School's out for summer!
A time in the year that all students & teachers look forward to, a lengthy 6 week holiday. Some may even say it's not long enough! Of course, this is a time to relax and have fun. However, ever heard of the phrase 'summer brain drain' ? It refers to the possible loss of knowledge and ability of a child when they are not at school over this number of weeks. So let's look at a few fun ways we can help our children keep up with their learning!
Let's start with reading. If your child is a big reading fan, this will be a breeze! Children who are not exactly 'bookworms' may struggle with this. But don't lose hope! You most likely know your child's favourite hobbies or interests, maybe gaming, being outdoors, TV etc. Maybe you could try and find simple books based on these topics that will engage them. Check if your local library runs a reading challenge. For example, some challenges include reading around 6 books in the holidays and each book the child completes, they receive stickers and little prizes.
What reading's best friend? Writing! Don't worry, I'm not suggesting you trap your child into doing their English homework every day. How about encouraging them to keep a diary? It's a creative way of improving writing and handwriting skills. (drawing, imagination, thoughts and feelings, freedom,) writing will become enjoyable in their routine! Writing a diary can also help improve your child's memory as they remember events throughout the day or week that they would like to record.
Step outside. Take your child to the local park or outdoor centre. We all know the obvious health benefits of being active and exercising. But spending time outdoors frequently can have mental benefits on the child too. For example, if you have a younger child, get them to look out for insects and bugs roaming around the park and then identify them. This will engage them and also teach them about these different insects. If your child is a little older, maybe create a treasure hunt with a map that can help them with their teamwork skills, navigation and cooperation skills.
Trip to the museum. Taking your child to the museum can be a fun and educational experience for you and them. Depending on your child's age and attention span, you might want to take a short visit but here's a couple benefits. At the museum we can learn lots of stories and children can learn some vital history as well as encourage empathy. It also encourages them to ask questions, use their imagination, to be curious, think and reason a little deeper. Some museums also include family sections which have child-friendly activities that can mean parents bonding with their children.
These are just a couple ideas that can make your child's school holiday very memorable. These activities can be applied to any school holiday, not just summer. In the meantime, we hope everyone has a great summer and not too grumpy to return in September!