Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Woes, Summer Routine

Momma hears the happy jabbering "Ah, Summer is approaching and now we parents can relax and take it easy, no schedules, no homework, no nagging." No Way !

Momma Explains
Summer is a great time to refocus and refresh, it is also a time when we can let time slip away and be used inefficiently. First, Momma is a beach-a-holic. I love the beach, love the ocean and the sun. I spent many a summer on the beach for a good part of the day. My children went with me and we had fun. Summers should be fun, loads of fun. Summers should include activities that everyone will remember with joy. Summers also are a wonderful learning opportunity. Spending every day in idleness is not exactly fun, in fact it becomes BORING. Now, how many times have you heard your children say that they were bored about half way through the summer. Does that mean another job for you, do you need to organize a million different activities and outings? Absolutely not, but you should have some scheduled activities such as work book page time or reading time or even a " how things work" research agenda.
For the child still too young to have summer employment a short time each day or every other day spent reviewing and reinforcing curriculum subjects is a great way to keep your child at least on level with his grade knowledge. The human brain is most efficient when it is kept active. If the summer is spent without any brain stimulating activities then the adjustment back to the rigors of school is torturous. There are several wonderful catalogs available to meet your requirements. My two FAVORITE catalogs are Educators Publishing Service (www. and a popular cognitive series, The Critical Thinking Co. ( These both offer a multitude of workbooks, test preparation and reinforcement books as well as cognitive skill series. As much as the kids enjoy the lack of structure the summer affords, they often become easily bored especially when they are up early and looking to amuse themselves. You cannot spend 12 hours exposed to UV rays nor in front of the television. And, while I wish we could all afford t o spend the summer traveling to ancient Rome or Greece , we must live within the limits of our budget, jobs and schedules. Whether you are a working parent or remain home, it is a smart move to have some of these workbooks ordered from the mentioned catalogs to keep the children amused and sharp. My kids often bucked me as I introduced the workbooks but when they actually started to see the benefits or fun elements they initiated the workbook time themselves. I strongly urge parents to purchase a few books whether as prep books for SAT, HSPT, ACT, Terra Nova etc or just a series such as Red Herring( cognitive skills that play as a mystery game). Knowledge must be reinforced in most students, so why waste the entire summer in stagnancy, go on some trips, laze around a pool, play in the yard and make some time to exercise the mind as well as the body. Have a happy, safe and erudite summer!

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