As we start back to school in a new year and after a 12 day break, I have the sense that some universal reset button was pressed for our students and our teachers. Instead of thinking of the time away from routine as a "break" or a time to only relax, I'm thinking of it as a time to restore, recharge, and rejuvenate. Why? The idea of a break, to me, seems like a stop, a pause, wherein nothing happens; a time-out from schedule, routine, and the usual day-to-day, when it's actually so much more.
You see, when we think about the universal reset button from a developmental perspective, we can conceive of the break time as a very slow-speed download. All of that excellent data from the previous 4 months of preschool play has taken root in the brains and hearts of your kids during our time away! And the benefits of vacation-- even mini vacations-- for grown-ups are numerous as well: occasional breaks from stress can improve our ability to resist infection, maintain our vital functions, and even avoid injuries.
I realize that big breaks from work and school can also prove to be a source of stress and aren't a practical reality for everyone, but perhaps if we re-frame the purpose (and advocate for better balance of work and family life), we can experience the benefits in a more profound way.