The summer is here, school’s out, and now you are wondering how to keep your child active mentally and physically. There are a variety of quality summer programs available to help ensure your child is spending the summer on the couch with the XBox, or hanging out with kids you’d prefer he or she not be around. But how do you choose the best, from so many options?
Here’s a quick checklist we’ve developed of items to consider when choosing the right summer program for your child:
- Physical Exercise - Child obesity is at epidemic levels both in Oklahoma and across the country. If your child isn’t involved in an organized sports activity or regular exercise program, don’t let the summer be a time of physical inactivity. Find a program that will help keep them healthy physically.
- Mental Exercise – Just because school is out, your child’s brain shouldn’t go on vacation. In fact, students who keep active mentally over the summer tend to have an easier time transitioning back into school in the fall and need less “review” time. This doesn’t mean that your child should be sitting at a desk and doing math and English, but it does mean a good summer program that keeps their mind active and engaged will produce great results once school resumes.
- Character Development – As parents, we all know the importance of our children developing the right character traits. Self-confidence, respect, courtesy, self-discipline, and integrity are important in every aspect of our lives. Finding a program that will actively reinforce the values you are trying to instill in your child will help them learn and practice those traits at home, school, and on the playground.
- Convenience – You want a program that fits your schedule. If it is a struggle to get your child to it each day, it will be far to easy to abandon it. Finding one that is near your home or place of work will also help keep you committed to keeping your child in the program.
- Professionalism of Staff – Are they friendly? Do they interact with your child well? Do they keep you informed of the activities your child is participating in?
- Enjoyment – Does your child have fun while they are there? Learning doesn’t have to be boring. When you pick your child up, are they excited about what they did that day? Do they have a smile on their face. Or do they look bored or feel like they didn’t receive enough attention? If your child isn’t having fun, you’re going to find it a battle to get them to keep participating in the program.
- Cost – Of course, the price of the program will have an impact on whether or not your child can participate. In today’s economy, people are still looking for a good deal. But don’t just look at the price alone. Evaluate what you and your child are getting in return. A good program that is fairly priced and provides most of the elements listed above, will be well worth the money you invest in it.
We hope you and your child have a happy, safe, and fun summer. Help your son or daughter keep active mentally and physically by finding a program they will enjoy and benefit from. Doing so will ensure they enjoy their summer break and are prepared to return to school in fall.