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.
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.
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 –
- Summer Camps– There are various types of summer camps focusing on many different types of activities which could be school work and revision, swimming, arts and craft, cooking, drama etc. There is an increasing number of Summer Camp options in Lagos, check out the LagosMums Summer Camp Guide here.
- Internships – Depending on the age of your child, summer is a good time to have children get some work experience. They could volunteer and spend a few hours a day in an office which enables them 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 see how long it takes to save.
- Reading – 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 and materials such as books about famous inventions, nature, biographies and other materials that broaden their minds. Here the use of the internet could be encouraged to research and learn about different topics (however be sure to monitor their internet usage).
- Summer 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.
- 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 more importantly during the summer children should have ample time to explore in a more relaxed setting.
- Build a Hobby – 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 maybe build an app.
- Travel – 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, learning about the Country they travelled to and engage in something different. Most places will provide access (and sometimes free) to museums, libraries etc.
- Explore Home Town – Even if children 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 developments planned for the future (budding developers might be born)
No matter how you decide to spend it…summer should be fun!
So you can decide whether you leave the children to their own devices, or you sign them up for different programs or plan other ways to keep them learning and busy.
Are there other ways that you encourage children to explore during the Summer?
photo source: cmslearning1