Summer Time: Opportunity Or Loss?

Well, the kids are finally out of school! My kids are not old enough to be in school yet, but I’m certainly happy to have lighter traffic on the way to work 🙂 But many of you may have different feelings about summer time. Some of you have vacations planned for this summer, and others may be struggling with what to do to fill the time.

No matter your situation, the bottom line is that most kids are have 2-3 months off from a formal learning environment. So, what do you think? Is this free time in the summer a gain or a loss for our kids? Do you think of this as a great opportunity for family bonding through vacation time? How about experiential learning by visiting museums and new places, or maybe a time for physical fitness by spending all that time swimming and playing outside? How about a time for relaxation?

Or is this a time when the kids forget everything they learned the past year? Maybe a time when they spend too much time in front of the television? The old “use it or loose it” rule comes into place here.

There are some good arguments on both sides. I tend to lean on the side of viewing summer time in a positive light (no, not just because of the traffic!). Like most things, summer time will be what you can make of it. Whether you have money for extravagant vacations or not, you can use this opportunity for bonding with one another, catching up on reading, playing board games, and going outside! Experiental learning is very powerful!

Tatertots and Jello has a fun idea for families to do over the summer- a Summer Bucket List. Really cute and I encourage you to check it out!

Unfortunately, there are many children who will fall behind this summer because their time is not spent on quality experiences. The Partnership for Children and Youth has some information you may want to read on the topic. What I found most fascinating was this VIDEO ON SUMMER LEARNING. This highlights the importance of making good use of the opportunities for personal and intellectual growth during the summer. Your kids can move ahead, stay the same, or worst of all move backwards. It’s going to be what you make of it!

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Author: Kim Peterson, MA, LPC-S, RPT

Kim is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Registered Play Therapist in Dallas, Texas.

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