'Tis the season for ice cream treats, sandy toes, sun-kissed cheeks, and later bedtime routines. It's official - school's out!
Our kiddos (and parents) have worked hard to stay consistent with educational milestones, so how does the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants Summer schedule help to maintain all the progress made? I don't purport to be an expert on this, but here are some tactics I plan on implementing this Summer...
Keep it Simple
I have been notorious for jam-packing our Summer schedule to the brim. My thought process has been to keep the kids highly engaged and off screens - not a terrible sentiment; however, as the days progressed, I was left depleted with little to no patience. My kids were also left expecting a memorable adventure every day. Not sustainable, right?
So, this Summer I plan to keep things simple. There will be adventurous days, no doubt, but falling into a simple Summer routine is the goal. A goal that leaves more time, patience and energy for educational activities throughout the day. Learning activities should also feel simple, like fun worksheets, colouring pages, word searches, and story-time, to name a few.
If anyone has siblings in their household, the notion of Summer goals should be easy to implement. I know my boys make a competition out of anything! I intend to implement educational Summer goals that encourage friendly competition but most importantly, inspire continued learning. For example, introducing a reading challenge at home is a great way to keep literacy fresh throughout the Summer. Who can accomplish reading 50 books first? These goals should feel fun, attainable and simple.
I plan on making weekly visits to the library throughout the Summer. It's a great way to put ownership in your kids' hands to pick their own books, research topics and get out of the house! In addition, your local library will likely have drop-in hours with kid-friendly activities sure to bring the giggles. Many local libraries also offer reading challenges with prizes.
It might seem obvious, but positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to encourage learning. If your child completes a worksheet, or gets through a book throughout the day, praise their efforts and offer a reward. Again, keep it simple - rewards can be extra screen time earned, favourite treat or later bedtime that night. Positive reinforcement goes a long way!
I raise my heavily filled coffee mug to you, readers, and cheers to a simple and memorable Summer. Oh, and...happy reading!