It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost half over. While children and teens are still on vacation for the next several weeks, parents may be concerned about how their kids are preparing for going back to school. While there are ways to combat academic summer learning loss, what can be done to maintain the social-emotional learning skills that many children gained during the school year? How can children continue to practice these skills even when they are away from the classroom for an extended period?
A growing body of research is driving interest in social-emotional learning as an essential component of student success. Without skills like the ability to manage stress, to empathize with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and to engage successfully in the small-group work required for deeper learning, students cannot be successful.
The Mendez Foundation is committed year-round to ensuring children grades K-12 are equipped with and building and maintaining skills that go beyond subject-matter knowledge in English, math, and science. Our Too Good programs provide a framework of social and emotional skills that develop goal-setting, decision-making, and effective communication skills. Too Good also builds additional skills for peer pressure refusal, pro-social bonding, conflict resolution, and media literacy. However, practicing these critical skills may not be top of mind for children and teens during summer vacation.
There are, however, a few creative ways kids can continue to practice the skills they learned during the school year including:
Set a goal to wake up earlier than usual in the morning during the summer to work on a project or hobby.
Make a plan to read a certain number of books during the summer months.
Contribute ideas to where your family will visit for summer vacation this year.
Take the initiative on what movie to see with your friends.
Keep a journal of all the fun and exciting things you do over the summer.
Talk honestly to an older sibling about how you feel about them going away to college or a different school in the fall.
Bonding and Relationships
Try a summer activity with your friends that you have never done before.
Use peer pressure refusal strategies in situations where you feel uncomfortable.
Summer is a great time for children and teens to practice the skills gained through social-emotional learning and prevention education outside of the classroom. The Mendez Foundation encourages children, teens, parents, and families to utilize these skills on a regular basis to ensure a fun and safe summer season. This way, children can continue to make healthy, risk-free choices and stay on the path to a more positive and brighter future.