Do you remember the feeling of freedom you felt at the beginning of the school holidays for summer? It felt like the weeks were stretching out before you in a way that just doesn’t happen with adulthood; like there was so much time just waiting to be filled in. It can be incredibly rewarding to see your children now enthused with that same sense of wonder of what they will do with their time – though as a parent, it’s not quite so exciting.
While we know that summer break is essential to give kids some time to decompress from their school lives and experience things outside of the classroom, as a parent, it can be difficult to contemplate. Summer is expensive; it means finding ways to fill their time, days spent together, trips paid for, excursions funded. It’s wonderful too, of course – some of the best memories you ever have as a family will be made over the course of those summers – but it can also be tricky from a management perspective.
Sometimes, a little research and thought is all it takes for those long, yawning weeks to become something more constructive. What you (and your kids) need is a three-split summer, with an equal amount of time and energy spent on each of the three segments. How should you be dividing your kids summer up, so you can ensure they get the most of it?
Section One: Learning
It might not be what your kids want to hear, but some of their summer should ideally be spent learning. Even better if it’s learning something they wouldn’t usually learn as part of a school curriculum. Great options include using a language app to learn a little of an unusual language, or even online guides to give them an intro to coding. Anything that keeps their brains active will make a difference when school restarts.
Section Two: Giving Back
A well-rounded childhood should involve some element of charity or mission work. This can help foster a sense of awareness in the world around them, as well as encourage future behaviors regarding generosity and understanding. There are plenty of summer mission trips for teens to consider, while younger children could help out for a day or so at a local shelter or charity store.
Section Three: Fun!
Finally, summer should be about fun, especially if you have ticked the above two options off – it can be seen as a reward for all of their good work. Encourage your kids to be out and about over the summer, exploring and using their imaginations rather than relying on a TV or video game to entertain them. Active pursuits are always good too; you could try rock-climbing or water-rafting, which have the benefit of being great exercise as well as great fun.
By splitting the summer up into three different segments, you can be sure that your kids will be able to get the most out of the time they have away from school – and have the best summer imaginable for all concerned.