Yahoo! We’re jumping for joy!
For many of us, summer is just getting under way. It’s an exciting transition which affords us many opportunities we can’t take advantage of during the school year. Expectations for summer often begin in late spring and seem to escalate with the rising temperatures, but now the end of the year festivities have ended, what comes next?
For teachers, hopefully there is time to slow down. But as Chip Wood pointed out earlier this week, That “Infamous” Summer Vacation for Teachers is really an urban myth. Teachers, students, and families do need some downtime to recharge from the school year and to settle into the new, albeit brief, summer routines. This week I’m doing a mini-yoga retreat for the first time ever. It’s something that touches on several to the tips listed below. One of the messages our instructor has shared repeatedly is to “take care of yourself.” Seems easy enough, but most of spend far more time and energy taking care of others than we do for ourselves. It made me think of seven ways each of us, no matter how old you are, can do as we jump into summer.
1. Slow down. For most families, school brings a frenetic pace of school, sports, activities, homework, and regular life. Let things slow down. Our bodies, brains and spirits really benefit from the downtime.
2. Re-Assess. What worked well during the school year in terms of routines and expectations? What might work better? What will need adjustments because of changes? Make some notes now so you’ll remember when it’s back-t0-school time. similarly, set up new parameters for summer schedules that tend to individual needs and strengths and let’s everyone play a part in keeping things humming at home this summer.
3. Plan to read. And write. And solve math problems. And construct projects. You’ve heard reports of summer slump, but don’t obsess. Find creative wasys to make read, writing, and inquiry a part of your summer life. Take notes, take photos and share your experience with others.
4. Set some goals for the summer. Maybe try a new sport or hobby. Tend a garden. Visit all the local parks in your county. Work together to make a summer bucket list and then schedule time to do those things.
5. Get outside. Whether it’s the beach, your backyard, the woods or the mountains, spend as much time outside as possible. Nature offers many treats and treasures this time of year and they’re meant to be enjoyed. I’m reading Richard Louv’s The Nature Principle and he makes a strong case for getting outside in order to balance the virtual demands of our lives.
6. Connect with old and new friends. Perhaps busy schedule kept you from seeing neighbors, old friends, or family. Give ’em a ring meet up with them to do something from # 3, 4 or 5. Or maybe it’s in a new sport or hobby that you meet someone new. Enjoy the longer days with new friends.
Summer isn’t really endless, but the possibilities for finding joyous, engaging, and meaningful ways to spend your summer are endless. What are some of the things you are doing now that school is out?