Hitting the open road, water, or sky this summer for a bit of family travel time? When you’re on the go, your student’s summer assignments can accidentally get pushed to the back burner. What should you do when school work needs to be accomplished while the family is traveling? Whether it's required summer reading, homework from summer classes, or reviews of last semester’s materials to stay fresh, here are five ways you as a parent can help your student study while traveling:
1. Prepare for on-the-go reviews
Organizing in advance is key. You don’t want to carry extra bulk while traveling – and you really don’t want to forget an important part of the work. Talk to your student (or, depending on age, your student’s teacher) about what needs to be completed and decide the best way to minimize the physical weight of the work. Instead of a textbook for review, have your student make flashcards. Bring one small binder full of work instead of notebooks for each class. If you have and are bringing an eReader or laptop, see if any of the assignments can be performed electronically. When possible, try to avoid heavy textbooks and hard copies (especially if it is the only copy) of assignments. You are bringing the tools so your student can stay focused on the work – not so you can waste time worrying about losing school property.
2. Determine studying goals
Set clearly-defined goals before leaving home. Does your student need to read a certain number of pages? Should he or she review flashcards twice a day? Knowing how much work is involved – and therefore how much needs to be completed each day – sets stopping points, which may make the work seem more manageable to your student.
3. Designate time and space
As the parent, it is vital you schedule time for required studying when you plan your trip. If work has to be completed while you’re gone, you’ll need to keep that in mind before you fill every spare minute with vacation fun. Adding a 20-minute study session between your daytime activities and dinner plans may be a logical fit. And don’t forget to clear a space for said studying to occur. Whether it is the kitchen table at Grandma’s house or the desk inside a hotel room, find a spot and leave your student to his or her work.
4. Take advantage of downtime
Flight delayed? Waiting for other members of the family to get ready? Taking a break so your toddler can nap? Have your student use unexpected bits of downtime as studying time. Studying during breaks in vacation adventures avoids having to miss any fun later!
5. Reward dedication
Just like you surely don’t want to bring your work on vacation, your child likely isn’t excited to bring homework on the trip. Try rewarding his or her dedication to studying with simple travel-related compensation. You don’t have to buy a physical prize simply for doing required school work, but you may opt to let your student select the restaurant for dinner or decide which museum you’ll visit. Demonstrate to your child how impressed you are with his or her commitment to school!
For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit varsitytutors.com.