In our last blog post, we highlighted the benefits of becoming more involved in your child’s education and what a significant effect this can have on their school life, as well as the positive impact that can be felt within the family as a whole. However, now that the summer holidays are fast approaching, are you looking for new ways to engage your child over the holiday period and to keep their mind active?
Why not try out our EdPlace Summer Starter Packs – filled with maths and English worksheets and useful revision tips – to help them get a head start for the next academic year? To download your free pack, please click on the link at the bottom of the page.
The handy guide below is also designed to give you some more fun and simple ideas on how to keep your child engaged over the holiday period; through discovery, play and imagination.
Our Summer Starter Packs provide the perfect opportunity for you to sit down with your child and familiarise yourself with the work that they will be doing from September, as well as some more ideas on how you can help them over the holidays.
Some schools may give some sort of homework project to complete over the summer. It will be extremely beneficial if this becomes a project that you can work on together. In fact, many schools will set homework projects for this very reason. They like to encourage parents to become involved, as this improves home/school relationships.
As children get older, help with homework will involve the parent in school life and boost the confidence and self esteem of the child – and parent – in many ways.
Parents who spend time helping children with homework reinforce how important it is and, in turn, promote a positive attitude towards it.
Younger children can help out with baking, which has great scope for keeping the brain active. They will learn how important it is to read a recipe carefully and to get all ingredients and equipment ready. They can practice doubling or halving ingredients and learn how to read scales accurately. Then, when the finished goods are made they can release their creative flair whilst decorating them!
Days out are an enjoyable way for all of the family to learn together. Take advantage of the free entry to many museums and galleries. Over the holidays many will have ‘child friendly’ activities to take part in.
Some local colleges sometimes run science activity days and similar workshops for drama, art and other areas. It is well worth keeping a look out in local news and ‘What’s On’ guides during the run up to the holidays.
There are numerous ways that you can keep your child’s brain active whether out for the day as a family or just the two of you.
A trip to the zoo or a wildlife park, for example, can uncover a whole host of learning opportunities, beginning with the journey there. Keep the sat nav tucked away to start with and let your child help you plan the best route using a map book.
Once you are there, admission tickets are another opportunity to keep maths skills fresh. For example: ‘Is it cheaper to buy two adult tickets and two children’s tickets or a family ticket? How much will we save?’ Once inside, discuss the different types of animals and what groups they belong to. Ask your child to spot features on certain animals that show how they have adapted to living in their particular environment. Observe their behaviour and how they interact with each other.
Try getting into the habit of generally talking about what you see and reading information boards when visiting places of interest to ensure that everybody gets the most out of the day.
Also, try and make sure your child is encouraged to think for him/herself.
Sometimes it is easier and quicker to work things out for them, but maybe on visits to shops you could ask them to work out the total cost of items they want to buy, even if it’s an estimate, as this is also a good skill to learn. They can then work out the change they will get. This may take a little longer but will get them learning an important life skill.
If you let children be in charge of their own money, you normally find they are a lot more thrifty this way, and also keen to work out exactly what they are spending and how much will be left. They will appreciate the value of what they are buying as well as practising their maths!
It is also a good idea to keep a journal of the summer holiday. Visit a stationers and let your child choose a diary in which they can write down what activities they have done. Try and encourage them to use interesting vocabulary to really describe where they have been, what they saw and what they did. It can be decorated with pictures and photographs to build into a lovely memory book, whilst keeping literacy skills fresh. Also, knowing that you are going to record what you have done during the day also encourages the family to do something worth writing about!
If you live near to your child’s friends, get together with other parents to arrange
activities together. You could even take it in turns to look after each other’s children with like minded parents so that, rather than be responsible for planning all activities over the holidays, you get a well deserved break, as well as your children still being active whilst socialising with their friends.
You know your child best and will know what their interests are and what they enjoy doing. Then, it is just a case of being aware of how you can keep them gaining knowledge whilst enjoying the freedom of the long break, as well as spending time relaxing as a family.
The more you put these sorts of ideas into practice the more natural it will become to keep your child learning without them realising that they are doing so. This will be vital when they return to school to ensure they are fully prepared to begin the new term.
To download your free Summer Starter Pack, please click here.