Keep your teen energized and engaged this summer

By Glen Lutz

Special to the Reporter

The summer provides a wonderful opportunity for teenagers to pause, relax and renew their spirits. Throughout the school year, adolescents are often so busy that they don’t have the time to reflect on the many experiences that are intended to help them grow into adulthood. The following ideas should help students take advantage of the summer months while also keeping them actively learning and engaged.

Reflect on past experiences and plan for the summer.

This is an excellent time of the year to check in with your teen. Carve out an afternoon or evening at the end of the school year. Make it a celebration that includes an age and developmentally appropriate discussion about plans and priorities for the upcoming summer. Whatever your student decides, encourage them to put it in writing and place it in a prominent location such as the kitchen cupboards or refrigerator door. Try and revisit the plan weekly to check in and ensure your teen is on track.

Prevent summer brain drain

According to emerging studies, all students experience a decline in literacy and math progress during the summer months. This is often referred to as summer brain drain, but it can also be a chance to keep your students love of learning alive. One of the easiest ways to keep students engaged is to encourage them to set aside 30 minutes a day (at least three times per week) to read. Some other ideas could include developing a grocery and household budget, designing and managing a garden, organizing a club, volunteering or planning a family outing.

Your child may need to get ahead or enhance specific study or academic skills to stay on track for graduation. One idea could be to consider summer school, which offers fewer subjects and partial days, and could help many students make great strides to keep them on course or help them get ahead for the coming year.

Savor the process and appreciate the moment

Planning and preparing for the summer will pay off in dividends for you and your children. Make sure the framework of each plan is flexible, and don’t forget to laugh. Delight in the humor that is so evident during those transitional times from childhood to adulthood. The moment won’t last forever, so reflect on the experience because before you know it, the season will change, bringing with it new challenges and new opportunities.


Glen Lutz is the campus director at Brightmont Academy in Bellevue, a private school that specializes in providing one-to-one instruction for student.

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