Plan Ahead for Future School Breaks
The summer heat has
abated and the children are back in school and getting settled
into their routines. You’ve got a
whole school year to look forward to in which your children
will be busy learning and growing in every way. Before you
feel too relaxed, we suggest you review this past summer and
other school vacations and begin to plan for any changes you
want to make.
How was your children’s summer? Were you fully satisfied
with the programs or activities they participated in? Now that
time has passed, you can sit down with your children and discuss
how they perceived their own vacation experiences. Unfortunately,
not every program lives up to its four-color glossy brochure,
and it is easy to assume that children are happy with a program
if they don’t complain. Give them a chance to express
how they felt and ask them what they would change if they could.
You may be able to find a program that better suits your child.
Keep in mind, also, that your children will be maturing over
the school year. A ten-year-old who was happy in a general
recreation program may become an eleven-year-old who wants
to focus on music, theater, science, computers, or competitive
It may be too early
to send deposits for next year, but it’s
not too early to talk to people and to research what else is
available. Talking to other parents is often the best way to
learn about new programs.
Teachers are another
good source, and of course, there’s
the Internet. Now is also a good time to plan how you and your
family will spend your school vacation time during the year.
Most schools have weeklong breaks in December, February, and
April. If you are able to take your own vacation at the same
time, there are many opportunities to plan time to spend together
to travel, visit family, or simply explore your own community.
These are the times that will form the memories that will hold
your family together. If you have any doubts about this, search
your own cache of family memories. You are likely to remember
the times your family spent together sharing a new experience,
exploring new territory, or annual visits with special family
If you have a high school junior or senior, you will need
to plan college visitation trips, and these may take priority
over leisure trips. While these visits are important, they
can also get to be very tiring and repetitive. Get out your
travel books and look for an interesting side trip your family
can take, especially if these college visits include bringing
your younger children along.
We’re all so
busy with life. Planning ahead is a great way to ensure we
make the best use of the precious leisure time we have to
spend with our children. #
Dr. Hankin is superintendent of Syosset Central School