It’s a great debate: Should students continue learning through the summer or take a break? While most young people are thrilled by the end of the school year, parents can find the shift challenging, and kids with emotional or developmental issues may have added pressures throughout the summer season. Studies show that while relaxation counts, so do structure and routine.
Sarah* is a student working with a Student Support Coordinator (SSC) at her school through Communities In Schools of Mid-America (CIS of Mid-America). Throughout the school year, Sarah experienced failing grades and was frequently truant. The SSC could see some improvement during the year but was concerned that the momentum would be lost during the summer break. With the community connections available through CIS of Mid-America, Sarah received one-on-one mentorship in stress management, healthy relationships, and self-worth during the break. When she returned to school in August, the SSC could see that Sarah had continued to work on her confidence throughout the summer months. With the services available to Sarah, she began the school year feeling “like a whole new version of herself.”
Here are a few tips from the Child Mind Institute on how students can stay on track and have a rewarding start to the new school year:
Maintain Your Schedule – While you may not be able to keep the same schedule school provides, try and maintain the same daily routine – including meal times and bedtime. Sticking to a schedule, even during summer, can help a child feel more comfortable and cooperative.
Get Outdoors – Physical activity is good for the mind, body, and spirit. Consider activities your child enjoys, like riding a bike, spending time at the park, or visiting the pool. With countless options to access smartphones and screens indoors, outside activities may be just what your child needs to thrive.
Find Support – Parents can quickly become overwhelmed with the change in the schedule during summer break. Parental well-being is critical to caring for your child. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and connecting with friends, organizations, and resources that can help you stay on track all year.
According to Dr. Andrea Robinson, taking time off leads to greater life satisfaction, physical improvement, mental health benefits, and increased productivity. While the great debate rages on about the value of extended summer vacation, experts agree that taking time off while maintaining structure can help students and parents alike.
So, turn off the screen, get outside, and discover the world around you. The end of August will be here before you know and with it a new school year. Communities In Schools of Mid-America looks forward to returning to school refreshed and ready to be All In For Kids.
* Name has been changed, and a stock photo is used to protect student privacy.