As the summer holidays begin and things start to slow down, we leave behind early mornings and demanding schedules. During this time of year, we can become more flexible as our responsibilities relax, but it is recommended that your child maintain a routine for them to feel more secure and have a good emotional balance.
So, how do we find a balance between relaxation and routine?
Here are some ideas for establishing a schedule in the summer that also develops your child´s independence.
Help with housework
During the school year, class, extracurricular activities, and homework keep children busy most of the time. Therefore, summer is a great time to get the kids involved with the household routine through chores. Making the bed after getting up, clearing the table after a meal, keeping their room tidy, watering the plants are all examples of simple tasks that can be completed by young children to increase responsibility.
One of the pillars of learning in ISP Schools is helping children develop independence, but how can we promote autonomy at home? Summer is a good time to introduce some actions that encourage self-sufficiency and that can eventually become part of your child’s daily routine: getting dressed alone, preparing their summer camp backpack, preparing a snack, showering alone, or taking off their bathing suit and hanging it up. Although they may seem like simple tasks, it´s important to be patient and let your child learn at their own pace.
Summer is the ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities, play sports, go to the beach or mountains, and be active. However, with the extra time that vacation provides, we can also introduce calmer activities such as reading or playing board games. During the school year, children become accustomed to reading every day which makes the transition to summer reading simple. You can adapt your schedule by finding an established time to read such after breakfast or lunch, before bedtime, or at snack time. Reading every day for 15 minutes also enriches vocabulary and reading comprehension, keeping your child academically engaged during the vacation.
Sleep and Meals
It´s typical for a child´s routine to flucuate during summer without school providing a definitive daily structure. While it may be difficult maintain an identical schedule every day, consistency can be established through a nighttime routine before bed. Keeping the same steps before bedtime that is used during the school year can help children have continuity from day to day. If your child eats dinner, brushes their teeth, reads a book, and then goes to sleep during the school year, we recommend that you keep this routine during the vacations as well.
Structured free time
During the school year, children are used to following a schedule, both during the school day and after school. At the beginning of class, the students start their morning by discussing the schedule for the day. To do this, teachers use different techniques depending on the age of the children. For the young children, they use cards with drawings that represent the subjects, playground time, or lunch. Older children, however, write the day’s plan on the blackboard or review it in their timetable.
This practice at the beginning of class gives students security and it is easy to do at home. Children can learn to structure their free time by discussing if they will go for a walk or visit the pool that day and make a plan to do so. In addition, daily routines such as housework, reading, or hygiene habits can be included in this “summer schedule”.
In summary, incorporating minimal routines in summer vacation has numerous benefits for children as it develops their autonomy and organizational skills, provides them with stability, and helps to reduce anxiety.