There are different thoughts on how to spend the summer break. Some parents believe children deserve to rest and laze about during the summer. Other parents believe that children should be kept busy during the summer. We are sharing 8 ideas on how to spend the summer break!
How your children should spend the summer break can vary but one thing that is for sure is that learning should not stop.
According to the research of Entwisle, Alexander, and Olson (2001), students who are not provided with summer learning opportunities start each school year with a learning deficit, compared to students who enjoyed experiential opportunities for summer learning. These experiences include organised sports, day camps, swimming lessons, and trips to local attractions.
How To Spend Summer
There are many ways to think about how to spend the summer and to keep the children occupied without it being academic. See some ideas below –
1. Summer Camps
It has been proven that summer school helps children to be better prepared for the next school season. Children who enroll in summer school, usually have an edge over those who didn’t. Visit the summer camp guide here, where you can find a variety of summer school camps that you can enroll your children for.
There are various types of summer camps focusing on many different types of activities. Some of these camps could cover school work and revision, swimming, arts and craft, cooking, drama, robotics etc. For a comprehensive list of Summer Camp options in Lagos, check out the LagosMums Summer Camp Guide here.
Depending on the age of your child, summer is a good time to get some work experience. They could volunteer and spend a few hours a day in an office which enables them to pick up necessary work experience skills. It could also be a good way to help a child see areas of interest, a child interested in being a doctor could spend time helping in a doctors office. Lastly, this could be a way to build financial skills by letting her earn and experiencing what it means to earn money, to save and to spend.
This is a good time to encourage children to brush up their reading and to expand their knowledge. Encourage them to read books on various topics such as books about famous inventions, nature, biographies and other materials that broaden their minds.
One of the easiest ways to keep a child’s brain active is to encourage reading. Have your children set aside half an hour to an hour to read each day. While educational books are best, any good book that actually gets the child to read can work wonders on a child’s brain. If the child is a little older, have him/her write a short book report after completing this reading. This furthers the benefits of reading by encouraging reading comprehension and writing skill development. The internet could be encouraged to research and learn about different subject matters (however be sure to monitor their internet usage).
You can make the report fun by allowing your children to be creative with it. We came across this list of books a child should read before they are 12.
4. Holiday Project
All children have skills and interests which might not be explored appropriately during the school year, so summer could be a good time to pick a project based on their interest. They can be encouraged to complete this project and present to you by an agreed time. A child who likes to write can write a play or a story that you read together by the end of the summer. You could also encourage children who are old enough to journal their summer experiences.
The summer can also be used to improve or start them on cooking and baking. Once a week, plan a cooking day. Involve your children in the process from the beginning – let them choose from a selection of recipes. Let your children read from the recipe book and step by step, help them to work through the instructions. You might just be awakening the #foodie in your child like Chef Fregz!
5. Relaxation and Exploration
All children need time to relax and to explore their thoughts, their surroundings and their interests. This should be encouraged all the time but quite important during the summer, children should have ample time to explore in a more relaxed setting.
6. Build a Hobby and Skill Acquisition
This could be a good time for children to explore their hobbies or interests. A child who is fashionable and likes to put clothes together can sign up for sewing classes over the summer. Someone who likes to code, could sign up for coding classes and spend time around techies and build an app or game.
For skill acquisition choose an area in which your child displays interest. Ask your children what new skill they would love to acquire, or whether they would like to hone their existing skills over the holiday. If your children seem interested, do not hesitate to sign them up for lessons. It’s a great way to remain engaged and to meet others who share the same interest. Exposing children to new experiences over the summer can improve their learning capabilities. You can enrol your child in Art, Music, Writing, language or Dance classes; there as so many options.
If children are privileged to travel, let the travel be a learning experience. Children should not sit home and watch television all day. They should spend time exploring by learning about the Country they travelled to and engage in something different. Most places will provide access (and sometimes free) to museums, libraries etc.
8. Explore Home Town
For children who do not travel there are many things that can be explored locally. For example in Lagos, there is Badagry, Lekki Conservatory Park, beaches along the Lekki Expressway and other places to explore. They could drive around their city and see the areas where development is going on, like the Eko Atlantic (budding developers might be born)
No matter how you decide to spend it…summer should be fun and a learning experience. So you can decide whether you have a relaxed time and leave the children to their own devices, or you sign them up for more organised programs to keep them learning and occupied.
Children love to act like adults, which means they enjoy taking on responsibilities. Young children can find pleasure in even the most basic chores, such as sweeping, dusting, tidying toys and more. Though interest in simple chores may fade as a child grows, such responsibilities are important to a child’s early development. You can come up with a chart or timetable for some additional responsibilities this summer. Getting them to help with the family business is one way they can get involved.
So parents, just because schools are closed for the summer, doesn’t mean your child’s learning should take a vacation.
How are you spending your Summer? Need ideas? Visit the Lagos Summer Camp Guide 2019