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Summer Debate: Should kids have a packed schedule or enjoy their down time?

Posted at 10:41 AM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 20:12:53-04

CLEVELAND — In the fast-paced world we live in, how much down time is enough for children?

Summer break is supposed to be for fun but maintaining a delicate balance with learning can be tough.

Dr. Richard So, from Cleveland Clinic Children's, said this can be really tough for parents. You have to factor in the cost of camps and events plus logistics. It can be a nightmare.

"It can become stressful, but parents have to remember kids need some fun, too," Dr. So said.

He recommends dedicating the first week of summer break to fun.

"Let them sleep in, get some ice cream and just decompress from the stressful school year."

But it's during that week that parents can begin to sneak in some productivity.

He said it's great if parents can afford to send their children to a week or month long summer camp. Many of those camps can teach kids and teens life and educational lessons, plus they help with a person's independence and self-sufficiency.

"Some kids thrive on a schedule, so if summer camps are the route you choose to take there are some really great camps out there," he said.

But if you can't afford sending your child off to an overnight camp for an extended period of time, don't worry there's still things you can do.

"Take advantage of your local libraries," Dr. So said. "Often times they have free camps like robotics, mathematics, sewing and even a reading program."

He said it's about balance; allowing kids to learn while enjoying the warm weather and being carefree.