Summertime, summertime, summertime!

It’s summertime, but at the same time (in NJ), many of our camps have shut down. Many of our vacation plans are tentative or have been canceled. We are all looking at long days that seem to have no schedule, no routine, and no plan. For many of us parents, we are still working; some of us are even returning to our office buildings to resume in-person work. The question that sits before me as I look, adoringly, over my 3 children, is “What are they going to do for the next so many weeks?” 

If you’re anything like me, I worry deeply about how much instruction my children have lost. Not only are all our children going to experience the usual 3-month summer slide, but now our children will be experiencing the 6-month summer slide. What can we do to slow down the decline in skills and get our kids ready for September? I have a few ideas!

Hire a Tutor

There are many teachers, high school students, and college students who are available to provide instruction to our children in a specific subject or area where your child doesn’t thrive as easily as in other areas.  If you’re looking for a specialized curriculum, like Orton-Gillingham, you will need to find a teacher with training or certification.  

Set a 4-day Schedule

Keep your summer schedule light and easy. That is, set up the expectation for your child or children that they will work on schoolwork 4 days per week with a 3 day weekend. A 5-day schedule may seem overwhelming and decrease your child’s motivation.

Create a Schedule-ish

If you have pre-teens or teens, you will want to build in time for your child to sleep in, and then set a time that he will begin reading or working on math.  Ideally, schoolwork is best completed in the morning when energy and motivation are still high. Any work that is attempted after 3p will likely not be completed.  For the remainder of the day, your child may want the flexibility to set her agenda however she likes, as long as her reading and writing work has been completed.

Let an App Take Care of That

If your children are anything like mine, they dread having me lead their instruction (and I dread it too). Allow your child to practice skills using apps or software programs that are visual, colorful, and maybe even fun!  Avoid workbooks and worksheets if you can as they are a huge turn off to every child everywhere.

Set the Timer

We all know that we have our ideal amount of time during which we can focus and complete work. For some, that time span is 10 minutes, 25 minutes, 35 minutes, or 45 minutes. Instead of looking at what can be an endless amount of time to work on a subject or skill, set a timer. Once it rings, stop. Set another time for a 3- or 5-minute break and then get back into it. Small chunks of time, small chunks of work, and it gets done without a ton of blood, sweat, and tears.article continues after advertisement

Keep it simple and easy this summer. I wish us all a fun, restful, and productive summer!


  • Dr. Liz Matheis

    Clinical & School Psychologist

    Psychological & Educational Consulting

    Dr. Liz Matheis is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified School Psychologist who specializes in treating the whole child, adolescent and young adult, which includes home and school, emotionally, socially and behaviorally. She has built her practice in 2008. The practice remained part-time until 2012 when Dr. Liz left the school system and worked out of former dining room for over 5 years. The practice is now located in Livingston, New Jersey with a team of 5 therapists! In her private practice, Dr. Liz and her team of therapists specialize in Anxiety, ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities, and Behavior Management. She is also a proud mother of 3 children who keep her on her toes and help her to connect with parents who are going through similar developmental phases with their children.