Everyone needs a break over the summer. Kids are tired of regimented days, school tests, homework, and projects. Parents are tired of micromanaging those projects and assignments. It’s time for a breather.

But as any teacher will tell you, even the best students lose a step or two over summer break if they don’t maintain some sense of academic enrichment. That can take many forms, and that’s why it’s critical for you to sit down with your child’s teacher prior to the break and ask a few insightful questions.

Here are a few ideas:

  • How much time off should I give my child before expecting him to do schoolwork?
  • How structured should I make the assignments?
  • What are good books for him to be reading?
  • Which educational websites would be good to reinforce lessons?
  • What lessons should we work ahead on to prepare our child for the next grade?
  • How strict should I be on getting work done?
  • Should I require him to write book reports or just discuss the book with him?
  • What are some fun activities we can do that won’t feel like school work?
  • Are there any academic field trips you would recommend?
  • What specific academic skills is he lacking that he needs to work on for next year?
  • Are there classroom behavioral skills that he needs to work on outside the academic realm?
  • Should I give him some time off in the week prior to school starting?
  • How can I prepare him mentally for the next academic year?

As parents, we want our children to succeed. However, sometimes that drive can be overwhelming. Make sure you give your child enough time over the summer to be kids. Let them sleep in, play independently or alone, and have new adventures. It makes sense to set aside a portion of the day for schoolwork and it’s a good idea to keep that time consistent so your child can focus on it every day.

How are you keeping your child focused over the summer?