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Mind Up

Five Ways to "Sharpen Your Saw"

 The difference between 'Sharpening the Saw' and dulling the brain.

The summer time is a great chance for families to recharge their batteries and take a bit of a break from the everyday hustle. Using the language of the Leader In Me, our school leadership program, we teach students how important it is to "sharpen their saw", to do actions that support well-being so they have the energy to be a successful leader. Summer time is a great chance to unwind, de-stress and hit the restart button on your internal computer.  However, what is the difference between sharpening the saw and dulling the brain?  

As we enter into the mid point of the summer, there are many articles available about how to keep kids reading all summer to avoid losing those reading skills they have developed. This author calls it the Summer Slide, having young brains sit idle over the summer months, slides back their learning up to two months! Coming back to school in the fall, teachers then have to do extensive review with students. As the article suggests, to avoid the slide, having children continue to read over the summer is fundamental, but what else can be done to keep your child's saw sharp till September?    

With the lack of structure that sometimes comes with summer time, families might end up bickering more than usual. Do a body scan- close your eyes are take five breathes. How do you feel? Are you thirsty? Are your hungry? Does your lower back ache? Now that you have identified what is going on inside of yourself, take steps to help yourself feel better. Remind you child to do the same, we are never to young to learn how to breathe mindfully!

Going on a long car ride to that holiday destination, or to visit family? Here is a list of 10 Road Trip Games that the whole family can enjoy. Build a sand village on the beach. Give your child a fridge box and felts to turn into a play house. Create a lemonade booth. Creativity and imagination can go a long way to keeping a child's brain discovering and exploring.

Have you had nectarine juice rolling down your chin lately? How about biting down on some crisp local fresh peas? It's the "in" season, full Farmer's Markets and local produce. Look into a fresh food box such as The Good Food Box. Give your child $10 to shop for fresh food at the farmer's market and see what interesting items they pick. The best way to keep your children eating healthy as adults is start them young. Yummy! 

Enjoy the free summer music and events in Victoria, head over to Beacon Hill Water Park or free movie in the park. Enjoy a family bike ride on the Galloping Goose or the Lochside trail. With the evenings staying light so late, go for a family walk around your community. Go for a hike and then stop at you local dollar store to pick up some canvases.  Have your child paint their favourite part of the hike.  Share some of your favourite childhood games, like "kick the can," to pass along the tradition.  Play tag--- you're it! 

It's just so important; we had to give you some ideas on how to keep the kids reading all August. Take a sun break and spend some quite time inside enjoying a good book. Play a board game and get your child to read their own cards. Keep bedtime stories constant, even if bed times vary. Most of the reading that I do is not with a paper book, and that is ok too! Meet your child where they are at. Find a fun online program that has some reading in it.