The Summer school holidays are a great opportunity for children to recharge the batteries but for many parents of young children there is a concern that some of the learning that took place throughout the year will be lost over the long break. It is true that children can regress during the Summer holidays, especially younger children who are just starting to grasp certain concepts and require further consolidation.
Never fear, here are 5 simple tried and tested ways to encourage your children to keep learning throughout the break whilst also having fun:
1. Buy your children books for Christmas on topics they enjoy or better yet, visit the library every few weeks to restock with some new reading material. Read with them but also encourage them to read alone or to a stuffed toy for enjoyment.
2. Get your children involved in planning activities. Perhaps they could use the internet to search for fun things to do. Ask them to create a schedule of activities using the computer. They could even plan transport by looking up timetables and matching up activities and travel times.
3. Go on a day trip or two to a museum, wildlife park, art gallery or live performance. Take time to discuss things your children learned or enjoyed about the experience.
4. Encourage your children to keep a written diary or journal of their thoughts and feelings. If they are young, they may prefer to just write a sentence about what they did that day and draw a picture.
5. Give your children a small amount of money to manage as their ‘holiday budget’. Encourage them to plan their expenses, work out costs, change and keep track of money remaining. This is a great way to practise mathematical skills whilst encouraging a sense of independence.
Remember, although it is important to keep progressing, it is equally important that children get to have some freedom to relax during the break so they can be nice and fresh for the brand-new year of learning ahead. Have fun and enjoy the holidays!
As featured in: Glenmore Gazette, Emu + Leonay Gazette, Jordan Springs Gazette & Oran Park Gazette - December 2017
Sara Drebber is an educational consultant, teacher, writer and mother of three.