As the school year comes to an end, many parents’ anxiety about what to do when kids are home for the summer is coming to a head. The COVID-19 pandemic has made attending traditional academic or recreational camps along with many other beloved summer activities, an impossibility. As a result, many parents are struggling with what to do over the summer months to keep learning going and also give themselves a much-needed break.
Just as millions of children, parents and educators transitioned to remote learning only a few months ago, we are again re-imagining what play and learning will look like during the summer.
While the initial transition from the classroom to the cloud, clearly left teachers, parents and kids stressed and overwhelmed (myself included), the good news is that after a few weeks we seemed to get the hang of it.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by us at WURRLYedu found that 60% of parents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their child’s distance learning program during school closures and only 49% reported that they were worried about their kids falling behind in school.
However, the survey also found that a majority (36%) of parents were spending 3-5 hours a day assisting their children with remote learning, while another 31% were spending 1-3 hours daily helping kids with online schoolwork. This is a huge time commitment for any parent.
Additionally, 64% of parents said they felt kids were getting too much screen time during school closures. Lastly, the survey found that coming off of months of virtual learning that 54% of parents had no plans for their children for summer camp.
So with three months of summer ahead of us, here are some ideas on ways to keep your kids engaged and more importantly occupied in this new normal:
Meet kids where their inspiration lies. Your children are most likely to show up and embrace a project if they are inspired by it. Whether it’s a virtual camp focused on gaming or learning to play guitar from one of their favorite music artists – activities that enable kids to lead themselves with their own curiosity will engage them the most.
Get creative! Don’t let a lack of supplies or materials limit you. For example, check out this video from Little Kids Rock called The Found Drum Challenge, which offers instruction on how to build a three-piece drum set out of household items and then play it. It’s a fun and musically meaningful experience that kids can do while they’re at home when they don’t have instruments.
Embrace the Arts: Music and the Arts generally are an important part of your child’s education and summer experience that can also play a fun role while kids are stuck at home. Whether they simply listen to music to relax, practice an instrument, sing karaoke, dance or use music to inspire creative writing, musical activity involves nearly every region of the brain.
There are many online music education resources available including free video tutorials from WURRLYedu that will inspire kids to sing, play, practice along to, and record their favorite songs.
Every child is different so it may take some time to figure out the best plan as we all reimagine summer learning together.