A few thoughts to get summer downtime started - next post will talk about how to set up non-screen downtime and "delve" activities.
Turn off your wifi for part of the day. Tell your children when this will be and discuss expectations during this time.
Engage your children in outlining ideas for this downtime.
Take non-screen downtime, too.
Stick with your plan even when they complain (and they will complain at first!). Tell them that it’s OK to be bored. In fact, working through boredom is an important life skill and this is where great ideas emerge!
Help children to DELVE – that is discover their own passions and create their own projects (more in the next post).
Talk to children about kindness towards others, about working through problems, and about seeing the world through the eyes of others. Offer activities which provide opportunities for thinking about the needs of others.
Expose your child to new places, new experiences and new responsibilities (scrub the bathtub! Make a grocery list). Trust that they can handle this.
Read everyday. Of all academic pursuits, reading is the one activity which results in improved learning.
Read more about summer and children (resources below)
Don’t make your child do academic work if they object – requiring a reluctant child to do three pages of math every day, read 15 paragraphs a day, or take math classes all summer often results in a child who hates math/reading.
Don’t focus on grades, colleges, concrete skills (unless your child wants this and/or the school says this is necessary).
Don’t believe that your child needs to have academic activities every day to “keep up” their learning. Deep learning results from activities children choose, plan, and implement on their own. And breaks in academic work actually allow the brain to process and retain information. Breaks are critical to deep learning.