Summer constitutes the well-deserved break from school that your children are anxiously looking forward to all year long. However, most parents erroneously believe that during the summer vacation, there is no need to pay any attention to their child’s activities and that they should let him spend this time the way he chooses.
True, the first day of summer break marks the start of a more relaxed period for kids, but that doesn’t necessarily entail that “powering down” their brains entirely is the correct approach. Kids will be kids and it is in their nature to prefer playing over work, but if you can make the “work” seem fun and less of a chore, then the three months of the summer break can actually transform into a very productive, well spent time. Let’s examine a few of the potential activities.
1. Part time, financially rewarding tasks
The parenting forums are filled with the successful stories of enterprising young children and adolescents who actually managed to get their very own business up and running, turning a hefty profit. However, if your son doesn’t necessarily display an interest in the “business” world and a venture is not his idea of a good time, there are still a plethora of part time jobs available. From paper routes to gardening chores, from operating a lemonade stand to a local delivery job, these activities will teach your child about fiscal responsibility and help him improve his social skills.
2. Volunteering at one of the local centers
Volunteering – whether it is for the local soup kitchen, the hospital or the pet shelter – teaches children compassion, empathy and collaboration. Despite the fact that volunteer jobs are not remunerated, they do make excellent additions to the resume later on. Furthermore, they allow your son to experience all the aspects of life, good and bad, first hand and early on. What better way to prepare him for the realities of life?
3. Going on camp
The myriad of specialized camps you can find nowadays permits you and your child to select the most appropriate one in accordance to his interests, preferences and passions. From sports music and math to chess, children have a lot to learn in camp. In addition, camp is a great place to make new friends, learn how to interact and communicate with others, become a team player, so on and so forth.
4. Reading the books recommended for the child’s age
In a world that places less and less emphasis on literature, a large portion of the younger generations grow up without the classical novels. If you are worried that your son spends too much time in front of the TV all year round, then the break from school could be the perfect time for him to catch up on the works of the greatest writers in history.
5. Enrolling in an efficient enrichment program
Enrichment programs are similar to camp – their role is to help children improve their knowledge of certain disciplines – but the methods employed in these centers are slightly different. Instead of applying the classical teaching method, a child enrolled in an enrichment program will learn how to define his own approach and develop his unique learning/problem solving skills.
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This post was written by Lucy, a full time blogger currently working with www.kumon.ie, one of the main providers of out of school enrichment programs.