Depending on where you live - we still have 3-6 weeks left before kids return to school. Personally, this is the hardest stretch. The kids are bored, I'm working, and I'm working to keep kids engaged - but how? This Top 10 list from Denise Pope is my guide. 10 Summer Activities for Teens to Help Them Stay Healthy and Engaged (grownandflown.com)
Pope is a Senior Lecturer at Stanford University and co-founder of the non-profit, Challenge Success (as in challenge your beliefs about what creates successful adults). I love that there are zero academics on it.
This is supported by research – there’s actually not much dispute here. Summer academics are generally NOT advantageous. Period. End of story.
Moreover, as I’ve often shared here on my blog, intensive parenting (like packing summers with math, science, writing…) not only harms our own kids, it also unbalances equity in our own communities – and harms other children, too. Read here for more.
I want to acknowledge that choosing the path Pope outlines is hard. These ideas run counter to what parents are routinely told (and sold) about kids and learning. The narrative among parents and from educational businesses is one of fear - you must be ahead academically – no matter what– or you will fail in life. In reality, the opposite is true. Kids who follow Pope's advice are likely to be better off in the long run. So – let your Tweens and Teens relax this summer and you can relax too.
Read Pope’s article for in-depth ideas and check out these other resources.