It’s the most anticipated time for students. It’s that classic movie scene showing students staring at the ever-ticking clock, just waiting. Finally, that bell rings and all hell breaks loose as kids stampede through the halls, celebrating the start of their summer.
For parents? The story’s a little different. Especially when COVID’s quarantining has made it feel like summer started in February.
Sure, at first it was great. You got to maybe enjoy some quiet family time and just maybe even relax a little. But it only takes a few weeks before those glittery hopes of summer dull into dealing with bored children who are somehow still not “too bored to do chores.” And that’s when it hits you: you miss school.
It’s not that you don’t love your children, it’s that both you and your teenagers can only enjoy so many unstructured, unproductive days.
Of course, you should spend some time over the summer enjoying each other’s company and vacationing however you’re able. But to keep your sanity in those last pre-fall weeks of summer, we recommend trying out some of these simple, daily activities to keep your student’s brain active and ready for school.
Stock up! Not on toilet paper, on books! Read together.
Studies show that students on average return from summer break one month behind in learning than they were before the break.
Helping your student becoming prepared for the upcoming school year is as simple as setting time aside for reading. You might not be able to physically go to a library. But do you know that if you have a card, many libraries have apps with access to their online reading? Get your library card! They will give fun, interesting books to read that are at the right reading level for your teen.
For those students who aren’t exactly bookworms, this is much easier said than done. Your child does not have to read a book.
Maybe they find the news comics entertaining or like a fan fiction story online. Whatever gets them reading something other than a Tweet or Snap that’s not filled with ‘texting lingo’ is incredibly productive.
Talk to them about what they read. What did they enjoy about it? What made it funny or sad or feel however they felt? This will help them better comprehend what they’re reading. It’s easier to talk together if you read it on your own as well. Hint. 🙂
Implement math into your daily routineMath is in everything you do. So why not make it a game?
Going to the store? Have your teen see if they can accurately guess the total before the cashier rings you up. They’re old enough that you can make sure they include sales tax as well.
When that gets easy, see if they can get the totals right if the costs were divided two ways, then three ways, then four.
Baking is another great way to implement math. Just for kicks, have them help you double a recipe.
When you play games as a family, try some card games that include math, like Yahtzee, Skip-BO or 31.
Find little ways you can implement math and be sure to include your child whenever possible over the summer.
Get out and explore whenever you can!
If you take some time to get outside and engage your mind, it will do much good for everyone in your house, and make your student better prepared in the fall.
It’s probably the most social-distant friendly activity you can do! Plus, living in Idaho means there are boundless opportunities places to explore.
Quality time makes all the difference
We know your children’s improvements are largely accredited to you.
We also want to thank you for your hard work on behalf of your students. You have changed their lives and changed their future in immeasurable ways.
During the summer, one of the most important things you can do to help your student is to spend quality time with them.
Quality time doesn’t always have to be academic, and certainly doesn’t need to be expensive.
Even if it’s just going to the park and throwing a Frisbee, that creates a child-parent bonding that’s beyond the norm of going to work, coming home, cooking dinner, watching TV and waking up to the same thing.
When you do those kinds of things, your teen is more likely to follow through with the things you ask them to do.
Don’t be afraid to use those times as reinforcements. When they do well in math class or have a good behavior report, go and have a day out somewhere like the beach or ride bicycles, something to celebrate the triumphs of the student.
When you do these things, you become more than just someone who is a mom or dad. You become someone your kid appreciates and doesn’t want to let you down.
All we’re saying, really, is to keep doing what you’re doing.