The link between summer vacation and learning may not be readily apparent to most people. However, rest is a critical component of the learning process. Similar to how an athlete rests their muscles after a long work out or a tough game, students need time to rest their brains after a long year of school. In fact, without a rest period, students and teachers alike are susceptible to academic burn out. The importance of summer vacation is that it is a time not only to rest from school but also to utilize different parts of the brain for various activities.
While school is a necessary and essential part of adolescent and early adult life, it is only one part of being a balanced and healthy individual. Part of the allure of summer vacation is that it offers a break from the routine and monotony of school. While having a routine is a helpful way to encourage organization and persistence from students, it also tends to wear them out, especially near the end of the school year. Summer offers students a much-needed break in which they are free to spend their time as they please.
During the school year, students are encouraged to use their critical thinking skills and memorization skills daily. Some may view summer as a time where students shut their brains off, but this is not necessarily the case. Instead of focusing on mental based tasks and activities, students are often encouraged to exercise their bodies during the summer. Exercise is an important part of a balanced life and should not only be done in the summer months; however, this extended vacation presents a time for students to spend all day doing physical activities or going on trips without worrying about the homework they need to do or the classes they have the next day.
Summer vacation also offers time for students’ creative interests to flourish. While many school districts do a great job of incorporating various art forms into the curriculum, summer provides a time of nearly unlimited potential for students to pursue personal and creative interests. The summer months are an excellent time for students to read, write, collect, connect, and explore without restraints. These months also provide much-needed family time. While it is true that many parents do not take the summer months off work, the lack of homework, projects, and class time for students means that families are free to spend more time together.
Summer break is an incredibly important time for students, parents, and teachers alike. The summer months are a time to relax from the routine of school and spend time with family, as well as to pursue creative and personal interests. Summer is a critical part of a balanced student life. As both students and teachers rest and relax, their brains, too, are taking a break and preparing for the upcoming school year. With June in the rearview mirror, it is still a great time to take it easy and regain some much-needed sleep.