Summer is right around the corner, which means the school year is coming to an end. It can be so easy to just fall into letting your child sleep all hours of the day and night. Should summer be fun? Absolutely! The things listed below can be put aside when the family goes on a trip or decides to spend a day at the neighborhood pool. However, in the midst of all the fun, there are some things you can do as a parent to help your child be successful when it’s time to return to school in August.
- KEEP A ROUTINE – It can be tempting to let your child sleep until 10 am every day, but how much harder will it be for your kiddo to wake up at 6:00 am in August if they’ve been sleeping in until mid-morning all summer? (the answer is REALLY hard) Sleeping in a little bit is Okay – they do not need to wake up at 6:00 am all summer long. But sticking to within an hour of bedtime and within an hour of their normal wake-up time will do wonders for keeping the “grumpies” away come August.
- HAVE YOUR CHILD COMPLETE CHORES – Don’t go overboard! Your child doesn’t need a list of 20 chores per day, but having them complete 1-3 chore(s) each day will add some structure to their summer. You can create a fancy chore chart if you want, or just leave a note every day with a few chores written down.
- HAVE YOU CHILD DO SOME KIND OF ACADEMIC WORK – This one is also about providing some structure for the day. You can just have your child read for a few minutes per day, or you can print some worksheets out for them (you can print free worksheets online – http://www.k12mathworksheets.com/ and http://www.k12reader.com/category/worksheets/ are good options). Bonus – this will probably also help your child be better prepared for schoolwork next school year!
- CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOCIALIZATION – it is important for your child to socialize with friends during the summer. It can be easy to let them watch television or play video games alone all day every day, but they need social interaction so they don’t lose those awesome social skills. It also helps them stay connected to friends from school and not lose friendships over the summer. Why is that important? Studies have shown that kids who have friends at their school perform better (see https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603172221.htm).
Again, summer should be fun, but giving the summer some structure will ensure your child doesn’t spend every minute of summer glued to the television (because you know they would if you let them!) and will make for a much smoother transition in August.