ARGH! Summer school break! Help!
I’ve had people asking me recently about learning through the long summer break and how they can keep up the momentum from school. Although I oblige some parents with some bits of extra tutoring (only those children with gaps that they are just getting to grips with, or those with exams coming up in September), my normal response would be that summer learning will happen naturally. There is no need to force it.
We all need a break. Talk to teachers whose career is a vocation, not a 9-5 job. They can’t wait for the time to rest their minds for a bit before planning and organization mode kicks in mid-break. Children too need that time to pause. To absorb what they learnt in the year just gone and to maybe find out how it fits into real life (let’s face it, a lot doesn’t! 🤭).
So, although we as parents want to keep the cogs turning, sometimes it can be detrimental rather than beneficial. We are much more in tune with how we should look after our mental well-being as well as our physical, and switching off is a good lesson for kids! But both you and I know that through play and fun activities, children learn anyway without realising it! 🤫
Planning a summer break that includes active opportunities or even learning about things that school don’t teach you is much more valuable and enjoyable than buying a load of revision books to plough through! Doing rather than sitting makes for a far better learning experience.
There are many things you can do, even with minimal or no extra funds. Just getting out in nature can be all it takes to trigger curiosity and, therefore, learning. Head to the woods or the beach and explore. Make scrapbooks or nature journals to record your findings. Press flowers or leaves and create pictures or cards. Make sand art or pebble/shell art on the beach.
Just a word of warning about taking pebbles or shells from the beach – many places warn you not to take pebbles, and quite rightly – it is a natural resource after all and imagine if a few hundred people took a few pebbles each… Shells are even more valuable to sea life and can provide homes, as well as breaking down to maintain the ocean floors.