While we fully understand the frustration many feel about retailers focusing on ‘Back to School’ almost from the moment the holidays have started, they’re actually onto something with their approach.
It is well known that the first few weeks after a child has returned to school are quite difficult, owing to the period of readjustment that needs to take place. At the same time, the start of the new school year is one of the most important periods, as students adapt to new classes, teachers, and tackle subjects perhaps for the first time.
Therefore, such a level of wasted time must not be allowed to happen. By the time children have re-engaged with school, they might have already missed some of the most important information that they’re going to learn. What can parents do throughout the summer months to ensure children go back to school refreshed and ready to learn?
Keep Good Habits
We’re not suggesting you embark on weeks of home schooling or run a prison camp in your home, but the closer you can keep life to the way it is when your children are at school, in terms of routine and bedtimes, the easier it will be to readjust when the time comes to return.
At the very least, look to have everything in place one full week before they return, or else their first few days back at school are made up of nothing more than yawning and trying to stay awake.
How can you keep a child engaged throughout school holidays? The first thing to do is to ensure they’re not spending hours each day looking at their iPod or smartphone.
Instead, encourage them to play with their favorite toys or get creative. A Girl for All Time has an excellent range of dolls and activities for girls, while there are several brands available that offer something similar for younger boys. Encourage teenagers to read or follow a hobby, whether that be something academically related, such as art or reading about their favorite topic, or something they enjoy outside of school.
Take Advantage of Summer Camps
While summer camps are designed primarily for children to have a break and enjoy themselves, the structure and organization of them is not a million miles away from what they’d be used to at school.
As a result, your children will get to have some memorable days out during the summer, make new friends, try some new and exciting activities, and feel like they’re just doing something different within the same timeframe as the school day. This isn’t often considered one of the main benefits of summer camps, but it is arguably the one that will pay the biggest dividend come September.
Talk About School
“Out of sight, out of mind” definitely comes into play here. Take the time to talk to your children about school, what they’re most looking forward to doing when they go back, and any concerns they may have.
This will help gear them up for returning to school, and ensure they don’t fall too far into the relaxed holiday mentality, which is very easy to do.
All Down to You
You don’t want to ruin your child’s summer, but the reality is that by thinking more about school, it’ll be easier for them to return in a few months’ time.
Build in activities and maintain routines and structure, and both you and they will have a much easier transition back into educational surroundings.
About The Author:
Eveline Reed is a childcare and parenting expert who believes children enjoy better academic performance if routines remain as stable as possible during school holiday periods.