When school lets out for summer, being a parent and managing your career or business will inevitably compete for your limited time. For parents, finding a balance is far from easy.
Most parents today work, and in almost half of two-parent families, both parents have full-time jobs. Work tends to come first, and 39% of mothers and a full 50% of fathers report feeling that they aren’t able to spend enough time with their kids. Unfortunately, spending an unsupervised summer in front a video game is setting kids back by months when they return to school in the fall.
When it comes to math, the average student returns to the classroom 2.6 months academically behind where he or she finished the prior school year. The best way to combat this loss of learning, often dubbed the “summer slide,” is by including enriching activities throughout the summer. Fortunately, there are many solutions that will give kids the chance to learn and grow while giving parents some relief in those hectic summer schedules. Here are a few ways you can balance work and home life when school’s out for summer:
1. Choose the right educational camps and summer programs.
The sheer number of summer opportunities available for kids of all ages can be overwhelming. Look for programs that combine social and educational experiences, helping students excel during the rest of the year.
For instance, Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs caters to a wide variety of passions, including athletics, the arts, coding, and even e-sports. Furthermore, many summer programs offer college credit for eager students who want to get ahead, and some — like MIT’s LaunchX — go so far as to help students start legitimate companies. Summer programs have become increasingly sophisticated, and they can be a great way to boost a college application.
2. Challenge your kids.
Summer can be a valuable time for children to recharge and take a break from a formal classroom environment, but that doesn’t mean intellectual stimulation should cease entirely. If you’re looking for a less structured, more affordable way to ensure your kids remain intellectually engaged this summer, look for organizations that host fun competitions. Public libraries often offer reading challenges that give participants the chance to win prizes if they’re willing to turn off the TV and pick up a book. Because math skills are even more likely to deteriorate during the break, look into programs like the Summer Math Challenge. It’s a fun, motivating way to keep skills fresh.
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