Basic Cents, Features

Keeping Your Children Busy

By Samuel Rosenberg

TEACHERS will tell you that students lose a certain amount of knowledge during the summer months if they are not stimulated sufficiently, and especially when they do not check back with their studies before they go back to school. Looking over their notes the day before returning to school is not sufficient to start the new term well, so how do you plan their summer or should it be with their choice of activities?

Where your children avoid studying completely during the summer break, a test at the beginning of summer will almost always score higher than a similar test at the end of the holiday period.

It’s important that students spend a portion of their holiday with friends on the beach, relaxing with family and having a great time. However, it is important that they also find meaningful activities to stimulate their brain efficiently and effectively.

Informing your children that you will set them a plan to study throughout the summer period will probably not be received favourably by the majority. By clearly talking through the advantages with your children, you can select a plan that meets their particular needs, includes lots of fun, and with some studying to prepare them correctly for the next term.

Where you choose to impose a plan on your children, during the period that they believe is study free and available for fun and games 24/7, you will meet resentment, difficulties and have to tackle those issues before you can move forward.

Some parents and guardians find that when children volunteer in the community or work for charities that they care about, they maintain a higher level of brain stimulus by the end of the summer.

You can suggest appropriate reading material to match their age so they are both comfortable and yet stretched. It must be fun for the children are not seen as a chore.

Over the longer term, cooking with your children over the summer break is a great way for them to read, complete mathematics, as well as learn how to provide you with a full meal, eventually without your assistance. Providing children with the opportunity to practice these talents will help them maintain life skills, continue high levels of motivation and mix in social activities with friends and family.

Although computers are great for children, there must be a clear understanding about the number of hours that can be spent staring at screens during the summertime. By offering a compromise, the student will believe they have won the battle, and the parent will still cling to an element of control.

Planning in advance, in conjunction with the children, will help ensure that everything that is desired is completed during the holiday period. Although children may say they do not wish to plan, they are happier and far relaxed when they understand what is going to happen and when. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Where children are involved in the planning process, they are less likely to complain. By varying the range of activities which may include summer camps, things to do at home (inside your home and outside in the garden) a variety will help relieve boredom. This planning will also help you manage the cost of the children’s summer activities.

A mixture of chill out days, play dates, hours on a screen and outside activities will help keep children motivated and working their brains. Where some of this is targeted to retain the last term’s education knowledge, success will be assured.

Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to [email protected]

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