The long summer holidays give young people a chance to enjoy those long hot summers that we remember so well. But sadly, it also means that many of them forget what they learnt during the summer term and start the new academic year as a position that needs hard work to catch up.
But it can be avoided.
Inspection reports of many schools say that our children have no imagination. As a teacher, I despair at the number of dinosaur and vampire stories I read. There is a place for them, of course but children can only use experience to fire their imagination and the TV cartoons seem to provide an unvaried diet.
We all know that reading to our children is good for them. It creates a quiet intimate time……but let’s go one step further. Making up stories with children is so good for their imagination. Don’t know where to start? Use a prop! A piece of wood from the beach and create the story of how it got there. What its seen on its journey. What adventures did it have? What could happen to it next? Use adjectives to describe its journey.
Use a piece of rubbish blown into the garden in the same way. That will also help awareness of rubbish in the environment.
You can also use things from the beach, the garden, the woods to make maths fun and real. Depending on your child’s age, you can create mathematical problems around counting, adding and subtracting.
Even trips to the supermarket can create learning opportunities. Colours, vegetables, counting…and even politics. Use cooking time to help with mathematical learning…. weighing, adding, ratios.
You can give your children so many learning opportunities through the normal day but ten minutes every day can keep you children learning and give them an edge when they return to school in September.