Does your teen have tasks to complete over the summer?
Or do they have no actual homework set
but are wondering what they should do?
Here’s my thoughts on a topic I get asked about (every year like clockwork)
before schools break up for the summer…
I know some students get set tasks,
especially if they’re in Y11 and going into Y12.
But for many students there’s nothing specific laid out over the summer.
For some, it’s a much-needed time to reset
and do nothing (which is absolutely necessary).
For others, they see it’s also an opportunity to get ahead
and set up for success in the new year
(and I absolutely agree with this also!).
It really depends what sort of student your teen is
and what sorts of aspirations and goals they have.
For many students I work with, it’s entirely appropriate
for them to complete some directed tasks
to get ahead of the pack, store up some confidence and ensure they don’t
lose some of the progress they’ve already made.
So they move into their new year group in a smooth and streamlined way
that has them hitting the ground running in Term 1.
So, for some students it’s going to be going through some of my online trainings over the summer.
And for others it could be more specific tasks,
personal to them and their subjects.
All of this is to help avoid the dreaded ‘summer slide’
where memories of content and info fade,
and study skills generally get a bit rusty.
If you’ve followed me for a while
and you’re familiar with what I do
you’ll know I’m a big advocate of “every little helps”.
This is especially true when it comes to students getting higher grades,
becoming more confident and less stressed.
Now, at some point during the summer,
for the students that have been set tasks (by me, themselves, or their teachers!)
they’re gonna have thoughts like:
“It doesn’t really matter if I don’t do them this week”
“Is this really going to help?”
Students need to know that these thoughts are going to pop up
(sometimes with warrior-level strength!)
and therefore, if they aren’t gonna succumb, then they need to be prepared for when they do!
One way to do this is for them to put themselves in the shoes of their ‘future-selves’.
It’s a bit like when you’re stressed out and wishing you had done more work earlier.
What will their future-self be thinking about this moment in 3, 6 or 12 months’ time?
If they asked their ‘future-self’, what would they tell them to do?
Another way of framing this is to consider actions now as gifts to your ‘future-self’.
What is your ‘future-self’ going to be sooooo grateful for you doing in this moment?
The thing you maybe don’t want to do,
but know will reap you rewards in the future.
Like putting the duvet cover back on the bedding as soon as it came off the line, and *isn’t* waiting in a heap as you go to get into bed that night.
Putting on the doona cover is one of my least-favourite household chores. But it’s MOST hated when it’s 10pm and I’m exhausted and forgot I’d left it ‘to do later’…. 😩
Students HAVE to be mentally prepared
for when the little devil on the shoulder chirps up with negative/lazy/doubting thoughts. (Which it will!)
Otherwise, Netflix (or back in my day, re-ordering my CD collection) 😉
and that whispering devil will win… with ‘what-if’s rather than ‘wahoo’s!!!’ waiting for them in the future.