When I was growing up, I savored my last day off before school started.
I would usually spend the day at our lake community in northern New Jersey shooting hoops and enjoying the last few hours of sunshine before the chaos of classes and homework returned.
After all, it was the last "unofficial" day of summer -- Labor Day.
And that's how students should spend the last day of their summers -- at home on summer vacation. There's no reason school needs to start any earlier.
It's kind of silly how some school districts in Pennsylvania -- like the Easton Area School District -- start the new year before summer is "unofficially" over.
What's the point?
The school schedule is stupid anyway.
Students -- like those at Shawnee Elementary School in Forks Township -- start school Monday and Tuesday with half days and are off Friday for a lengthy Labor Day weekend holiday that includes Monday as another day off.
So basically, students are going to school next week TWO FULL DAYS.
Last year seemed to be a wash schedule-wise, too. We had a tropical storm that pounded the region, pulling the plug on the opening day of the school year.
Isn't that a child's dream? Having the first day of school canceled.
Hurricanes and tropical storms, popular this time of the year, will do that to you.
With a lack of winter last year, the Easton Area School District dismissed students for the year a week earlier than normal. Most parents weren't so thrilled about that.
So what's the rush with starting the year so early?
Do children really benefit? Do parents, who could plan one last family vacation and take advantage of the Labor Day holiday? Does it help having two half-days to start the year if you have to plan for child care?
These are kids. Let them enjoy every last moment of summer, which we all know "unofficially" runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
A lot of other states, and other districts in our state, start school after Labor Day. They're the smart ones.
Change the schedule next year. Give children -- and their parents -- a little more summer.
After all, what's wrong with a little more sunshine in our lives.