Children's summer schools: what to do with the kids on vacation?
They already went down in history those days when the little ones started their summer when school was over and they did not return until mid-September, when they started again. Today, the need to reconcile work and family life forces parents to look for solutions such as children's schools for the summer months when they work.
The summer nursery schools they are a good solution, but we must be attentive to what they offer us because "everything that glitters is not gold" and leaving our children in a summer school, if it is the first time and we do not know it, implies a risk.
10 tips to point your children to summer children's schools
Before choosing a summer school for your children, you have to look at certain very important things that we summarize in a "decalogue" way:
1. School of values. The summer school is an appropriate environment to learn values such as mutual respect; team work; friendship; the order*
2. Choose the school by references. Better a summer school of which you have direct knowledge of the educational team and the facilities.
3. Scheduled activities. Summer school activities must be scheduled day by day and not subject to improvisation.
4. Teachers and monitors. The educational team should be led by teachers with experience and qualifications according to the age of your children, the monitors of free time can be great educators as well, provided they have proven experience and are well led.
5. Learn by playing. It is also important that the activities have a specific educational content, a center of interest. Around them will develop different activities: painting, dance, songs, crafts, water games, storytelling and legends ...
6. Hours. They should favor the rest of the children with respect to the school year. Fun activities, some that involve movement and others more relaxed. The smaller the children are, the more they need a nap time, it is something that you must look at as well as in what conditions of hygiene and safety it is done.
7. The summer dining room. If they do all the school schedule it means that they stay to eat. Food is a very important issue because with the heat of summer, food spoils very easily so a summer school that does not have adequate facilities are a danger for children and for all those who serve them. The ideal is that they have their own kitchen that complies with current regulations, if they use catering service, make sure that it is a company with all the guarantees when it comes to preparing and transporting food.
8. Spaces appropriate to the child's age.
- Summer schools for children from 0 to 5 years, more than large spaces, need a cheerful, safe and stimulating place. Obviously, it must comply with current regulations regarding square meters per child. A patio where you can make water games; orchard; psychomotor circuits for these ages. The furniture must be appropriate to its size and, if they stay for a nap, the school must have suitable elements for this use (hammocks, mats, cots) all in perfect condition and maximum hygiene.
- Children who attend Primary need larger spaces to run and to start a sport. Sports clubs offer many summer courses to start swimming, tennis, football ... Also most elementary schools have activities for the month of July. In August it is more difficult and the offer of leisure for children is greatly reduced. Also in these cases we must know very well which monitors will take care of our children to have the certainty that they are good educators.
9. Arrival and collection. If possible, take and pick up your children both during the school year and at summer school. They have many things to tell you and they will surely bring a craftsmanship made by them with great affection every day. When it can not be, make sure that the person who takes care of your children speaks with the teachers or monitors with the same interest that you would do and then share all that important information with you. Talk to your children, they will tell you many things and if they are babies you will notice them happy and relaxed if they have had a good day.
10. Family-school communication. The summer school should be a space where the family feels comfortable, we should always have a reference person with whom we can talk about how the day has gone and the small incidents or anecdotes that may have arisen. When you register your children we advise you not to forget to ask who will be the person responsible for them.
Margarita Mir. Director of the Infant School Nemomarlin Sant Cugat. Barcelona