Children learn a lot in school, but it’s at home where they reinforce the behaviors and knowledge they pick up in the classroom. When school enters a break–whether it be for summer or the winter holidays–kids can lose focus and regress. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prepare your child for a school break and keep their minds active.
During any time off from school, your child can become complacent in their studies, which can lead to things like the “summer slide,” where children lose much of what they learn the previous year, and must play catch up the next. To avoid this problem, it’s important to keep your child on a schedule where they know they have to read, study, do homework, and continue to learn, even when school is not in session.
The first thing you and your child want to do is create a to-do list for everything you wish for them to accomplish during their break from school. During the summer months, this can include a reading list to keep their minds working over the break. If they’re only off from school for a week, take inventory of any homework assignments or projects that might be due when they get back.
Once you’ve established a plan for your child’s agenda, it’s a great idea to sit down with them and discuss their grades. Talk about their progress report in the winter to determine how they can improve in the second half of the year. Review the school year with them once school lets out to determine what they did right and what they need to improve in. This will help both parent and child prepare for next year.
Even if they have no assignments while on break, it’s a good idea to have them go over the subjects they previously learned. Have them go through their notes with you and discuss the topics they have discussed in class. This can help you have an idea of what they have been learning, and also gives them an opportunity to apply their newly found knowledge in a social situation.
Reading is a crucial part of a child’s education, and it’s important that you encourage them to read for pleasure, even if they don’t have to do it for school. During the summer months it’s a great idea to put together a reading list of books they are interested in. The best way to get them interested about reading is to allow them to choose what they read, as long as it is appropriate for their age group. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is or what format it takes, just as long as they are enjoying it.
Get Back to the Routine
Just as leaving for break is a transition for students, heading back to school can be difficult for them as well. That’s why you should help them ease back into routine before it’s time to go back. A few days prior to their first day of school, start sending them to bed early and waking them up sooner. This will help them get accustomed to the way things used to work, so they are more receptive of returning to school and being productive while there.
Before they go back, make sure your child gets in the habit of prepping for the next day. That means making sure all their school supplies are in order, their outfits are picked out, and they have less screen time before bed to allow them to sleep easier.