Stress Free Summertime LearningJun 06, 2022
Nothing gets louder sighs than reminding your student that they have summer assignments to complete. Summer is for fun and freedom from schedules. How do you get your students to complete their required work and maybe even do a little extra without the mood in the house freezing over. Having a plan that fits your student's personality is the basis for stress-free summertime learning.
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Frustration stems from unmet expectations. The MOST important thing for stress free summertime learning is to agree on the schedule. Have a calendar and put it in writing. Make sure you incorporate flex days. It is summer after all. Set a specific day or days each week to monitor progress. It doesn’t need to be every day, but I would not do less than once a week. Younger students will require more consistent checks.
It is important to take your student’s personality into account. Some students are all in. They throw themselves into schoolwork and relaxing with equal intensity. Others need routine. They need weeks to adjust to a change in schedule. Finding a plan that fits your student's personality is key to creating stress free summertime learning. You know your student. This may be a decision best not left to a democratic process. Would you choose shorter periods of days off at your student's age?
If your student approaches activities with a go-getter attitude, doing things in batches, both relaxing and working, may be the best method. Set aside a specific length of time for work and a for fun. It may be 2 to 3 days or a week at a time. Just be sure to schedule the time, start dates and end dates. Have tasks assigned to each day. Make sure this tasks are completed. If something takes longer than you expected, add it to the next set of work days.
If your student doesn’t adapt to change quickly, a slow and steady approach to summertime learning may be best. I’m certainly not suggesting a 5 day work week with 2 day weekends, but perhaps a 3 day work week with 4 day weekends with days on and off being alternated is the way to go. Again, it is important to have assigned tasks for each work day and to verify completion of those tasks.
Keep track of your student’s progress. Set milestones and reward them. Summertime learning is a challenge. It is much more pleasant to reward positive behavior than to discipline incomplete work. Your student will also feel a sense of accomplishment as they check off tasks. Most importantly, this will eliminate those last two weeks of summer being filled with intense work because the beginning of school snuck up on you.
Choose Your Tasks Wisely
Very often students are assigned books to read over the summer. Some of the books will be tested and others may require some kind of report or project. Save the books that will be tested for last. The information will be fresher in your students mind. You will want to encourage your student to keep a journal about the book. Things to record in the journal include a character list, setting, important quotes, and a short summary of each chapter. Use the early summer for tasks like math reviews, essays or other assignments that can be completed and checked off the list.
For more information about the difference between tasks and learning, watch for my upcoming post.
Create Stress Free Summertime Learning
Summer vacation is a long standing tradition. By setting expectations for summertime learning that fit your student’s learning style, allowing some flexibility and rewarding completion, you can enjoy summer with stressing about the assignments and projects.
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