With the warm breezes just beginning to blow, and longer, hotter days coming in steady succession, it may seem a bit premature to want to discuss an upcoming school year – especially for parents with teenagers living under their roofs. The very idea of keeping your kiddos on a more regular schedule — even in the summer months – is a battle that most parents simply don’t want to fight. However, by doing so, the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives.
If your teens have visions of sleeping in every day and having endless free time, you may want to consider reeling in those plans before they take hold too deeply. While the summer months free from school are a great opportunity to relax and refresh before a new year begins, there are 4 fantastic ways parents can help get teens ready for school in the fall. By implementing the following recommendations for how to prep teens for school in the fall, parents can effectively prevent kids from losing their forward learning progress, encourage and foster the use of practical life skills outside of the classroom, keep their schedule regular and motivate them for their futures.
Work is something every human has secretly disliked doing at one point in their life or another. That being said, keeping your teen busy over the summer months through summer employment is a great way to motivate your child toward more independence. As a bonus, they’ll earn their own spending money for things like movies with friends, summer concerts, extra pizza nights after long days in the pool, or other fun activities.
Not only do summer jobs provide teens with spending cash, but they also begin to assist in laying the groundwork for your teens’ futures – post-education. The real world, life experience and employer expectations are all essential life skills everyone must learn. We’re certainly not advocating for endless work or keeping unmanageable hours over summer break. However, summer employment has long taught teens key skills necessary in learning how to adapt and live in a functional society.
By keeping your teen reading over the summer, parents are fostering creativity and imagination while also keeping their teens’ minds working and absorbing new information. If teachers are kind enough to provide summer suggested – and in some cases and classes, mandatory — reading lists, these are great starting points to locate book options for their shelves.
In the case of reading for pleasure, focus on your child’s interests. You don’t want them to get in the habit of hating to read, so coming up with a plan for what kind of books and magazines they may enjoy reading is a great way to stay involved while also encouraging literacy. We suggest coming up with a healthy and well-rounded collection of interesting and imaginative reading materials to keep your teens coming back for the next one.
Caring for a household of people, especially financially, is no easy task. As any good parent knows, there lies a clear line between what is needed and what is wanted. There is no better time than now to start introducing the idea of budgeting for monthly expenses to teens. This is especially true for teens with summer employment who are already earning a regular paycheck.
Whether you use a spreadsheet system, pencil and paper, or an app, parents have been balancing bills and budgets for years. It may be time to consider getting your hands dirty by sitting down with your teen and going over examples of how your budgets provide clear information and structure to your home. Seeing what comes in and how it is spent can help build the basis for responsibilities and maturity.
Here are a few other suggestions for how to prep teens for school in the fall:
- Stick to a set bedtime – come up with an agreed-upon bedtime and morning wake-up routine to give your teen a space to voice their opinions and concerns before an organized and concise plan is formed.
- Housework – kids need to learn how to keep a house, and by encouraging and insisting your teen assist in keeping the home clean and tidy, it aids them in learning how to do just that, while also pulling them into the fold of the household even deeper, preparing a space for them as adults.
By keeping your teens busy, working, reading and learning this summer, their brains will be well-honed and prepared for the new knowledge they will absorb in few short weeks in the fall. It will also impart crucial home-making skills they’ll need in the future. By teaching our kids practical knowledge, incorporating their interests into the mix and adding the chance for making some cash this summer, you may find your teen learning from and building new and lasting relationships and skills that will prove vital. These experiences can often turn out to be invaluable down the road.
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