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Tips & Tricks from SJE School Psychologist, Dr. Patenaude

Tips & Tricks from SJE School Psychologist, Dr. Patenaude
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With the end of the school year, I know that many families and students are looking forward to summer break. The summer promises an opportunity to relax, spend quality time with friends and family, and to travel to various destinations. While there is a break from the daily school routine, it is important to help your student cultivate his or her academic skills, carve out time each day to read, and have fun. To make the most of summer, it can be helpful to put some structure in place for your children while having some flexibility. 

One of the things that can be helpful to do at the beginning of the summer is to have a family planning meeting with all of your family members. You can sit down with your family to review the calendar for the months of June, July, and August and outline all of the summer camps, trips, and vacations that are planned for those months. In addition to this, you can make sure that appointments are scheduled, such as going to the pediatrician, eye doctor, and dentist, before the upcoming school year.  

Another thing that can be helpful is setting goals for the summer for each of your children. For example, your child may wish to learn how to ride a two-wheel bike, read 100 books in two months, or volunteer at Vacation Bible School. It can be helpful to have your child select two to three goals that he or she would like to accomplish and to have different types of goals. For example, an academic goal could be to read each day for 20 minutes, a personal goal may be to learn how to do his/her laundry, and a community goal may be to volunteer 10 hours at the Humane Society or go on a mission trip with his/her church. 

Finally, make sure that both you and your child understand and complete all of the summer work that has been assigned before the start of the upcoming school year. By now, you should have received all of the information about summer work and the expectations of what needs to be completed before the start of the upcoming school year. It can be very challenging to try and get all of the work done in the last week or two before school starts. Instead, it is more beneficial to work a little bit each day or a few times a week on the assigned summer work. An important part of summer work is to ensure that your child makes a habit of engaging in daily reading over the summer. It can be beneficial to go to the library and check out books of various reading levels and range of topics. 

The summer months can go by quickly! However, having a summer plan and goals that each family member is aware of and agree to can help. This is especially beneficial when it comes to completing summer work and preparing for the upcoming school year. 

I hope that your family has a wonderful, restful summer! 

Dr. Patenaude
School Psychologist/Learning Specialist