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#AskAlyson: Summer School

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Hi Alyson,

How do you feel about summer school?  Do the kids need to use this time to get caught up on lost learning? Or you do think they just need some down time?


Conflicted Mom.



Hi Conflicted Mom,


I don’t know your particular child and how stressed they were with school this year, or how far behind they got, so I am answering this question in a way that benefits all the readers who are wondering about my position on this.   Generally speaking – I dislike the idea of sending kids to school in the summer months.  Our culture already has an exaggerated emphasis on academics and performance pressure.  Children need to do and be valued for more than just studying.  There is value and life skills in other activities like free play, working a summer job, going to camp, learning to skateboard, doing some crafting.  I think reading every day is a good habit to develop though.  Enjoying books together and reading out loud to one another is a great family tradition to establish.  But don’t make them do a book report!  Enjoy reading for reading sake.  Some kids have nothing planned this summer and they may actually want to do a course, or connect with a tutor for 1:1 support to get their marks back up before they move ahead to grade 12 chemistry in the fall.  Mostly, we want our kids to know that everyone was challenged with learning during a pandemic and that many people are in the same boat as them.  They can and will get caught up, and this one year is just a blip in their long academic record.  For now, job one for parents is to look after our kids mental health and to bring their stress down and their time with friends up.


Hope that helps!






About Alyson

Alyson has been blogging parenting advice for over 15 years. She has been a panelist at BlogWest, Blissdom, #140NYC and more. Her content appears on sites across Canada and the US, but you can read all her own blog posts right here.

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