School’s out! For Summer!
The time of the year when teachers finally have a chance to breathe is also when parents sometimes find themselves suddenly overwhelmed with the prospect of having their children home all day.
What can easily turn into an avalanche of junk food, full days glued to a screen, or even old fashioned “getting into trouble” can be avoided with a little secret taken from the Teacher’s Playbook. It’s all about planning the time (while keeping plenty of room for fun).
The Summer Schedule
Wake Up Time
Maintaining a consistent wake up time is essential to making sure children aren’t wasting the day, as well as making it less of a shock when the school year’s early mornings return.
Some children have no problem going outside and playing, while others may be more inclined to sit in front of a screen. Whatever your child prefers, set him or her up with a morning exercise routine. It could be a jog or some basic yoga. Schedule it first thing in the morning to get him/her up and running.
Morning Blogging or Journal Writing
After a healthy breakfast, schedule 20 minutes of free writing. This can be blogging or journaling. Have your children write anything that comes to their mind. This kind of activity helps stimulate the mind and it keeps children writing all summer. At the end of the week, have your children pick their favorite writing of the week and edit it into a final piece ready to be published.
Drop Everything and Read
Scheduling a set reading hour is a proactive way to make sure your children are reading daily. To encourage them to read even more, have them keep their current book with them at all times and set a special alarm that goes off during the day. When they hear this, they have to drop everything and read for 20 minutes. Reward their successes with extra play time or their favorite activity.
Summer Assignment Time
Some children have assignments from their schools to work on during the summer. Don’t let them put it off to the last minute. Schedule an hour of “homework” time daily. If you have a Castle Learning Online account, you can easily create your assignments and assessments to keep their skills sharp across all school subject areas.
Arts and Crafts
After lunch is a prime time to have children work on ongoing arts and crafts projects. These can be week long assignments. Origami, dioramas, posters, painting and drawing are all possiblities. This is also a good time to practice musical instruments or dance.
The Power of the Library
Local libraries have various activities for children and are usually free. Make a scheduled habit of taking your children to the library 2 to 3 times a week. They can explore, pick out new books, or partake in any programs the library has to offer.
Not all parents can afford to send their children to camp, where a daily schedule of events and activities keep students in the flow of school day expectations.
It’s up to parents to create a Summer Schedule for their children that continues to structure their day and their engagement in stimulating activities.
Give it a try this summer and you’ll see as summer break winds down, your children will be more prepared for the new school year than ever before.