Gloria Gratacós, director of the Department of Education at the University Centre Villanueva, an expert in education and mother of several children, suggests 10 ways to get the most out of the family summer.
1. Flexibility within a framework: Even though we're on vacation, it is important to keep all the habits acquired during the rest of the year. So, set a schedule, but with flexibility and leeway; proper to the new circumstances and the change of scene.
2. Do things together as a family: Although each have their likes and plans, it is important to find time to do things together: whether it be cooking, walking, biking, hiking, going into town...
3. Gratitude: the relaxed atmosphere of summer is ideal for showing appreciation for others, which otherwise can be a bit forgotten in the rush of everyday life. Make a point of thanking others for small gestures, for planning things or just for having a good time together.
4. Enjoy simple things: The perfect plan does not have to be expensive or extravagant. From very young, children can be taught to enjoy simple things like, for example, watching the sunset, getting an ice cream, etc.
5. Be open to others: it isn’t very enriching to spend all day wrapped up in ourselves. Summer is an ideal time to open up to others, by inviting friends home and encouraging the children to do the same.
6. Cultural trips: educating the taste of even the youngest doesn’t have to be boring if activities are well chosen and well prepared. Look into the cultural possibilities in your area and spend an afternoon at a museum, monument or exhibition.
7. Time to read: Reading is a free trip that nourishes the neurons of young and old alike: adventure novels, biographies, stories... Find a local library and choose!
8. Visiting relatives and other people: During the year, visiting grandparents, cousins, uncles etc. can be difficult, either because of time or distance. Summertime can also allow for opportunities to visit the sick or needy.
9. Languages: Put aside formal approaches to learning and encourage the whole family to watch a short series or foreign film in the original language – and then find out who understood what!
10. Give thanks to God for having fun and being together.