March is the only month where they have four full weeks. Between national holidays, teacher conference days etc. every other month has three and four day weeks. And, we finish on June 7th and don't go back till about September 7th!

Iota said...

I didn't know that the school year was so different before we moved here. It really makes a huge difference to life, I find. I miss those half term breaks, and the fact that you're never far away from a holiday. And I find the summers here SO long (great if you are doing a trip to the UK, as we did in 2008, but miserable if you're newish in town, don't know many people, not used to temperatures in the 90s and 100s, and have 3 bored kids, which is how it was in 2007).

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