School’s out! With the arrival of summer, often comes the loss of routine. When children lose their routine, it can make transitioning back to school in the fall much more difficult. Routines can help to combat summer learning loss, stress, and anxiety. Children thrive on routine. Routines create a sense of security for your children. But how do we do it? Below are 6 ways to create and maintain a summer routine!

  1. Have the routine posted so that your children can see it
    • Having a routine posted can help your children to stay informed. Especially kids that struggle with transitions. Knowing what is coming next can help to ease stress and anxiety. For younger children, it can be helpful to have a routine that is made with pictures like the example!

  2. Incorporate flexibility!
    • While maintaining a routine is important, it is also important to not be too rigid. Keep in mind that a routine is slightly different from a schedule. Routines allow more room for flexibility. A strict schedule may be difficult for your child to follow on their own.
  3. Try to keep bedtime and wakeup times consistent
    • While there may be times when your child goes to bed or wakes up a bit later, keeping consistency is key. Keeping a consistent bedtime and wakeup time can make the transition back to school much easier!
  4. Work to include learning opportunities
    • Summer learning loss is real. By incorporating learning opportunities into your routine, you can help to combat this. Learning opportunities can be simple, such as setting time aside for summer reading, working on math problems for 10 minutes, or doing an interactive science activity!
  5. Make a goals list
    • Making a list of a few goals to achieve during the summer helps to involve your children in the planning process. By encouraging your child to pick a few goals, it can help to keep them motivated to achieve them! Some examples of goals are reading a certain number of books, improve in a sport, or practicing a new instrument.
  6. Minimize screen time and get outside!
    • Kids sit a lot during the school year and screen time occurs both in and out of school. The summer is a great time to keep your kids active and moving! With the warm weather it is the perfect time to spend as much time as possible outside. Plan some fun activities like going to a community pool or setting up a sprinkler!

Summer routines allow you and your children to enjoy the freedom of summer while keeping busy. They can help to prevent boredom and tantrums. Keep in mind that school days are very structured, and your children are used to this. Keeping some structure into the summer has insurmountable benefits for your whole family!

By: Julia Cornman, EAP Counselor Intern