In our recent blog “Avoiding Summer Brain Drain,” we discussed how during the summer, a child can experience a learning dip resulting in the loss of up to three months of math and reading skills. We also discussed ways to keep that from happening. However, the schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford teach more than academics; our curriculum educates the mind, body, and soul. With that in mind, how can we keep our young learners’ spiritual growth and connection to the church strong over vacation? We have some suggestions:
- Vacation Bible School. VBS is often offered by parishes for their young members. For information on the vacation bible school at your parish, visit its website.
- Religion-based camp. Nowadays there are day and sleepaway camps that focus on pretty much anything, including faith. Many schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford even offer summer day camps, so visit your school’s website to check its offerings.
- Attend church. This suggestion is pretty self-explanatory, and the benefits of attending church regularly are enormous.
- Prayer. Encourage your child to make prayer a part of his or her everyday routine. In our blog: “5 Ways to Reconnect with Your Faith in 2017,” we explain that formal prayer is a wonderful part of our faith, but informal prayers are also important in strengthening our connection to God. Informal prayer can be anything from saying a quick thank you for life when you wake up in the morning or just talking to God about what’s on your mind. Prayers are devotional and life-affirming; it’s about intention and not structure — by including them in his or her day, your child will discover enrichment and peace in his or her life.
- Study religion at home. In our blog, “Religious Learning at Home,” we offer great learning resources that you can use to help promote learning at home. These activities are so fun that your child won’t realize that he or she is learning. It is also always good to remind your child that God loves them unconditionally.
- Volunteer. Helping others is a major component of Catholic culture, and the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis offers a variety of programs for those looking to reach out in service. For information on ways for the whole family to volunteer in Connecticut, visit our blog “Serving the Community During Summer Vacation.”