Originally posted by The PJ Library on their website on 06/23/13. You can sign up to receive free books from PJ Library here.
Many children will be saying Shalom Chaverim to their school friends this month, and saying hello to the fun summer days of play. While the respite from everyday school routine can be fulfilling for many PJ Library readers, many still may nevertheless need some help making the transition.
Below are some ways parents and families can help their preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary-aged children make a happy and healthy transition into summer.
TALK IT OUT
As it’s put in the Scholastic.com article, “Saying Goodbye to the School Year,” parting with school friends can by tough for young children. “Some children will even appear to regress to an old behavior, such as separation anxiety or childish misbehavior,”Scholastic.com states. Talking it over as a family, including discussions about the future (and when school returns) can go a long way.
MAKE PLANS TOGETHER
A good way to foster a positive feelings toward the coming summer months is to permit the child to take an active role in the plan-making. As Robin McClure writes in her About Childcarepost, “Helping Preschoolers Transition Summer and School,” inclusion can go a long way. “If your child will be taking swimming lessons, seek her input about which session or time to choose (that is, if you’re willing to go with what your tot chooses),” she writes. “If you are planning a vacation, begin talking about where you’re going, what you’ll be doing while there and how the trip will include a ride on an airplane or a long family drive.”
KEEP SCHOOL IN MIND
Esther Leung is a special needs consultant. In her post on The Friendship Circle website, “Transitioning to Summer: 9 Tips for Special Needs Parents,” she explains the ways in which academics can be included in summer plans. She advises parents to conduct an evaluation and review of the school year, plan “retention activities” designed to reinforced what was taught during the last year, and to visit the next year’s classroom.
MAINTAIN EXISTING FRIENDSHIPS
Just because your child isn’t seeing his or her friends each day doesn’t mean they must go completely without contact. The value of Dibbuk Haverim, attachment to friends, can be expressed during the summer months through a letter, an e-mail, or an occasional play date.
Get your child thinking about his or her friendship by reading on of the PJ Library books listed on our “Friendship & Loyalty (Re’ut/Dibbuk Haverim)” page.
ENCOURAGE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
As we explain in the PJ Library blogpost, “Friends & Family: Two Values for Summer,” chaverim (friends) and mishpacha(family) are important Jewish values, but they’re also integral to happy summer experience.
“Whether at Jewish overnight camp or in your home’s backyard or neighborhood park, spending fun time with friends often represents the epitome of summer freedom.”
Many families like Jewish day or overnight camp as a summer option for children. In our blogpost, “Why (Jewish) Summer Camp?” we spell out some of the benefits that come with this type of experience.
However you family transitions into summer, we at PJ Library wish you all a relaxing and fulfilling season of warm weather and colorful books!