Year-Round School: How To Enjoy Summer Break
For the most part, elementary aged children attend a traditional 10-month school program and have about two months off in the summer to rest, relax, and spend time with family. However, year-round schools are becoming more popular, and many students attend such programs. Year-round schools have their benefits because students won’t have enough time to forget valuable things they have learned but they also won’t have as much time to enjoy the summer months simply and socialize with neighborhood children or experience education outside of the four walls of the classroom. So how can children attending a year-round school still gain a summer experience?
1. A Family Vacation
Most year-round schools take a break for two or three weeks in between terms. If a kid is getting a great education at such a school but its feeling left out from certain traditional summer activities, such as a family vacation, parents can consider scheduling their trip during this period. A family trip can be a great way to see something educational or just do something different and get out of town for a little while. Whether students visit the nation’s capital, go camping, or visit a theme park, quality time with family away from the daily routine can be beneficial (READ: 5 Educational Activities to do on a Family Road Trip).
2. Unstructured Socialization and Play
Students who attend year-round schools will probably have ample opportunity to be in a structured environment. It might be a very good idea for them to have a little bit of unstructured play during their term break so that they can have a chance just to relax and be a kid. This might mean riding bikes with kids in the neighborhood or meeting a friend or classmate on the playground. Unstructured play can help children learn how to socialize appropriately without being prompted by a teacher or parent and is a valuable part of growing up. Also, it allows kids a chance just to let go and have fun during the few weeks that they get to have off in the year-round school environment.
3. Time Outside
Students in year-round schools will send plenty of time indoors in the classroom. As a result, it’s a good idea for them to spend part of their term break, even if it’s only two or three weeks, outside. Time in nature can be soothing and relaxing and helps students calm down from the previous school semester. Time outside also allows children to get out some of their energy so that they have a chance to focus more easily on academics when school is in session. If year-round students have a chance to play outside with other children who have the entire summer off, they’re more likely to feel like they had a little bit of a summer break themselves (READ: 5 Ways to Keep Self-Esteem High During Summer School).
4. Field Trips
Family organized field trips offer another great opportunity for year-round students to get a taste of summer. Whether a family is going to an observatory, a nature preserve, or a giant park, family field trips are an essential part of education and exploration. Family field trips also provide year-round students with an opportunity to spend some quality time with their family while learning about things in their environment that are outside of the four walls of the classroom. To give a child a little more independence during their term break, parents can consider offering a few appropriate choices for field trips and letting their kids choose the one that they think is the most interesting. Part of summer break is becoming more responsible and independent.
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