Despite the sun, fun, and good times that are on their way, the start of summer can also be a time of stress and uncertainty for kids and parents.
Yep, even as our favorite season rapidly approaches, there are some legit challenges that come from shifting gears from the routines of the school year to the unknowns of summer.
To help ease the transition, here are 4 tried and true tips for ensuring a smooth, stress-free shift from school to summer.
Add routines to your summer schedule.
Kids thrive on routines. During the school year, it’s much easier to maintain a routine. Summer schedules tend to be more open and flexible, so routines are less common. But this doesn’t mean you should ditch them.
You and your children will benefit by doing things like waking up at set times, reading together at the same time each day, and packing bags for summer camp at the same time each morning.
These routines will give your kids the same sense of structure and security they enjoy during the school year, and that is a very good thing.
Include your child in summer planning and preparation.
Kids always like to feel as though their opinion matters.
Give your kids a say in what they do and where they do it by asking for their input in the early days and weeks of summer. They will appreciate the opportunity to have their voice heard.
Some other ways in which you can include your child is by having them map out driving routes (using an actual map is much more fun than pulling up directions on your iPhone), writing up a list of clothing and items needed for your activities, and searching online for more detailed information pertaining to your destinations.
Remember: a fully invested young traveler is a happy young traveler – and a happy young traveler is a very good thing on a long road trip!
Have your kids stay in touch with their school friends.
The bonds your child developed during the school year with their friends were an essential part of their comfort and security at school.
Just because they won’t see those friends in a school setting for a few months doesn’t mean they should lose contact with them. Quite the contrary, actually.
Strengthen your child’s attachment to their closest friends by arranging summer play dates. Or keep them connected by writing letters and sending messages via email.
However you do it, make sure your child stays in touch with their school friends. This will help lessen the negative effects of summer’s great unknowns.
Embrace and encourage summertime learning.
We all agree that learning doesn’t have to happen only in schools. It can take place anywhere and at any time – especially during the summer.
The summer provides an excellent opportunity to learn about so many things, including geography, history, and nature.
Family field trips can introduce your child to new places, new people, and new ideas.
Or, if you’re mostly staying home this summer, something as simple as an outdoor scavenger hunt can reveal to your child so much more than a textbook.
Teachable moments happen everywhere, so be on the lookout for them.
Encourage your kids to read new books, take photos of things that interest them, and document their discoveries in a journal.
I hope these simple tips will help ease the transition from school to summer. I also hope you and your family have a fun and safe summer, filled with lots of love, laughter, and learning.