It is hard to believe that we are coming to the end of another school year! Students, teachers, and parents have shared so many wonderful experiences both in and out of the classrooms. Many of us are eagerly awaiting summer with the hopes of creating more memories while on vacations, and enjoying a bit more leisure time with family and friends.
A Primary student practices her swing at our annual Fall Festival.
Students do not have to be in school to extend and expand their learning. The break from the daily school schedule is a great opportunity for children to strengthen their developing executive function skills. Believe it or not, boredom can be a powerful learning opportunity. When children need to plan how to fill some free time and keep themselves ‘entertained’, they learn to analyze what materials are around them, how they can be used, and perhaps, how to collaborate with others to do an activity. If the days are fully programmed, children do not learn how to handle down-time. As they mature, the ideal is for them to have options for how to manage boredom/quiet time that do not rely on social media outlets.
Elementary students enjoy a game of soccer at Paul’s Field.
Summer is also a wonderful time to apply many of the skills from school. Spending time outside is a great way to look for patterns in nature, estimate the number of flowers in a garden, predict when vegetables will ripen. Model a love of reading: read to, with, and by your child no matter how old s/he is. Buy some postcards and ask your child to write a short message to an out-of town friend or family member.
A Primary student reads to her dad from the “Me Book” she wrote.
For some students, summer means change. Perhaps they are off to a new school or even a new state. Acknowledge their feelings about the changes but try not to let their worries be the focus of the change. Point out what will stay the same, share a few of your own feelings, and highlight some exciting aspects of what awaits.
No matter what your plans are, we hope that you have a safe and fun-filled summer with both lazy days and exciting new adventures!