The school holidays are a welcome break for children to unwind, recuperate and take a rest from the structured routines from school. We know our children need, and look forward to the break – and as parents often we do too. Its time for fun, socialising, spending time with friends and family, and the odd pyjama day!
However, studies show that it’s common for children to regress over the long summer break if not given the opportunity to reinforce and practice what they have learnt over the previous academic year. Subsequently, our job as parents includes consolidating our children’s learning at home. So, with any extended break from school, it’s equally important to schedule time into the weeks for your children to practise those key skills. This will make your child more confident when they return to school – enhancing their knowledge, skill set, and performance.
To help you make learning fun, I have listed some simple ideas that you may want to try…
- Play board games. Sodoku, Scrabble, even Monopoly requires children to use their literacy and numeracy skills (without even realising it!).
- Cook. Get your child to write a shopping list, read the instructions, or weigh out ingredients. Even cake decorating requires complex skills – and you even get to eat scrummy cake at the end!
- Diary. Get your child to write a daily diary. Investing in a special book, cute stationary and allocating a dedicated area for your child can make diary writing feel like an exciting task. If your child isn’t a fan of writing then set up an ‘e-mail pal’. Building up typing speeds in a digital world at an early age can only be a good thing.
- Look for lessons. Find a way to teach your child something wherever you are and whatever you are doing. For example, we were in the garden yesterday eating lollies, when my daughter was quite distracted by bees. It was a perfect opportunity to tell her about the importance of bees, pollination and honey production. We even watched a YouTube video to reinforce the ‘lesson’.
- Planning activities. Ask your child to plan, organise, and research an activity / trip. This could be as simple looking through a local “what’s on guide” or internet research, depending on your child’s age and ability.
- Passion. It is the holidays so remember to encourage your child to follow their passion. Whatever it is, get some books, make a scrapbook, watch a documentary, or plan a trip to the museum.