Summer is here and most parents are starting to feel the pressure of finding ways to keep their kids mentally engaged. If your child made lots of progress during the school year it can be frustrating to feel like he or she is moving backward during the summer. In the early years of education, it is extremely important to maintain progress because so much of what students learn is designed to build upon the learning of the previous year. There are some steps you can take to keep your child mentally engaged during the summer to stave off boredom and ensure that he or she continues to make progress.
Read, read, read
Reading is a skill that is easy to incorporate into the rhythm of summer. If you have more flexibility in the summer around bedtime, consider reading a longer book with your child. Going through a chapter book as a family – one chapter at a time – is mentally engaging and can create some treasured family memories. You can read a chapter each night at bedtime or make it part of the daily lunch routine. If your child is old enough, take turns reading out loud. Combining family time and reading time is a great way to keep your child mentally engaged.
Another way to incorporate reading is by visiting your local library or looking at the online library catalog. Many libraries have reading programs in the summer that make it fun and engaging for your child to be at the library and explore new books. Some libraries offer prizes if your child reads a certain amount during the summer. A little bit of competition can be very motivating for some kids. The library may also offer enrichment programs during the summer, either in person or virtually. Exploring what your local library has to offer can help you keep your child mentally engaged this summer.
Consider summer school programs
Instead of putting your child in a daycare type program for the summer, consider summer school. Many private schools have the option of year-round school. The programming and schedule will look different from the regular year but there will be plenty to keep your child mentally engaged. Some private programs set summer school up like a camp with fun activities and unique programming. Your child can stay mentally engaged, avoid losing progress from the previous school year, and even learn something new during summer school and/or camp.
Summer can be a fun time for kids and parents but it can also be a challenge. Keeping your child mentally engaged during the summer is best for everyone. Reading, reading activities, and summer school are some of the best ways to ensure that your child retains what he or she learned and continues to make progress.