As we step in the month of May, children across India springs up with joy to welcome their longest vacation i.e. summer break. But this time, very similar to last year there is a mixed feeling among children and parents too. Children no doubt are happy that they don’t have academic sessions or regular assignments or examinations but have a big question mark as to what do we do the entire month?
On the other hand, parents are concerned about their child’s engagement during this period. No task at hand and lack of routine can be very frustrating as a family unit. In this article, we wish to give you tips and ideas on how to spend your vacation at home as a family.
1. Where is your Calendar?
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail”. Big statement ha! but it’s not for you because if you’re reading this article, you are a concerned parent and you are certainly not planning to fail. So, let’s start with the first step i.e., to create a calendar. How many days we have at hand and how are we going to plan each one of them. Take a
piece of paper and start writing the days and dates.
2. Don’t give up on routine
Once the calendar layout is ready, we can jump into the 24 hours routine. By default, children think holiday means we can stay up late at night and get up in the afternoon. Don’t let your child or anyone in the house play with the sleep cycle. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner must go as per the routine because that’s important for the family’s health. Now, mark all the
recurring events in the timetable.
3. Family time and Personal time
All the available free slots like the time before lunch or post-high tea in the evening can be now categorized as a family or personal time depending on the working member’s routine. Again, both categories require planning and both categories must exist in your timetable. Family time can be as simple as watching a movie/series together, narrating stories about family members or social heroes, star gazing (try Google Sky), playing treasure hunt, board games (even apps can be used), or touring places virtually with Google Arts & Culture. Google Arts & Culture is a platform that can help to ease your family’s wanderlust. Tour world monuments like the Taj Mahal, Macchu Pichu, the Colosseum, and more together from your computer. You can also check out world-class virtual museums there.
One thing which I often do is provide a topic to each family member and ask them to present over tea or weekends. It creates a culture of open discussion and exchange of ideas within the family. For example, let your child make a presentation on Solar System or Periodic table
or topics as per their interest and age. This in turn will provide the direction to use their personal time productively.
4. Skill Building
Presentations can surely enhance their knowledge and communication skills but there are other skill sets too. Learning a new language (Duolingo), map reading (Google Earth), getting your hands on a musical instrument, coding, reading, learning dance forms, or collecting fun facts from Google. I found some parents teaching survival skills to their child during pandemic but avoid it if you think it can create anxiety or fear. Managing foodgrain
stocks and planning a grocery shopping list can surely help them uplift their math skills. Children can also gain mastery in indoor games like carrom and chess or create their own game or app. There is this website called “aqad.in” which asks one interesting question every
day. Get your child subscribed to such resourceful websites or mobile applications.
Special tip for teens in grades 8th to 12th – Get career counseling from an expert or discover your interest by giving psychometric tests and talking to your parents. Recommendation – encephalors.com
5. Don’t try this at Home
1. Frequently snapping at small things – please manage your anger
2. Locking yourself up in one room with gadgets
3. Skipping meals or relying heavily on junk or frozen food
4. No physical (indoor) play or exercise
5. And yeah, staying unplanned
Whether you’re working or staying free at home, the highlight of the article is to plan your day even during vacations. When you can plan your official schedule, why not plan your family schedule? This will not only give your kids confidence and feel important but create excitement to look forward to the free time ahead. After all, we must feel refreshed and revitalized post vacations, so let’s plan accordingly.
Have a productive and healthy vacation!