Top tips for keeping children’s brains active over the summer holidays
The transition from primary to secondary school is an important milestone in every child’s life. But moving from the familiar environment of the primary classroom with one teacher to the busier world of secondary education with many teachers, classrooms and homework can be daunting.
It’s tempting to take a complete holiday from education over the summer but it’s especially important that summer learning loss doesn’t mean your child makes a slow start to year 7. Children can lose two month’s worth of knowledge over the summer if brains are not actively engaged in education. So, what can you do over the summer to make sure they are ready for the challenge of big school?
Practise writing over the summer.
Encourage your child to keep a daily diary or an online blog of their activities. Sites like WordPress and Blogger make this easy to set up and they can share it with family and friends for extra motivation. Alternatively get them to start emailing friends and relatives instead of talking and texting on the phone. Anything that gets them writing grammatically correct and complete sentences with keep their writing skills up to scratch.
Encourage children to read.
Create a summer reading challenge or enter the reading challenge set up by your local library. Let your child choose what books they want to read and have a family reading competition – you can all get involved! You could create a reward scheme based on the number of pages or chapters read. Prizes don’t have to have a monetary value but could be simple treats like staying up late or having a friend round to play. Or you could read the same books as your child and spend time comparing your thoughts and opinions.
Develop science skills over the summer holidays
Get into the kitchen and teach your child to cook. Cooking involves science, maths and language skills. They will learn how to plan ahead, how to time things, measure ingredients and gain lifelong skills at the same time. Plus, what could be better than having your child make your dinner for a change? Get into the garden and give them some hands on horticultural and mini beast experience to start their biology and ecology education.
Practise maths skills over the holidays.
Practise money skills while shopping – put your child in charge of the weekly shopping budget. Develop data handling skills by taking surveys when on a long car journey, for example different makes or colours of cars. Plan a trip using Google maps to investigate distance, speed and travel times. Every day experiences can be fun and interesting, while giving children opportunities to go over the skills they need.