Last week, we shared our thoughts about the proposed reform to school summer holidays, following reports that a Yorkshire Council shortened the school summer holiday by a week to help students retain the information they had learned throughout the school year.
Regardless of your stance on this debate, it has been proven across numerous studies that on average, students score lower on tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of summer (on the same test).
So how can you keep your child’s brain active throughout the summer break and minimise the effects of the summer slide? Here are our top 9 tips!
- Get cooking!
With step-by-step recipes, not only do kids get the opportunity to practice their reading skills, but work on following instructions and are encouraged to be creative when decorating. Through working with measurements, scales and quantities, budding chefs are improving their mathematical knowledge whilst having fun (and, causing quite the mess)!
It may sound obvious, but if no time is put aside for reading then it can easily fall by the wayside. Making sure that you read your child a bedtime story a few times per week, or ask them to read to you whilst you run errands can really help ensure that they stay on top of their learning.
- Let them organise trips!
If you’re planning a holiday or a day trip, set your little one the task of planning the logistics around the trip. Give them a map to see if they can trace your proposed route, get directions and research prices of attractions. This not only will help improve their geographical, English and math skills, but teaches them some vital critical thinking.
- Look for the lessons out of every activity!
If you are planning on visiting another country, get talking about the history of the place whilst you are there. Taking a trip to the beach? Engage your children in a discussion about ocean life and the water cycle. Even a day out at the cinema can be engaging if you talk about the storyline and the lessons learnt through the narrative.
- Keep a diary
Give your kids a plain notebook and art supplies for them to decorate however they’d like and encourage them to keep a diary with a summary of their summer holiday activities in it. This will get them working their artistic skills, handwriting and English – it will also keep them busy for a good half hour of the day, which can’t be bad!
- Join an activity group
Get them to join a local activity group. Whether it be a group based in sport, arts or even gaming, being involved in an activity outside of school or home will keep their social skills sharp come September and allows them polish their teamwork skills.
- Play games!
Putting aside an hour per week for a family board game session is not just fun, quality family time, many of them offer learning opportunities. Monopoly is great for brushing up on adding and subtracting through money handling, Scrabble is perfect for improving spelling and expanding vocabulary and if you don’t have time to sit down with them, set them some Sudoku puzzles! If you want something a little different you could try Days Of Wonders Games. Ticket to ride is a great game for basic arithmetic.
- Find their passion.
At Genie Tutors, we know that learning isn’t all about grades and stats, it’s about giving children the best opportunity to chase their dreams. That’s why you need to show an active interest in their interests and passions, however fleeting. Perhaps they love fashion, car racing, cooking or even One Direction. Either way, put their love to good use and get them to research their interests and keep a scrap book of their favourite things.
- Sign up for Genie Tutors!
Love all these ideas but haven’t the time? We understand the struggle that summer holidays can present for working parents. Our centers throughout the country help children engage in interesting learning activities and limit regression over the summer holidays. This allows children to transition smoothly into regular education again in September and be ahead of the curve for the new school year. Find your nearest center here.