Summer Break

Photo by Michele Venne

Depending on the age of the student, summer can be a chance to relax, to earn funds for the fall semester, or an exercise in boredom. Just as there is a schedule during the school year, one during the summer could offer structure, rewards, and make the transition back to school easier.

For students in K-12, daily routines are helpful. Setting a calendar for 20 minutes of reading, 20 minutes of creativity (writing a story, coloring, making a collage, etc.), two chores to be completed, and doing one task to help a family member before electronics are used is a positive way to begin the day and add to the community of the household.

Older students may seek a summer job. The lure to work full-time hours is strong, so perhaps boundaries could be set that allows them time with friends, family, and to pursue their own interests. For younger students, there is a plethora of possibilities: libraries offer reading programs (some with prizes), public pools provide swim lessons, cities and towns have organized indoor sports and playtime supervised by teens and adults, STEM schools have connections to robotics clubs and coding classes, animal shelters and soup kitchens and senior centers are always in need of volunteers, there are programs in state and city parks for cleaning up trails and stargazing.

With students almost out of school, now may be the time to safely engage more fully with the community, family, and friends, and still have quiet time set aside for practicing academic skills and investigating creative ideas.