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Make the most of your summer, without losing sight of your goals.

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

Parents and children alike are excited that summer break has finally arrived! Summer time, especially here in Florida, is looked upon as a golden moment in time for families who are overloaded and stressed out by the burdens of the school year. It’s no doubt that end of year testing, homework, and shuttling kids to and from one practices and tutoring takes its toll on a family; this is the time of year when everyone is ready for a break…

Just be sure that you don’t taper it back so far that it becomes an obstacle for your family later.

All too often, children who were once laser focused on their goals have lost the motivation to ‘come back’ to their desired goal paths when the summer is over and it’s time to regain control and discipline over scheduling. The back to school blues are real, and can leave your family feeling behind when it comes to long term decisions. Many times children worry that their skillset has dwindled, or that they may have forgotten some of the important requirements to make a successful comeback; in addition to this children have also expressed concern that their peers are now ahead of them and they feel a sense of regret for jumping off their path. Whatever the reason is, taking a long term break from the big picture can backfire and make the goal seem less attainable to your child.

So what can families do when they are in need of some downtime to refocus and recharge?

I recommend tapering back your schedule to allow for a slow but steady ‘maintenance’ of skills. If you were attending practice three times per week, perhaps cutting back to two or even one practice per week will allow your child to maintain their skills and manage a much needed break at the same time. While you might not see leaps in the goal achievement category, picking up the schedule at the end of the summer won’t be so difficult, and your child won’t feel like they have missed out or fallen behind.

If that approach doesn’t quite quench your desire for a true break, consider taking a week off from everything. Downtime is a great chance to recharge. While a week away from your goal path won’t set you back at all, it may help you feel re-energized and ready to conquer your goals upon returning. Depending on your child’s specific goals, there may even be an option to replace a class with a private lesson to get a more concise and effective return on your time; allowing for a shorter training session that focuses on your child’s specific needs.

Consider changing the time of day your child trains. Sometimes what children actually need is a change in routine rather than a break. If you are looking to keep your child on track, perhaps allowing them to enroll in a camp will provide them with a sense of something new. Camps run on a weekly basis and include karate training during the day so that children can free up their evening time for fun. Camps are a great way to rejuvenate and refresh a child’s outlook on their training and provide them with some different perspectives on learning karate.

There are so many options available to you as you decide how to give your child the best benefit and sometimes it can be confusing, leaving parents uncertain about what is the best approach.

Where can I get more information about my child’s training needs?

There are so many ways to transition between full throttle and break time, and your sensei has some great ideas to help make the most of your summer while helping you keep your goals within reach. There’s no doubt your sensei has gone through this exact journey and has successfully accomplished balancing hard work with a much needed rest. If you have questions about your child’s needs during their summer break, talk to your sensei about how to make the most of this time.

~Sensei Jen

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