For many of you, summer has officially started! Those final days of school are behind you and many of you are exhausted (g) from dragging yourselves and your little ones to the finish line. My kids’ school had so many end of year activities that by the time they got to the “seedling sale” on the last day, I was lucky it wasn’t me being buried in the ground! But you did it. Take a breather. Pat yourself on the back. Celebrate another year in the books. Summer schedules can create their own challenges for families. To help you soak up those summer rays (with proper SPF of course!) without bringing the same school-stress energy, I’m sharing some of my favourite summer tips!
Slow down: Seriously I could have stopped at this one. The number 1 thing you can do to help reset and restore your family is to simply slow down as much as you can over the summer. Summer may be short but the more you try to cram in, the more you’ll continue the stress of the school year right through the summer.
Don’t recreate the school schedule: One of the challenges for children who attend school is the lack of free play and movement time. While many kids do well with some routine and soft-structure, it should be flexible and allow for movement, free play, outdoor time, and connection! Why not combine all of them! Head outside as a family for a relaxed afternoon or take advantage of the longer days and have an after-dinner bike ride.
Collaborate to create a summer routine: Discuss expectations and responsibilities to set your family up for success. My family and I collaborate together on our summer buckets! We use clothes pins on a bucket to create a set of activities that we’ve decided to make a well-rounded day. They complete each one and drop the pin in the bucket when they are done. Things like reading, creative time, French, a job around the house etc. It’s just enough “soft-structure” to keep our family running smoothly without limiting their free time. ~ Connect- The biggest sticking points for parents during the school year are mornings, bedtimes, and transitions. Having such a rushed schedule often switches parents from connection mode to correction mode and leads everyone to frustration. Take advantage of a slower pace and make time for connection. Even small moments of connect can have a big impact!
Foster self-directed learning: Learning doesn’t stop in June! Many children in traditional schools don’t have the opportunity to follow their own interests to engage in deep, meaningful learning. Encourage your child’s interests and passions and ask reflective questions to help them take their learning and interests deeper.
Hope these tips offer you and your family some ideas to make the most of this season!
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