The long summer break for schools here in the USA have started. So for many parents the typical day of getting the kids up out of bed, into the car, to school, work until school gets out, taking care of everyone’s needs until bedtime, and then sneak in a few hours of work or personal time late at night, is upended. It’s three months of unstructured ‘chaos’ ahead. School calendars in the USA are on the low end of number of school days (180), compared to as many as 240 in Japan. The shorter number of days in the USA is compensated for somewhat by longer hours of instruction -but there are many other differences. In the USA each state determines its own curriculum while in Japan (and many other countries), the government decides what each school must teach, how to teach it, and even what books to teach it with. Less choice, but far fewer disparities in student education when the time comes for a student to compete nationally to qualify for higher education after school.