It’s almost here . . . summer break and everyone is excited about warmer weather, lazy days and catching lightning bugs!
Are you wondering where the school year went?
Have you noticed how much the kids have grown?
Are you thinking about what to do with the summertime boredom that is sure to set in, often sooner than later?
While summer is a great time for kids to unwind and have some fun, every parent knows that kids easily become bored and restless. That’s why summer break can be a wonderful time to provide goals to expose kids to new experiences, keep them busy and build character with age-appropriate exercises.
Summer goals need to be challenging and encourage kids to achieve success through practice and commitment. Begin summer planning with the events that have certain dates. Put any vacations, summer camp, house guests, day trips, holidays that you already know on the calendar. Also add any important work-related dates, i.e. deadlines, vacations of colleagues, business travel, etc.
Now you have a rough idea how many days or weeks for which you’ll need to make a summer plan. Here are a few suggestions to combine goals with good fun for everyone.
The whole family needs to get involved in summer goal. Children get excited when parents participate. Parents should set goals for themselves and share them with the kids. It lets them know that you are learning something new and may be a bit nervous, so it helps them understand that everyone can get uneasy sometimes whether you are young or old!
Age-Appropriate Goals are Important
Start talking about summer goals. Some families begin planning a few weeks before summer vacation. It can make for fun dinnertime conversation when everyone shares ideas. However, if your children are a little overwhelmed by end-of-year school projects, consider waiting until the official start of summer vacation before starting the goal-setting discussions.
No matter when discussions occur, it’s vital that goals are suited to a child’s age. Guide conversations toward achievable goals. A younger child might want to learn the alphabet, while an older child might relish the idea of improving cooking skills. Both goals are equal in terms of value if they are appropriate for your respective children.
Set Different Types of Goals
Some families find it useful to speak about goals in terms of categories like physical, mental, life skills and inspirational. Grouping goals can help children think about different aspects of their world. Samples of different goals might be:
- Learn to dance
- Walk two miles a week
- Ride a bicycle 30 minutes a day
- Work on jigsaw puzzles
- Play an instrument for 30 minutes a day
- Read a classic book
- Learn how to bake
- Make dinner using recipes from other countries such as India or Greece
- Build a birdhouse
- Read an inspiring book
- Volunteer to help others
- Keep a daily journal
Keep Track of Goals
When setting goals with your child, it’s critical to also establish intermediate goals along the way. These approaches teach children valuable life lessons about breaking bigger tasks into several smaller, measurable goals.
Keeping track of a child’s goals can be individualized. Some kids work well with calendars, while others are more visual. (Perhaps they earn a penny for every minute they read each day.)
The key, of course, is to make tracking a regular part of family life. In some families, goal discussions work best at breakfast because they motivate the kids to tackle the new day with a renewed attitude.
Be Sure to Have Fun!
Achieving goals throughout the summer break is important, but do not focus too much on your child’s success. Emphasize the family’s group of achievements regularly by going out for ice cream or a movie. Reaching goals, and making progress toward reaching goals, should be fun and worthy of a celebration.
Don’t forget, wonderful summer memories are just waiting for your child at T’s Learning Center Summer Camp! This exciting summer program is offered by the top-rated child daycare in Jacksonville, FL, and surrounding areas.
Summer will soon be here, so give a big cheer and get ready for a summer to remember! Feel the sun, touch the grass and enjoy the magic of a summer camp experience.