Do you remember how you looked forward to your summer break? That magical cushion of time between one grade and the next that made the school years bearable. Family vacations, experiences with friends, summer excursions evolve into some of the best memories of people’s lives. It makes sense then, that you make sure your kids are exposed to opportunities during the summer.
Many children these days would much rather spend time glued to some screen or another rather than experience the outside world, and left to their own devices, they would. While video games and social media are necessarily harmful in and of themselves summer break should be both fun and constructive.
No one should go two months without learning something new, especially not when being a student is their sole occupation.
Take Some Time Off Work
The easiest way to make sure your student is constructively using their time is to supervise it. Of course, you can’t be everywhere they are telling them what decisions to make. And, it’s vital for them to learn to make decisions on their own, but you can make sure time spent with you is both fun and educational.
One simple way to stay involved without seeming too pushy or controlling is to schedule a few daycations. Day trips are a great way to show your kids you want to spend time with think. And, they are a great way to sprinkle a bit of learning into their summer days.
One simple way to do this is to hit up a museum or planetarium. If you are lucky enough to live near a national park spend the day there. If you are not close to a national park, there are many state parks that offer an opportunity for a fun-filled day.
In addition, these places often offer inexpensive or even free activities designed to be fun while also being educational that you can do together.
Enroll Your Student in a Summer Program
There are so many options in this day and age when it comes to finding a way for your student to spend the summer months. Advantages of enrolling your student in a program include building better social skills, exploring new interests, and keeping them out of trouble. And of course, these programs go to great lengths to make learning hands-on and fun.
Many colleges offer summer programs for high school students. These are beneficial as they can allow a glimpse into what college is like and help them to choose a course of study. Programs such as these also look great on any college application!
For younger students, there is any number of summer camps geared toward different interests. Just remember to ask for your child’s input when deciding. This is their vacation, and, in their world at least, their problems and stressors are every bit as significant as your own. Allowing them a voice in the decision-making process can have a considerable effect on how much they gain from experience.
Encourage Your Student to Volunteer
Expect some groans from this one. There’s no need to make your student do volunteer work all summer, it is a vacation after all, but would one day a week for an organization of their choosing be so bad? Absolutely not!
It’s more important now than ever to impress upon our youth the importance of community. Everything starts at the local level. How would one impact the world if they could not first impact their local community? How can we expect anything to get better if we won’t even work to change our immediate surroundings? There are so many ways to give back that there should be no problem in finding volunteer work that your student can enjoy or, at the least, tolerate.
Don’t let your student spend the summer months being idle, missing the opportunity to gain knowledge and learn new skills that will help them throughout their lives. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to have meaningful and memorable experiences with your child.
Most importantly, show them that learning and fun aren’t mutually exclusive. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.