When the bell rings for the last time to signal the end of the school year and the start of the holiday, students can’t help but celebrate. As a parent, you have earned the right to join in the revelry, too.
For the next two months, you won’t have to drive your kids to and from school. You don’t need to wake up early to prepare breakfast and your children’s lunchboxes. You won’t have to keep reminding your child to do their homework and study every afternoon and night, too.
For the next two months, you can relax and take it easy on your kids.
Unfortunately, taking it easy isn’t the best thing you can do during the holiday.
Letting your kids do anything they want for the next two months can cause them to experience brain drain. Also known as the “summer slide” and “summer learning loss”, this phenomenon refers to the tendency of kids and teenagers to lose some of the educational gains they made or picked up in the past school year during the summer holiday.
Giving your kids the right activities can help them avoid summer brain drain. Here are some great activities plus tips to help your children combat the summer slide:
1. Create a daily reading schedule for your kids
Your kids’ reading and language skills can easily go downhill during summer. It is, therefore, important that you schedule 30 to 60-minute reading slots every day.
Let them choose the books they want to read. However, tell them that they don’t have to finish one novel in one sitting. You can set a minimum of chapters to read if they do not finish reading within the given schedule.
You can also allow them to choose titles or materials they can read online.
Let them use the laptop or tablet to read eBooks or PDF files of novels they are interested in. However, make sure you stick to the schedule and allow them to do this twice or thrice a week only to limit their screen time.
2. Sign them up for a summer camp
Kids have various types of summer camps to choose from these days. So if you tell them you’re thinking of letting them join one, you won’t meet a lot of violent reactions.
But before you discuss this with your children, do some research about the different camps that will appeal to them. Consider their interests and strengths. If your daughter loves dancing, look for two or three camps that offer dancing workshops and the types of dance training they offer.
In case your kids are interested in robotics or excel in math and science, look for camps that offer summer STEM programs. These camps are great for helping kids retain their stock knowledge and acquire new relevant and interesting information and even skills.
Get details about the different programs and discuss these with your children. Let them choose which ones they want to go to so that they will enjoy their time at camp.
3. Take your kids on educational road trips
Going on a summer road trip doesn’t mean going out of the city. You can take your children on affordable, fun, and educational road trips within the city.
Visit nearby zoos, botanical gardens, and museums with your kids.
Spend time reading displayed information about the animals and plants. If you know some interesting facts about them, share them with your children. In case there are guided tours, make sure you and your kids join them, too.
Bring your kids to local bookshops and nearby libraries as well. They will love exploring and reading new books they might not have come across before.
Make sure you schedule trips to a water park, playground, or indoor play center where your kids can simply have fun.
You need to balance fun and learning during the summer to prevent your kids from experiencing burnout.
4. Explore the outdoors with your children
Your garden, a nearby park or hiking trail are also amazing places where your kids can discover and learn something new.
Take them walking or hiking through these areas. Bring some magnifying lenses and encourage them to see plants, bugs, trees, and other specimens up close. Let them take turns identifying the things they see.
If you’re not familiar with the local plant and animal life, bring a book or use your smartphone to search for the name of the species you come across, and to get fascinating facts about them that your kids will love to know.
5. Let your kids learn in the kitchen
Finally, learning during the summer doesn’t have to take place outdoors all the time. Children, especially younger ones, love playing and experimenting with food. Take advantage of this by letting your kids help you out when you’re cooking.
Start going through a list of recipes you and your kids love. Prepare the ingredients and allow your children to measure, mix, peel, chop, and cut them (as appropriate).
Take the time to explain the units of measurement used in the recipe. Include other mathematical and scientific concepts in the process as well.
Letting them help you in the kitchen is also a great way to bond with your kids and help them develop healthy eating habits.
Although all these activities mean additional planning and work on your part, keep in mind that you will do nearly all of these with them.
Any day you spend with your kids is a day well-spent, and something that you and your kids will learn from and always remember.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.
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