Guest post by fellow enrichment league member LearningRx.
Let’s face it, we all could use a summer break from the past year or so. (It’s been challenging, to say the least!) Like most parents, you’re probably already thinking about this summer and how to ensure your child is entertained while keeping their brain engaged. Don’t worry! We’ve got five tips to help parents find the right activities for their children based on their unique interests, abilities and needs.
Grow their brains.
Cognitive skills are the core skills we use to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. Each of these brain skills plays an important role in processing information. But when just one skill is weak, it can affect a person’s ability to perform at their best. Instead of sending your student to tutoring, try a cognitive skills program aimed at helping your child grow the skills needed to learn effectively. LearningRx is an option for helping students who struggle in school or who want a leg up to build those cognitive skills. Their sessions focus on engaging brain exercises, not academics, so rest assured, your child won’t be peppering their summer with more school-like activities. “Cognitive skills training focuses on the underlying skills that help you learn in every academic subject.” says LearningRx Cognitive Psychologist, Dr. Amy Lawson Moore , “It’s a targeted approach that in turn can help struggling students perform better in school overall.” It’s a non-academic option to help students in academic settings.
Keep it small.
Going back to in-person activities may increase your child’s anxiety. Programs that limit the number of participants provide great opportunities to help ease your student back into socialization. If your child is into sports, avoid the large generic sports camps and look for skill camps related to the sport they enjoy. For example, if they love soccer but need goalie practice, find a soccer program just focusing on goalie skills. The more specific the skill, the better chance the group size will be small.
Bring Back the Arts.
Budget cuts, a focus on core classes during distance learning, and students’ limited access to materials during online learning have forced many schools to eliminate or significantly limit arts programs. Arts programs—like the kinds from Young Rembrandts—let your child’s imagination run wild while under the attention of a skilled and caring instructor. The great thing about art is that it is subjective, and it welcomes any level of ability. Art has also been shown to help relieve stress. A summer art class may be just what your child needs to unwind from a school year marked with disruptions.
Engage in Hands-on Programming.
Students have experienced a lot of computer time, a lot of virtual classrooms, and Zoom meetings. Help them engage with activities that are hands-on. Look for summer activities that engage your children with experiences they can touch and feel. Organizations like Snapology are great at helping students learn about engineering while building something at the same time.
The Outdoors is Calling.
Summer has always been a perfect time of year to get outside. After a year spent tied to a computer, look for programs with an outdoor focus. Look into programs offered by your local zoo or outdoor facilities like pools and nature centers. These kinds of activities help your kid get back outside to enjoy all it has to offer.
If your child is preschool aged, some of these activities may be advanced for them- try a program like Starz which helps educate preschool age kids fitness and cheer. This kind of program will give them the opportunity to make friends and expel some energy.
This summer, look for activities that will engage your child’s brain outside a traditional school setting. These kinds of programs help students engage in activities they might have missed in the past year without the pressure of grades and academics. What activities will your child be engaged in this summer?