Parenting Matters: Are you ready for summer?

May is coming to an end. That means that June is closing in. Are you ready for summer? There are some key things you need to do to be really ready.

If you have a little one, remember you only have five years to get her ready to begin kindergarten. You need to work all year long to make that happen. It begins with talking and conversing with her. Talk with her during the drives you take and what you just learned from the neighbors about things that will take place this summer. Summer definitely means reading to her. Be sure you read at least one book each day. Actually, shoot for two or more. Let her have a chance to help you. Encourage her play with her friends. Every day you are helping her be ready.

If you have a child in school, getting ready for summer means looking back over the past 10 months to see how your child has done in school and at home. Hopefully you have saved some of her papers so you really understand what she has learned this year. This can give you a starting place to review a few things this summer, especially if she didn’t really master the work. Take a look at her recent report card or go to Skyward and see where she hasn’t done well. Think of some ways you can help her learn the things that she could have done better on during the year. If you can’t tell what to work on from the papers you have, call the teacher and talk about what you can do this summer to help her for next school year.

Plan ahead

Think about whatever age child you have and what you could do to help that child have a productive summer. Think about summer camps which can be filled with learning. Think about ways to improve your child’s relationships with friends. Think about reading and make it an everyday priority.

Another way to be ready for summer is to think about work. What jobs can your child at her age do? Certainly your young child doesn’t always do the kind of jobs the way you would do them but it is a time of learning. Whether it is setting the table, putting away silverware from the dishwasher, dusting book shelves or combing the dog, all are tasks that take some practice to master.

By the time your child is older, hopefully the tasks will be done with greater skill. While weeding may not be your child’s favorite task, it needs to be done. Make sure that you praise your child of any age for a job well done.

If you plan ahead, you can make the summer more productive than one filled with screen time. The goal is not to fill the summer hours with just anything; it is to help your child be ready for the next step in life.


Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and director of Parenting Matters Foundation, which publishes newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents. Reach Martin at or at 681-2250.


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