Thoughts on Parenting: ‘Metrics’ for Children’s Summer Vacation – Academics or Fun?

19 Aug

School is back. Summer vacation is seeing its last days….

Children at N.Y. Zoo  (LOC)

Children at N.Y. Zoo [Wikipedia]

Although joy is the word of the hour, there’s a familiar question in the air: ‘how was your summer?‘ Or even better than that: ‘What did your kids do during their school break? I’m sure you had them catch up with their homework packages – they gotta be ready before school days are back!’

It’s definitely hard to keep a balance between these two options: ‘has your child spent much time on academics this summer, or has he/she went out to play, chasing fireflies, collecting ‘knee scratches’ and minor wounds while attempting to bike with no training wheels?’ 😮

Here are my 2 cents to the discussion. Not in 1,000 words, though – more likely, half of that! Hopefully, still bringing out some food for thought!

Maybe, like many parents out there, we’re ‘programmed to feel guilty‘ about not having our children work hard on their academics, taking advantage of the summer break; and instead, we’re fighting that.

Español: Guiliana moreno Jugando en bogota

All moms and dads out there: try to remember your own childhood summer vacations – do you recall having touched a math/reading comprehension work sheet? I’ll leave the answer to you… with a candid smile.

I personally, don’t. When I was a child, there was no structure, and there were no demands. That said, what is your dearest/sweet memory of your summer vacations? I dare you tell me/us it dealt with extra homework!

😮 Just saying…

English: Olof Palme meets journalists during h...

And I guess, we all did fine, right?

We’re all here, we’re survivors, and we remember really enjoying summer… carefree-style!

Please, don’t get me wrong! I’m all for good academics performance – the ones who frequently visit and read through this blog and its posts on education, language, and establishing a healthy multicultural environment for growing children will well understand how I value personal education.

But I also value creativity when raising a child. I value the ability parents have to offer [their kids] opportunities to find their own growing paths.

Analyzing the ‘metrics’ for our children’s summer, we [their mom and dad] believe they are doing pretty well! Academics are important. Structure and discipline are important. Fun is a cornerstone for both processes.

Photo by Michelle Weber.

Photo by Michelle Weber, from the Daily Post WordPress.

Having fun and experiencing childhood on its fullest are crucial points for a well-balanced development. Children need that. They seek that. Playtime amongst their peers helps them develop a sense of self-awareness, a good dose of self-confidence, and to understand their minds have no limits when it comes to creativity and desire. And they look up to us, parents, as the key-providers of a healthy combination of structure, discipline and fun moments.

That’s exactly what vacations are about: hopefully, our kids will do just fine in the future, with fantastic memories of what they did with their family over the school breaks – even if they forgot to finish some of the reading assignments, or left aside that math worksheet [to be completed after dinner!]…

Maybe after they’ve come back inside the house, tired of chasing frogs and playing tag with neighboring friends… and are ready to jump right back into the school schedule.

Chasing their own dreams is part of a healthy childhood development – and should be enjoyed as such! Now, off to a great school start – with all the academics that come with it! 😮

♥  ♥  ♥



Posted by on August 19, 2013 in children, EDUCATION


Tags: , , , , , ,

20 responses to “Thoughts on Parenting: ‘Metrics’ for Children’s Summer Vacation – Academics or Fun?

  1. Kelly Grace

    August 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for stopping by and for (I don’t know the correct blog term—mentioning, adding, listing) my post on your blog. How do you do that? If I knew what it was called I could search in WordPress and learn how to reference other WP blogs. This is a great community on WP.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      August 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      You’re more than welcome, Kelly!
      Regarding adding/mentioning the blog, it’s quite simple: you just copy the link for that particular post and paste it under your original post. Another option is to add that post under ‘pingbacks/trackbacks’. It’s an WordPress feature… Good luck! 😮


  2. babyjill7...Marilyn Griffin

    August 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    totally agree…think kids need to be kids as long as they can…but, when back in school…try and do their best…I think they will…because they had a break…which we all need!


  3. colonialist

    August 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I actually think all the homework over weekends and holidays is ridiculous and counter-productive. Those are the times for children (and even young adults) to enjoy themselves and hopefully find their own creative areas.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      August 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      I share the same opinion, Colonialist.
      Children need play time, for their own well-being. The same way they need their sleep. 😮
      I agree with having too much homework/school assignments [over weekends, holidays, breaks], could become counter-productive, and instead of having a ‘competitive student’, one may be on the wrong track, bringing out a child that’s not rounded and ready for the ‘outside’ world… 😮 just my 2 cents…


      • colonialist

        August 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm

        Yes, and another thing – it amounts to a confession of failure by the educators. They can’t get the learning across in the time allocated to them to do so. Funny how the ones in my days of school managed – and the workload was, I think, far more demanding than it is today – definitely in S Africa, anyway.


        • 3rdCultureChildren

          August 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

          Funny right? Back when we were in school, i don’t recall ‘extra curricular’ activities… soccer, dance, arts and so forth were playtime and fun activities hosted by the school… and we all did fine… It’s become very demanding, and I can speak for the current situation in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Mozambique… USA… 😮 And we all managed our study time and play time… and yet, had time to spare!!!


  4. expatsincebirth

    August 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    A great post! So true! And who says that playing, sharing, playing tag etc. is not learning? Playing is, in my opinion, the easiest way for children to learn about life – from a very early stage on. 😉


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      August 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Couldn’t agree more! 😮
      Thank you for taking the time to come by and share your impressions – much appreciated!


      • expatsincebirth

        August 21, 2013 at 5:42 am

        You’re welcome! It’s always a great pleasure to read your posts. 😉



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