Hiatus. A pause or gap in a sequence, series or process. In layman’s terms it refers to a period of time when something stops. One may say then, that summer vacation provides for an imposed hiatus from what we commonly refer to as “the school year”. Why is this important? Because I am writing to you from a break in my own self-imposed hiatus…here is why:
Since the beginning of time we have known that “summer vacation” (aka: hiatus) is a wonderful pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Because we all need time to regroup, recharge and reflect. This very important growth phase simply cannot happen during the school year grind.
What can (and does) happen during the school year is growth – rapid growth. Monumental life changing growth. Academic growth. Social growth and of course – Emotional growth. But all this personal growing can only mean something if it is realized by the individual doing the work.
Can a child realize this? Absolutely. If given the space and opportunity to. Where? How? When?
On summer vacation of course. On their hiatus from school. Believe or or not, when a child is not on a predictable schedule (rushing to complete their morning routine) and they are permitted to wake up and begin their day as they choose – the process of reflection begins.
It is through a child reflecting on learned skills and putting those skills into practice that they are able to realize their growth.
A child does not consciously summon learned skills and behaviours to practice with precision – they do that as they draw on learned skills in new environments and situations. A summer holiday can provide both a new environment and various new situations for your child to navigate. Are they going to camp? Are they surrounded by new peers? Are they trying a sport or activity? Are they travelling? Are they spending lots of time at home or in the community? Where ever your child is this summer rest assured that they are in environments that are new. Experiencing situations that are new. They will be on a hiatus. Reflecting on their growth and putting it into practice.
Enjoy this time with your children and watch them closely. Watch as all the difficult lessons that they persevered through last year are now but a distant memory. Revel in their accomplishments. You may even want to reflect on the people they were way back in September on their first day of whatever grade they finished. Think about their growth! And smile – and sigh and laugh. They couldn’t have made it here without you.
My professional advice? Go on a hiatus. Do it. I know you are doubting your ability to do so, after all – who will steer your ship? Let me remind you that in a few short weeks – it will all begin again. So stop. And watch. And learn.
I know I did.
Until our next lesson (when school resumes that is)…