Summer Break Part 2 – 2020 Reality
End of school year is always an exciting moment in time. Families planning a much-needed break, vacations and fun. Well then 2020/Covid pandemic happened. Summer break is upon us, yet it feels like we have been on summer break for the last 2 months and we should be winding down back into a new school year.
Well this is anything from reality. We have been on the weirdest break ever! No fun, no vacation and even being stuck home does not equate to relaxation. So how do we change the mind set and plan a “normal” summer break?
As we embark on summer break, we need to change our mindset. Even though we feel like we have been on break forever and do not really know if school will restart in August, we need to plan for everyone’s sanity. We need to move forward and take back our summer. We need to transition into normalcy even if it is different then years past.
People, especially children thrive on routine. Even though this maybe a new routine getting a routine and schedule in place will make this new normal more relaxing and create less anxiety. Firstly, look at your wake and sleep times to plan what a normal day will look like for your family. Plan a morning routine, wakeup, wash up, make bed, eat breakfast, and get dressed.
Plan an evening routine including wash up for dinner, set table, eat, clean up, bathe and story time. Routines are made to help lower anxiety in children, and it helps them know what is going to happen next. Routine allows parents to move throughout day with greater ease as everyone is on same page and the expectations of the day become normal and causes less friction in a household.
Just like any summertime routine you should still be incorporating an “educational proponent” including but not limited to reading (to your children if they do not read) , journalism ( for your writers or organized coloring time for your pre-writers ( for fine motor strength and dexterity).
With all the changes in our schedules it is a great time to add choirs into the routine, as well as daily exercise and health lessons. With this new norm the last thing we should be doing is adding screen time.
Planning vacations and even mini outings if you are not comfortable planning a vacation with so much uncertainty in the world. Planning calendar events gives children something to look forward to as well as break up monotony and teaches calendars (to children even as young as 3 years old) Not doing normal week vacations this year hopefully is not a new normal but there are ways to make this summer equally as special.
We live in such an amazing city so even if you are social distancing there are plenty of adventures you can do with your family to create a sense of a normal summer break versus feeling like the last 8 weeks. Lake mead is opening and there are plenty of lake side adventures to be had between here, Arizona and Utah. Picnics, camping, and lake swimming makes for great summertime plans and a way to create long lasting memoires.
This is our summer break, I have canceled plans, but I am in no means stopping my summer plans, I am just adjusting them. I have young adult children and we still maintain routines. I communicate about changes we have had to make due to current situations in the world.
Communication is huge especially when you get your routines in place. It allows children of all ages to adjust to what their expectations are. If we learn anything from this moment in time is to become a better person with more love patience and compassion then prior to these crazy times.