As the school term draws to a close, you and your child may be looking forward to the long break ahead. However, transitioning from the school term to the summer holidays certainly has its challenges. Not only is the long break usually less structured, but often routines are disrupted with schedules changing weekly or even daily, depending on the summer plans you’ve made for your child. We’ve put together some practical tips to help make the shift to summer smooth and stress free!
Try to schedule in as many activities as possible, as early on as you can. Remember, this doesn’t necessarily mean spending money, however being organised is going to mean everyone is on the same page during a long period of free time. Activities can range from enjoying a day at the beach with the whole family, hosting a BBQ in your garden, heading to the library or visiting a local zoo or museum. Even just having one plan for the day can give you and your kids something to structure the rest of the day around, which is helpful when trying to maintain a routine. A week or so before the break, review the summer plans you’ve made so far and brainstorm some budget friendly ways to fill in the gaps!
Maintain a schedule
Even though it will be tricky to duplicate the structure school provides, it’s helpful to maintain a daily schedule, such as mealtimes and bedtimes, as much as possible. It’s easy to let your kids stay up late or let teens do their own thing, however, a routine in the long run will provide a sense of structure and security, ensuring your child enjoys and makes the most out of the holidays, rather than being tired and unproductive. Swap out usual daily tasks such as homework time, for reading time or the walk to school for a walk to the park.
Even though it’s great to be prepared with activities, it’s equally important to be spontaneous and not to over plan your time. It’s easy for you and your child to get fully booked, meaning by the end of the summer you’ll all be exhausted instead of relaxed and ready to face a new school term. Try keeping a list of things to do at home and family and friends to visit for when you have some free time or you fancy doing something different.
Make time for summer learning
It’s important to map out some time for summertime learning. If this is a few times a week or everyday, it’s crucial to ensure your child doesn’t suffer from the summer slide. Ask teachers if there’s any work, reading or activities they can be getting on with and make sure this is factored into their routines. Alternatively, there are loads of learning apps and podcasts you can download on tablets or smartphones, which is a great way for kids to learn whilst parents are driving or if they’re having a bored moment.
The summer holidays will also be full of opportunities for your child to learn about history, geography, nature, maths and science. Keep an eye out for teaching moments and encourage your kids to listen, read and take photos so they’re able to journal the summer and all the new things they’ve learnt. This may not seem like an educational activity, but it’s guaranteed to help with reading and writing skills!