Summer is often a favorite time of year for parents and kids alike as it means lazy days filled with pools, beaches, and cookouts. But summer can also be a great time to teach some simple organizing and planning skills to kids without the pressure of school, homework, or activities. For many kids, learning in a more relaxed setting (with a more relaxed parent!) will help them be more involved in developing a new system or learning a new skill.
3 Life Skills to Build and Support over the Summer:
Take the extra time your child has at home this summer to begin to teach some basic life skills. It can be as simple as sorting laundry and learning how to run the washing machine, learning how to cook a simple meal, or planning a family outing (have them manage logistics like planning the schedule, getting driving directions, plan for food etc.) – all skills kids will need as they grow up. If your child needs extra support, create a visual checklist to hang near the task area.
Planning and Scheduling
Most kids will have to learn how to plan and schedule their time, something that is especially true as they get into middle school. Have them practice by managing their weekly schedule over the summer. Sit down with them Sunday night with a list of everything scheduled for their week, things they need to get done, and fun things they would like to do. Now, have them punch all their activities into a weekly whiteboard planner to see how everything will fit together for the week. This exercise is a wonderful tool for academic and extracurricular planning during the school year.
Identify one or two times of day or tasks that are typically hard for your child during the school year. Take some time over the summer to organize the area or the chore to help it make more sense for your child. Creating some sequential checklists, limiting chores to a 3-step process, or simplifying a cluttered space in their room are all a few ways you can help your child be more successful managing challenging times and tasks.
By working on planning and life skills, you will be teaching your child how to create external schedules and organizing tools – something that will support them all year long. Developing these skills over the summer also means you will have time to adjust and tweak before school rolls around. Here’s to simple solutions for more peaceful days!