I read an article in The Globe and Mail about a family trying to reclaim summer. They had some fairly convincing arguments against year-round schooling. The best one was that summer offered a time for child-directed learning, letting them focus on topics which interested them at their own pacing.
Of course, this doesn't mesh with kids parked in front of TV or computers all day. Nor does it mesh with kids shipped from one camp to the next.
Personally, I like having summer as downtime. This may seem hypocritical since I have a tutor coming five mornings a week but I'm not expecting a regular academic curriculum. Alex needs extra help to keep up academically but we've spent most of the summer focusing on his interests. We've still practiced his reading and writing, but he's been doing a lot of math work (which he loves) and we got him a new auditory memory game which the tutor has been working on with him. He enjoys it so much that he'll sneak it out of her bag when she arrives.
I said in an earlier post that I wanted our summer to be fun. Busy enough not to be boring but not hectic and draining. I think we've achieved that so far.
People will always argue about what's best for children. Summer can be an opportunity for enrichment and good memories, but it's not one which everyone will take advantage of. But maybe the question should be: Is it fair to take an opportunity away just because not everyone will use it?