Back-to-school: 10 fun facts

Get your child into the spirit of going back to school with these impressive facts.

By Cassandre Cadieux
Back-to-school: 10 fun facts

Back-to-school: 10 fun facts

Back-to-school facts

Be it schools around the world, certain traditions or our favourite back-to-school items, here are 10 facts that will impress the whole family. It just might get your little ones back in the spirit of homework, tests and, of course, recess! 

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: UTurnPix/iStockphoto

Did you know?: Summer break around the world

Think eight weeks of summer vacation is too long? In Chile, summer vacation lasts from mid-December to early March, meaning Chilean children are off for about 12 weeks. And in Ethiopia, vacation is 12 to 15 weeks, depending on the school. 

Germany, however, only has a very short six week vacation.


Photo by Josh Pesavento via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: Josh Pesavento/Flickr


Did you know?: Shopping

In the US, $7.7 billion was spent for back-to-school clothes shopping last August (2011). Add on the $2.4 billion spent in bookstores that same month, and you notice how many people go shopping right before schools let back in.


Photo by meddygarnet via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: meddygarnet/Flickr

Did you know?: Crayons

Everyone's favourite colouring utensil, the crayon, ranks #18 on the list of most recognizable scents, according to a study done by Yale University.

In the Color Census of 2000, blue was voted the favourite crayon colour. The worst? Tan, tumbleweed and spring green.

By the time a little one turns 10, they will have worn down approximately 730 crayons and will have spent about 28 minutes per day colouring (on average).


Photo by PaulSteinJC via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: PaulSteinJC/Flickr

Did you know?: Summer vacation

Before the school calendar became national, geography determined when students attended classes. In small, rural areas, school went from December to March and May to August so that kids could help plant in the spring and harvest in the fall. 

In the urban centres, schools feared spread of disease in hot, crowded schoolrooms and gave their children summers off.


Photo by c.r.avery via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: c.r.avery/Flickr


Did you know?: Buses

Approximately 480,000 yellow school buses carry 25 million US children to and from school every weekday.

That's a lot of buses!


Photo by manyhighways via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: manyhighways/Flickr

Did you know?: Biggest school

The biggest school in the world (in terms of pupils, not area) is the City Montessori school in Lucknow, India. 

The school was set up by the Ghandi's in 1959 and has more than 32,000 students! That's more than a lot of universities (not to mention a lot of towns...)


Photo by Wrote via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: Wrote/Flickr

Did you know?: School phobia

Didaskaleinophobia is the fear of going to school. Yes, it actually exists, and 2.4% of school-aged children are considered to have it, on an international level.


Photo by tracy the astonishing via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: tracy the astonishing/Flickr


Did you know?: Pencils

Pencils are not only good in the classroom, but they can be used in zero gravity, upside down and even under water. 

The average classroom pencil can write approximately 45,000 words (or draw a line that is 56 kilometres long). That's a long life!


Photo by Nalini Prasanna via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun facts

Did you know?: School days

Not every country has the same school days as we do here in North America. In Brazil, school runs from 7 a.m. to noon because students go home to share lunch (the most important meal) with their family. And in Mexico, students go to school Monday through Friday with elective classes on Saturdays too.


Photo by Brit. via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: Brit./Flickr

Did you know?: Apples

The tradition of giving apples to teachers dates back to the 16th century in Denmark, where parents would pay their educators with food (namely, apples since they were expensive and hard to harvest), since teachers couldn't live off their small salaries. 


Photo by mrmadden77 via Flickr

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: mrmadden77/Flickr


More fun facts

Back-to-school: 10 fun factsPhoto: ideabug/iStockphoto
This article was originally published on Aug 27, 2012

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