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From the Teacher's Desk: How to Recharge Your Student This Summer

When the final bell rings for summer break, students and parents everywhere take a collective sigh. Time to refresh and recharge. Students definitely need a break, but, as most will agree, vegging out on the couch to Netflix or Disney streaming isn’t completely productive or replenishing to the body and mind. However, there are ways to keep your student’s mental, physical, and personal development going while still giving them that much needed downtime.


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Dr. Alvin Rosenfield, author of The Over-Scheduled Child states that unscheduled time with family without goals or plans is key to character development. Most parents agree that character development is most important to them, but unfortunately, the packing of schedules or zoning out to television or gaming often counteracts that desire. So what are the best ways to carve out time for that much-needed downtime to recharge while developing healthy relationships and values? Experts at Mount Paran Christian School have some great creative strategies to share.


1. Allow for Some Downtime

Spiritually recharging our hearts towards God and the purpose that He has created us for is essential on a daily basis, but especially when we have downtime as that is sometimes where we can fall into bad habits. One way to do this is to set daily time to “unplug” without phones or social media. Focus on prayer and scripture reading and take the time to meditate on the words in the scripture. This is also important for an emotional and mental recharge as it helps us to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and promote emotional balance. 




2. Get Outside! 

There is just something very special about being outside and reveling in God’s handiwork that gives us a physical, emotional, and spiritual recharge. Going on a family hike or walk outside also allows time for in-person conversation and connection with those people that are most important to us. Laughing, talking, and having fun with each other is good for the soul and releases a lot of endorphins that help relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve your sense of well-being.




3. Engage in Hobbies

During the school year, we are constantly adhering to deadlines, studying, and rushing. Sometimes we forget that there is more to life than school. Follow your curiosity and learn more about what intrigues you. Pick up a hobby that you are interested in and if you fail extraordinarily at it, that’s okay! Diving deeper in a pastime we are passionate about or engaging in a new hobby can give us a sense of fulfillment, but it can also help us learn life lessons such as grit, failure, and stretching beyond our capabilities. Summer is a great time to explore the things your student has always wanted to try by enrolling in summer camps or a lesson.




4. Explore the Arts

Visiting an art museum is a great outing but there are health benefits as well. Studies show that enjoying works of art can lead to a decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone, and can also increase empathy as we strive to understand the context of the artwork and the emotions the artist was trying to convey. According to Health Fitness Revolution, research shows that just buying a ticket to a live music or theatrical performance releases dopamine in your brain giving you a feeling of happiness, and while viewing the performance, endorphins surge decreasing stress and anxiety. These types of activities will also refresh your creative mindset as well. 




5. Prioritize Yourself

Since students and families are constantly on the go during the school year, take time during the summer to sleep, read, and play. Give your student a breather and take time to gel as a family. Eat nutritious meals together and exercise. Use this time to connect and build margin to regroup and accomplish those projects you've wanted to do. Organize your room, clean out your closets, and reset to prepare your space and your mind for the upcoming school year. 


Regardless of the ways your family will plan to refresh and recharge during the summer break, everyone at Mount Paran Christian School agrees on the importance of tuning into God and prioritizing time to connect with each other. The more you take out some of the “added noise” that social media and electronics may create for your kids, the more your student can tune into God and others And as a result, the more they will be able to refresh their mindset and foster the downtime needed for their developmental growth. 





The following MPCS faculty and staff contributors shared insightful expertise for the above content:

  • Assistant Head for Christian Life, Steve Kyle
  • Director of Counseling, Viola Lussier
  • Director of Arts, Cary Brague
  • Lower School Head, Tina Baker
  • Director of Athletics, Mitch Jordan

Looking for additional ideas for summer activities? Learn more about MPCS Summer Programs.



Welcome to WingTips, a Mount Paran Christian School Blog. The MPCS Blog features many independent school contributors and thought-leaders.

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Providing academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment, Mount Paran Christian School unites with home and church to prepare servant-leaders to honor God, love others, and walk in Truth.