The importance of Summer routine

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne


Saturday 26 June 2021 10:03

As the summer edges closer, with most schools finishing next week, you may be wondering how to fill the day.

It is important to implement a schedule early on to give children some structure over the summer. The timetable does not have to be as rigid as during the school year. Still, planned activities help direct children’s energy towards productive tasks, which helps promote confidence and reduces summer learning loss.

Try agreeing on a timetable with your child as this is easier than dictating to them. Display the timetable somewhere visible such as the fridge, so that children can see what the day entails. From my experience working in classrooms, timetables are an essential component for behaviour management.

Timetables provide structure and clarity about what exactly children are meant to be doing and present a clear order of the day. Using a timetable can also help promote independence and gain parents some valuable time.

Timetables will vary as you tailor it to your child’s needs. Some will use visual schedules (pictures), which are beneficial for younger and SEN pupils.

As children get older, you may only have to write out a list of tasks with the time beside them. The timetable can be as detailed or vague to suit your child. For example, for older children, you may write 9.00 am - get ready. However, younger children may require additional directions such as getting up, eating breakfast, washing, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and brushing their hair.

I also recommend including meals and bedtimes in timetables. Again, this helps promote familiarity and routine, which some studies have even shown helps reduce stress and anxiety in children. I suggest including one-two hours of educational activities (age-appropriate). This time could include reading and working through an area of maths that they either struggled with or would like to retain. Schedule at least one hour of exercise per day as the benefits of keeping fit are almost endless: improved fitness, concentration, reduction in stress and better sleep, to name a few. One certainty this summer is that we will have some wet days! Don’t let that stop your child. Firstly, I would tell them to put on a coat and get outside, but if the weather does not allow it, you can always stream a child-friendly Youtube exercise video for them to follow. After the tough year we have had, it would be highly beneficial to include a daily mindfulness activity. Mindfulness is a form of mediation in which you focus on nothing but the present.

The idea is to sit silently and to focus on thoughts, sounds or breathing without your mind wandering. I believe that the benefits of mindfulness are so vast that next week’s column will divulge into activities that you can easily implement at home.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Once the above activities are scheduled, one-two hours of educational activities, one hour of exercise, thirty minutes mindfulness and maybe thirty minutes of chores, the whole morning is now filled.

I would recommend allowing the children to have the afternoon for activities that they would like to do. The key is also to be flexible.

Do not feel that you have to be held hostage by the timetable as its purpose is to fill a summer day spent at home. The most important part of the summer holidays is family time and ensuring the children have fun.

Prevent Summer Learning Loss with Education Support Hub

Education Support Hub is now taking bookings for summer classes. It is important that children switch off over the break. However, I feel it is equally important to have a weekly top-up session so they will not lose their progress over the long duration of the summer holidays.

Last year, many places were filled, so please contact me early to avoid disappointment.

Education Support Hub provides assistance to help primary school children reach their full academic potential. Following a free assessment, your child's learning gaps and needs are identified, which will be communicated to you. They are then placed in a small group of similar academic ability. The small group dynamic helps mirror a classroom environment whilst encouraging some healthy competition! Each child is continually assessed throughout the session, immediately highlighting any areas of concern. I provide support for children from P3 - P7, including GL Transfer Test preparation.

I am a fully qualified teacher (Access NI cleared) and teach through the online platform Zoom in the comfort of your own home. Zoom facilitates an interactive whiteboard, visual, audio and chat features. If you would like to hear more about current clients' experiences, check out our reviews on Facebook and Google.

Daniel Guiney

Education Support Hub Founder


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