United Lisbon International School

Summer Dilemma : Balancing Rest and Avoiding the Summer Slide for Parents and Teens

As summer break is in full swing, it’s essential to strike the right balance between rest and continued learning. While it’s essential that teenagers have time to relax and recharge, the long break can also lead to the “summer slide” – a decline in academic skills over the summer months. However, we can find a balance between the two with engaging educational tasks and travel.

1. Embrace a Structured Routine

Maintaining a structured routine can help teenagers strike a balance between rest and educational activities during the summer break. Encourage your teen to set aside specific times for relaxation, physical activities, and learning. By establishing a schedule, they can allocate dedicated time for educational tasks while also ensuring they have ample time for rest and leisure activities. 

2. Engage in Reading

Reading is an excellent way to prevent the summer slide and foster a love for learning. Encourage your teen to participate in the suggested summer reading lists offered by their teacher. Set aside time to discuss the books they are reading, like a mini-book group. Also browse different reading platforms such as newspaper articles, history brochures of local travel sites, or even magazine articles. Engaging in regular reading habits will not only improve literacy skills but also expand your teen’s knowledge and imagination.

3. Encourage Creative Projects

Summer is the perfect time for teenagers to explore their creative side. Encourage your teen to engage in hands-on projects that integrate learning and fun. For instance, they could create a DIY science experiment, develop a short film, or design a personal website. These projects allow them to apply academic knowledge to real-world situations, enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

4. Make Travel Educational

Traveling during the summer break provides an excellent opportunity to make learning an immersive experience. When planning trips, consider destinations that offer educational value. Historical sites, museums, and national parks provide rich learning experiences. Encourage your teen to research and learn about the places they’ll visit before the trip. This pre-trip research will enhance their understanding and appreciation of the destination.

5. Document and Reflect

Encourage your teen to document their summer experiences through journals, photographs, or videos. This process helps them preserve memories and fosters reflection and critical thinking. Encourage them to reflect on what they learned, their favorite experiences, and any challenges they faced. This practice cultivates self-awareness and encourages the consolidation of knowledge gained during the break.

6. Engage in Math

Real-world use of math skills is engaging and allows them to continue to practice their math calculation skills in real-life scenarios. They can also engage in programs like The Stock Market Game to use math in a virtual trading capacity. In addition, they can practice fractions while cooking and enlarging or scaling down recipes or practice their decimals and fractions skills by engaging in a building project. There are also valuable family board games such as Prime Climb, Charty Party All ages edition, or even borrow a deck of Termo cards!

Finding the right balance between rest and education during the summer break is crucial! You as parents will know what your teens need best, so please feel free to trust your instincts if you feel your child needs more rest.  As a team, let’s make this summer both enjoyable and intellectually stimulating for our teens by fostering a love for lifelong learning. 

Evey Koen

Head Coordinator Middle School

Mathematics Teacher