Written by Tracey Blake
We’re in the middle of the Summer holidays and hopefully your children are having a ball. No doubt they’ve been too busy playing outside, going on picnics, swimming, holidaying, watching TV and looking at tablets to do any homework. So after a few weeks off now’s the time to ease them back into some fun learning activities says new research from tuition provider, Explore Learning.
It has found that while the summer is a fantastic time to relax, 75% of parents of children aged four to 14 say their children’s academic abilities have dropped by the time they return to school in September.
Want to beat the Summer Slide? Charlotte Gater, Curriculum Manager at Explore Learning, has these lovely learning suggestions…..
Make a scrapbook
Encourage your children to collect items when you are out and about, this could be anything to remind them of what they have done from tickets to museums, foreign coins to a leaf from the park. Let them take photos or draw pictures of what they are doing. Then create a scrapbook, your child can label items and write descriptions of what they have done. This is a lovely way to save some memories whilst doing some writing and recording.
Let’s go to the movies
In a recent survey run by Explore Learning, watching TV came out as the most popular activity parents said their child wanted to do in the holidays. Why not read a book together that’s inspired by a TV series or film and then watch it. A great discussion point would be if they thought the film was as good as the book or if they would have done anything differently if they were making the film version. They could even write a review of the book and the film – get them to look at some reviews in magazines, newspapers or online and then write their own.
Have a picnic
Make the most of any good weather and arrange to meet up with friends for a picnic, it’s really important for children to keep interacting with others over the summer as they can learn so much through playing with others. You can also sneak some maths and English in to your preparations. Get your child to use times tables and addition when working out how many sandwiches, oranges, drinks etc you’ll need to take. They could write a shopping list to work on their spellings then estimate how much they think the food will cost.
Telling the Time
Does your child constantly ask, ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ ‘When will my cousins be here?’ Or, ‘When are we going to the park?’ It’s a great idea for them to wear a watch, then use their love of questioning to get them confident with time. For example ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ can be responded with ‘we’ll be there in half an hour. How many minutes is that? What time will it be then?’ etc.
Games and Apps
Spend some time together playing games to keep your child’s mind active. There are so many great apps to keep your child engaged with learning so find one for an area your child needs to work on. Playing cards is a great way to work on maths and memory skills and new maths game Sumfun works on speed maths skills. Whilst games like Bananagrams, Boggle and Scrabble will help with spelling. If your child needs to work on verbal skills then Articulate for Kids and 5 Second Rule are great.
Visit your local library
Give your children the freedom to choose whatever books they like and to try lots of different genres without having to spend any money. Lots of libraries will have free activities for your children to get involved with, this summer they have a Roald Dahl-themed reading challenge for your children to enjoy http://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/. Check out your local council website for activities happening at your local library.
Charlotte Gater is Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning (www.explorelearning.co.uk).
*Research; COOPER, H., NYE, B., CHARLTON, K. and GREATHOUSE, S. (1996). ‘The effects of summer scores: a narrative and meta-analytic review’, Review of Educational Research, 66, 227–68.