The summer holidays are fast approaching, a time for both you and your child to relax, recover and spend quality time together. After a stressful school year, it’s no wonder your mind is on all the exciting things to come, but it’s not always easy. You may be thinking about how to keep your child active and engaged and you don’t want time to go by too fast. Before you know it, summer might be over and your child hasn’t prepared at all for the coming year.
Whilst taking time to relax is always a positive, your child should also try to make the most of their time off. Start preparing what to think about now so that your child has an enjoyable yet productive summer.
Organise Your Priorities First
Critical to a successful summer is setting useful goals for yourself and your child. This helps provide direction, create feelings of accomplishment and teaches self discipline. But it’s important to be reasonable, don’t stress about completing everything. Summer is a holiday first and foremost, so you should be more focused on the lessons and skills your child will learn, rather than memorising the entire syllabus for the coming year. Start by setting a good routine with opportunities to build on weaknesses and establish strengths, but also leave enough free time to enjoy the break and to try something new together.
Although you don’t want academics to be the main focus of the summer, it’s good to look at the past year and identify the positives and negatives of school for your child. Slowly, going through some academic gaps helps motivate and reduce stress for your child at the beginning of their next school year, as syllabuses often build upon prior knowledge assuming you understand everything taught previously. You can ask your child’s teacher, or get your child to write down what they liked and found difficult, to help you understand what areas to focus on.
Getting your child a tutor over summer is a wise move too, not only do they get to learn at their own pace, but receiving education without a strict deadline or schedule based around exams will help your child fall in love with learning. If there was anything your child was unfamiliar with or struggled with last year, these are great small steps towards preparing ahead and making sure your child is ready come September. TutorHouse is an online tutoring company that provides tutoring based on your own schedule under affordable price rates.
While academics are important to focus on, so is having some extra-curricular activities under your belt. Although there are many activities for you to select, these are our top three recommendations for future productivity and utility for your child.
1. Learn A New Language
Although your child may be learning a language at school, being multilingual is a great trait to have, so it’s worth practising this in your spare time either by improving their current language skills or learning a language from scratch. This will especially help with your child’s concentration and multitasking skills. It is a great way to develop self confidence and immerse your child into a completely different culture. There are also many ways to learn a language, through cinema, music, meeting people or travel, and so learning won’t make your child feel as though they are at school.
2. Practise An Instrument
Do you want your child to develop discipline, promote mental capacity and discover a method of self expression which can ground them in important moments down the road? If so, they should try learning an instrument. It really has proven academic benefits as well as social ones. There are many traditional ones to choose from: piano, guitar and violin, but there are also many more, don’t limit yourself. You can learn with a teacher, find a great tutor online or even try to use video tutorials, there are many options.
3. Work Experience/Volunteer
If your child is of an age where they may be starting to think of potential career opportunities, work experience is a great way of doing this. They can see what it is like to work in the real world, and experience if the career path they want to pursue is right for them. Volunteering is also a good way for your child to gain good experience before getting into a job. Ask around your local community and see if anyone needs some extra help.
It’s very important to look after and maintain a good sense of wellbeing for both yourself and your child. Without the hidden stresses of going to school and working on schoolwork everyday, the summer holidays are a great opportunity to really focus on keeping your child’s mental health in check.
Exercise is key, and there are so many options available. It’s best to get into good habits for the future when your child is young and full of energy! Team sports are great for socialisation too, as well as teaching how to be a good winner and loser. While individual sports, such as yoga and pilates, can improve relaxation and internal motivation. There are many options, however if your child isn’t enjoying it, it’s not beneficial to force them to do something they don’t like, so sit down with them and choose a new activity to try out.
We’ve established that there are many things your child can do to keep them busy throughout the summer. But something that gets easily missed is spending quality time together as a family. Try doing some activities together, you can go budget friendly and start simple, not everything has to be a lashive outing and you’ll find that your children appreciate going bowling, for walks, and baking together, or even reading together. Summer is a good
time for you and your child to spend time with friends and family more and for you to get to know their families a little better.
What Are You Adding To The List?
As summer is fast approaching, parents are starting to feel the stress of planning and preparing so that everything is sorted. Whether it’s holidays, finding a childminder or preparing for the next academic year, there is much to do, but hopefully our list provides helpful pointers about where to start. Remember, the key part is to work with your child, including them in the planning process giving them some responsibility for their own time. That way you both can have a productive, stress free time and still look forward to the summer ahead. Enjoy!