How to Summer-in-Place with Kids During COVID-19
By Jazmin Stearne
COVID-19 has had an impact on all of us. This includes our jobs which in turn affects our finances. But what about our kids? Their usual summer vacation is around three months. However, due to the Corona-virus pandemic, our kids have had their summer break extended by three extra months. This totals to about a six-month break from school, depending on where you are located. This is a long time to be away from classroom instruction. If you are like most parents you may be wondering, how much information has my children lost? How can we help them retain this important information? Also, how can we prepare our kids for September, which is coming up fast? I’ve come up with five ways you can help your kids retain their lessons from last semester.
- Get a Tutor
Does your child have trouble in one particular subject? For instance, does he struggle with Math or English? If so, consider hiring a tutor. There are still teachers, high schoolers, and college students who are available to help your child with his or her “problem subject”. You can even set up a virtual meeting with your child’s tutor. There are plenty of virtual platforms and apps available; such as Zoom.
- Don’t overwhelm them with a long schedule
This is summertime so…. your child may not have a long attention span like other times of the year (fall or spring, for example). In this case, you may want to set up a shorter schedule for your child. Keep their schedule light and easy. Have your them do their schoolwork on a four-day schedule instead of five. According to school psychologist Liz Matheis, your child may lose his motivation if he must do his schoolwork five days a week. If you really think about it, that is the schedule for regular, “in-person” summer school. Normally summer school is shortened to four or even three days a week.
- Create a schedule for summer learning
Allow your child some time to sleep in. When they are ready to start their lessons for the day have them work on their most difficult subjects first, such as math for instance. “Ideally, schoolwork is best completed in the morning when energy and motivation are still high.”, states Dr. Matheis. “Any work that is attempted after 3pm will likely not be completed.” When their work has been completed, it is recommended to allow them to spend the rest of their day however they choose.
- Take breaks throughout the day
Just like us (adults), kids need breaks too. It is recommended to set a timer that will go off at the precise time you want them to stop working. It is recommended to do this throughout the day. After their break, go ahead and set another timer. According to Dr. Matheis, “Small chunks of time, small chunks of work, and it gets done without a ton of blood, sweat, and tears.”
- Reward them for their hard work
Lastly, I recommend rewarding them after their “school-at-home” day is over. Give them a reward afterwards. That way, your kids will have something to look forward to after they complete their schoolwork. The reward does not have to be extravagant. If they like ice cream, reward them with a trip to Baskin Robins if possible. Or, buy them a chocolate bar. The reward can even be something as simple as a quick trip to the park, if that is possible. Let them know you are proud of them for completing all their work and for doing a good job.
We are half-way through the summer. Follow these tips, and your child will most likely be ready for the coming school year. Have a safe and happy summer break.
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Matheis, L. (2020, June 29). Setting Up Your Child’s COVID-19 Summer. Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/special-matters/202006/setting-your-child-s-covid-19-summer