As many parents and teachers know, learning is very important in any students life. But what should we, as parents, do to help our teens and tweens during the summer months?
Sure, our teens do need the break from the constant tests and exams and constant homework assignments, but is it ok to let our kids do NOTHING all summer long?
And to that, my answer is no.
Teens definitely need the break, and summers are a great time to relax and enjoy their youth, but I would generally avoid having nothing to do and no learning or responsibilities all summer long.
You might have heard the term “summer slump” or “brain drain”. These terms simply mean that if a child is not given a mental challenge or academic stimulus, then they may lose the academic information they retained the last school year.
So all of their hard work to finish the last school year strong, will result in lack of memory retention.
So if your teen just got out on summer break, their brain may be chalk full of useful information. Information that may be very needed for the start of the new school year.
The downside is, if your teen is not given ANY mental challenge for several months over the summer, then they may be further behind then when they finished the school year.
So if your child struggles in school and with academics, they may start the new school year even further behind.
This is why I highly encourage parents to think of different ways they can keep their teens mentally challenged this summer.
Here are a few ways you can get started:
Creative writing notebook
Summer Reading list
Play an instrument daily
Pursue a hobby
Volunteer your time
Learn a new skill
Explore your towns history
Choose something that would interest your teen that your child might enjoy doing. That way, they will be interested in doing it every day without a constant battle to keep them engaged.
One extra aspect to help your teen or tween with their summer learning is to have a little bit of structure to their day.
As a mom of 2 little ones, I know that a lot of structure and a good routine is very important.
But now that your little ones are almost grown, we can encourage them to find a way to apply some structure to their day. This is a skill that will prepare them for success at college and even success on their first job.
By providing a little structure, they know that they will be expected to create something new, learn something new, and be mentally challenged each day.
Hey there! My name is Rachael and I have been a private tutor for over 10 years. I earned my undergraduate degree in 2 and a half years and earned my graduate degree by age 22. I have tutored dozens of high school students, college students, and graduate students. I offer support, encouragement, and resources to help parents learn how to best help their teen or child that is struggling in school.