Summer is here, and it's time for your children to say goodbye to school routines and embrace the freedom that comes with the sun-soaked days. However, as a parent, you might be wondering how to keep your kids organized during this break, ensuring they have a productive and enjoyable summer. By establishing structure, encouraging responsibility, and nurturing their interests, you can help your children make the most of their summer break. Here you’ll find 7 practical tips and strategies to get your children organized for the summer.
1. Create a Schedule
While summer provides an opportunity for relaxation, having a loose schedule can help maintain a sense of routine and keep children engaged. Collaborate with your children to create a flexible schedule that incorporates their interests, daily chores, planned activities (including tutoring, classes, and/or camp), and potential outings. A visual calendar or a whiteboard can serve as a useful tool for displaying the schedule and making it easy for everyone to follow.
2. Set Goals
Encourage your children to set personal goals for the summer. Whether it's learning a new skill, completing a book series, or improving their athletic abilities, having goals helps children focus their energy and develop a sense of accomplishment. Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable tasks, and periodically review their progress together.
3. Encourage Responsibility
Summer break is an excellent time for children to develop responsibility and independence. Assign age-appropriate chores such as cleaning their rooms, doing laundry, or helping with meal preparations. This not only fosters a sense of ownership but also teaches valuable life skills. Model or implicitly teach your children to do the tasks, offer guidance, and provide positive reinforcement to motivate your children to take charge of their responsibilities.
4. Organize Summer Activities
Help your children explore their interests by organizing a variety of summer activities. Encourage them to participate in camps, art classes, or other educational programs that align with their passions. Engaging in structured activities not only keeps them occupied but also enhances their skills and provides opportunities for social interaction.
5. Declutter and Reorganize
Summer is an ideal time for decluttering. Involve your children in sorting through their belongings, donating or discarding items they no longer need. Teach them the value of minimalism and maintaining an organized living space. Implement storage solutions, such as labeled bins or shelves, to keep their belongings easily accessible and maintain a clutter-free environment.
At the beginning of the summer, sit down with your child and calendar. Take a few minutes to schedule days and times to do “micro-projects” during the next two months. Micro-projects are tasks that should only take a few minutes. Micro-projects can include cleaning out a drawer or toybox, emptying school backpacks, and gathering books to donate. Seth Perler, an expert in executive function, shares suggestions for getting organized and decluttering in his video Summer Tips for Your Brains Executive Function.
6. Foster Reading Habits
Encourage your children to develop a reading habit during the summer. Set aside designated reading time each day and create a cozy reading nook with comfortable cushions and shelves filled with age-appropriate books. Visit the local library or bookstore together and allow them to select books that pique their interest. Reading not only enhances their vocabulary and comprehension skills but also nurtures children’s imagination.
Sticking with reading across the summer is especially important for children with reading difficulties and those with diagnosed reading-related disabilities such as dyslexia. If your child is resistant to reading, read to them or provide them with an audiobook to listen to (ideally while following along in the hard copy of the book).
7. Embrace Technology Mindfully
While it's important to balance screen time, technology can be a valuable tool for learning and organization. Explore educational apps, online courses, or interactive platforms that align with your child's interests. Encourage them to document their summer experiences through digital journals, photo collages, or blogs, providing an opportunity for self-expression and creativity.
As a parent, you play a crucial role in helping your children make the most of their summer break. By establishing a schedule, setting goals, encouraging responsibility, organizing activities, fostering reading habits, decluttering, and mindfully embracing technology, you can empower your children to stay organized and engaged during the summer months. Don’t forget to strike a balance between structure and relaxation, allowing your children to enjoy their well-deserved break while developing valuable life skills that will serve them well in the future.
Keep in mind that if your child is challenged by staying organized, planning (and sticking to) their schedule, decluttering, or reading, the Enhancing Your Strengths team is available to help! We can take the pressure off of you by working one-on-one with your child to enhance these skills. We also offer parent coaching! Schedule a complimentary consultation today.
Here's to a productive and memorable summer for both you and your children!