Here’s a great question: Why should parents give kids a break from school/chores when Mom and Dad continue to work 24/7/365?
First of all, because they are kids. They are not yet mature enough or strong enough to be working like adults. So, we consider their frame, and we don’t bury them in year-round studies. Solomon knew this when he pointed out that “much study is wearisome to the flesh” and I assume his comment was not limited to adults.
Wise Solomon said a few other things as well: “Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise: why should you destroy yourself?” Earnest Christians can overdo things in their desire to be “godly,” and this can include loading up the kids with way too many “righteous” things to do. Easy does it.
We want to be reformational in our thinking and living. We believe our theology should affect all of our living, so that means we ought to live like we believe it. Reformed types tend to over-emphasize stuffy theology and try to take shelter from living by hiding behind stacks of big fat books. Live a little. Maybe you need to take a break from your frenetic pace and take a pottery or painting class yourself. Or maybe ballroom dancing or fencing. Giving your children the opportunity to experience many things, from camping and fishing to astronomy and physics, is giving them a big view of God. Look at all the cool stuff God lets us do.
We want to become more human, which means bearing His image more faithfully and fully. He is not a fusser, watching the clock and checking things off His to-do list. We need to imitate Him, His extravagance and liberality toward His children. Did you catch that glorious sunset He set out in the sky tonight? Or were you too busy fussing over something “righteous” and forgot to look up? Come on! Don’t tell me He wasted all that color and light and you didn’t even notice? He seems to delight in distracting us away from our many mundane duties to look and wonder. So we ought to distract our own children away from their studies and chores.
Kids ought to play in the dirt and build forts and climb trees and throw snowballs and make you laugh. The great architects and musicians and artists of the next generation need to discover their gifts and develop their talents while playing dress-ups or messing around with clay. They won’t ever know what they can do unless you give them the opportunity to try.
That’s why I think kids need a summer break.