Time off from school

time off school

For kids that learn differently, summer is a time to allow their bodies to rest, be active and focus on their day in a new way.  They need time away from the fight and flight responses they may deal with when they face the challenges of school every day. 

Simply put - they need time off from school to recharge physically and mentally. 

 I know this is a contradiction to what you might hear from others.  

You may have heard how many skills are lost over the summer or how much your child needs to learn before the next school year.  And although these statements may be true, it is also true that your child is working very hard for many weeks of the year and it's time to stop and allow them to rest from school demands.  


what does it look like when your child takes time off from school? 

Don't focus on 'school-related' work for a number of weeks. No worksheets or workbooks. 

Focus on unstructured time to play. Play is so important - read this article to find out why. 

Talk about quiet times and what to do when that happens -- paint rocks, read magazines at the pool, go for a bike ride, listen to music, etc.

Focus on fun sports -- what do they enjoy?  Soccer, horseback riding, swimming lessons, etc

Set up times to have friends over. 

Even ask them to do some chores - cooking, cleaning, walk the dog... 

That's time off and focus on other parts of their life -- that they have not had time to focus on. 

when do you start to focus on school again? 

 This depends on your child but to give you a guideline.  Consider the first month or so as time off from school.  That doesn't mean learning or reading....there are ways to add in these activities without it feeling like school.  But if you have structured time with tutors or workbooks to look at -- this is more like school.  

There are a few reasons to wait until later in the summer to slowly introduce school related work.

1.   Your child will be able to recall what was covered just before they head back into school.

2.   Your child will feel more prepared for class which might help with any anxiety about going back.

3.   Your child is now rested and may be willing to work for short periods of time with you before you head off to something else.

Your child needs to rest, play and recharge.  Offer this in the summer months. 


Susan Schenk