As a parent, you might be worried about your child’s ability to retain the knowledge gained throughout the school year during the summer break. You might even be tempted to have your child focus on academic work throughout the break. However, you should recognize that your child needs the balance offered through a summer of relaxation and reflection. Here are some ways that you can ensure your child continues to build upon the things learned in the classroom.
Give them Practical Duties
Include practical life experiences in your child’s day that will provide ritual, a marking of the passage of time, and a sense of responsibility in family life. Example of this include
- Making the bed together
- Culling through toys and deciding what to discard and what to keep
- Folding laundry together
- Setting the table, clearing the table after a meal
- Sorting and loading laundry into the washing machine
Read beautiful, appropriate books (if you need a list of books, your child’s school should have a summer reading list). For older children, begin a chapter book that will develop into a repetitive ritual that she will look forward to and remember with warmth and happiness.
Have long leisurely conversations about the characters, the places visited, the sights and smells. Provide large blank sheets of paper and crayons or watercolors and invite the child to illustrate parts of the story she remembers. Collect these into a handmade book of illustrations.
Allow them to be Bored
Do not be afraid of boredom as this will lead to creative, exciting activities of your child’s choosing. Your child’s play will reflect what is going on in their world, as it is the source of their imaginings.
Resist the need to provide a playmate or to be a playmate for your child regularly, but instead, honor their ability to find their entertainment and source of activity. Play-dates are fine for an occasional get-together, but children do enjoy their own company when allowed to figure it out and enact upon their ingenuity.
Help Your Child Enjoy the Summer Break
For adults, the summer is fleeting, but for children, it is a world unto itself that stretches out forever, until, someone says it is time for school again. Children will savor the free passage of time in which they can relish individual choices, uninterrupted play, ample rest and sleep, unhurried meals, and unplugged screens. Be on the lookout or more ways to make the most of this summer break.