Helping kids avoid the busyness trap

Beach familyDo you remember childhood summer breaks? Endless days playing Marco Polo or at the local pool, catching fireflies in Mason jars at dusk, and hosting neighborhood bonfires complete with burned-beyond-recognition marshmallows… Bliss!

Many of today’s children, however, will have dramatically different memories, thanks to the pervasive Cult of Busyness which has invaded our society, often down to the pre-K and kindergarten level.

What is the Cult of Busyness?

The Johns Hopkins Health Review recently included a telling article by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson. In it, Dickinson explores the “busy” phenomenon, “More than one-third of Americans say they don’t have enough time in their day to get things done. Work hours bleeding into home life and a prevailing belief that we need to do it all — and do it well — have created a feeling of constant activity.”

A growing chorus of scientists, academics, and health professionals are now decrying what they call “time poverty.” And most unsettling, time poverty doesn’t just affect adults.

According to Tim Peek in How I Escaped The Cult of Busyness for the Huffington Post, “Even children are busy now, scheduled down to the half-hour with classes and extracurricular activities. They come home at the end of the day as tired as grown-ups.”

The culprit? Over-the-top expectations driving what we think we can and (more importantly) what we should do.

Summer learning loss and balance

Parents may be understandably confused. Summer learning loss has been the topic of endless discussion for years amongst educators and parents alike. And, an often quoted study by Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, did find that “when students return to school after a long summer vacation, they’ve lost one to three months’ worth of learning.”

So, what is a concerned parent do? Schedule back-to-back 8-hour “camps” for the 12 weeks of summer… or allow children to go “free range?”

As with most parenting conundrums, balance is the key.

Alvin Rosenfeld, author of the best-selling book The Overscheduled Child, says academic and enrichment activities during summer are a benefit, as long as parents make sure children have enough down time with no activities.

So, if your ambitious 8th grader wants to get a head start on high school Italian… Bravo! Just make sure she also spends a little downtime with friends.

Spark a passion for a new subject this summer!

Summer can be the perfect time for kids to learn something new. Once the regular school year is over, kids can pursue a subject that truly interests them.

Kids think that pursuing a new passion is fun. Parents know that learning a new subject keeps the brain stimulated. Busyness and Summer Learning Loss problems solved!

Engaging and FUN summer enrichment options in Delaware

So, this summer, why not expose children to drama, music, art, photography, or a foreign language?

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics offers options for every age and interest and 1-on-1 instruction in over 60 subjects. To learn more about summer enrichment options at Back to Basics Learning Dynamics in Wilmington, Delaware, please call 302-594-0754.

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics is the undisputed leader in 1-on-1 tutoring in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania for over 60 subjects.

The company also offers 1-on-1 instruction for the SAT, ACT and Test Prep, translating and interpreting in 16+ languages, educational testing and more. For more information about Back to Basics’ educational services, please call us at 302-594-0754.

The company also operates a unique Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware. For more information about Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 private school, please call us at 302-594-0685.

Photo by Sura Nualpradid and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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