There’s nothing that students and teachers look forward to more than summer break. Long lazy days, camp, beaches, swimming - summer is THE BEST!
For parents though, fear of the “summer slide” sets in. Will my child retain everything she’s worked so hard to learn this year? Will he be ready for next year? How can I help my kids to be prepared without causing conflict in our house?
Rest assured. Here are five helpful tips to prevent the “summer slide” and keep everyone in the family feeling good.
1. Start a family book club
If you only do one thing on this list this summer, make it the family book club! Let your child choose the book, or read a book that s/he has been assigned for summer reading. Then, read along with them (get your own copy!). Schedule a book chat every few chapters. Talk to your child about the plot, the characters, the setting, or anything of interest. This can be as informal or formal as you’d like; do what works for your family. Maybe cousins or friends want to get in on the action, too - or even grandma and grandpa? Everyone can join the family book club!
2. Exercise the brain in different ways: hiking, museums, cooking, building, MyloWrites
Students exercise their brains vigorously during the school year with reading, writing and math. Use the summer as an opportunity to exercise your kids’ brain in different ways.
Go for a hike, paddle a canoe, visit a museum, cook a meal, make writing fun with MyloWrites, complete a DIY project, redecorate the bedroom…the possibilities are endless! New experiences develop new neural pathways and funds of knowledge - and they’re fun, too.
3. Rest and relaxation
The importance of recharging during the summer should not be understated. All kids, but especially teens, need ample rest. Young minds will only be available for learning if they are alert and well rested. Plan time for your kids to have plenty of downtime during their vacation from school.
4. Spend time with friends and family
Interpersonal relationships are vital to healthy and happy humans. This summer, make sure your child has the opportunity to spend time with loved ones. Summer is the perfect time to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Spending time with people who love them is a great way to develop confidence and a positive sense of self in your kids.
5. Play games
I don’t mean video games here. I mean good, old fashioned games - board games, active games, whatever your family is into. Grab the flashlights and head out for a crazy game of flashlight tag. Play tennis or other more organized sports. Challenge your teen to a game of Scrabble or Pictionary. Friendly competition helps teens to manage emotions, show off their smarts, strategize, and be valued as part of a team.