I am often asked how parents can support their child’s education during the summer holidays. Academically, most children slip back a couple of levels over the summer holidays and take some time to get back into the swing of the new term in September. There are things that you can do to support you child over the summer holidays, including some of the ideas below.
1. Read with your children.
Reading with you child everyday is a great way to support your child’s education over the summer holidays. You could read with them at bedtime, during your time at the beach, in the garden, anywhere. You could also have a family reading time. Half an hour set aside each day for everyone to read by themselves or together does amazing thing to a child’s imagination and supports them in their reading skills. Any reading is fantastic, you don’t have to limit it to just books. Magazines, articles on the internet, the Argos catalogue, Reading Eggs, reading games apps or reading the instructions for a craft you will make, recipe instructions, how to put together a bathroom cabinet with Granddad, anything with words and/or pictures on is perfect.
2. Practice times tables with related division facts.
Even if this is one fact asked once per day for seven days, it will help. Children need to learn their times tables facts up to 12 x 12 as early as possible in their school career. Asking them 6×7 on Monday, 42 divided by 7 on Tuesday, 42 divided by 6 on Wednesday, 7×6 on Thursday, a question related to real life on Friday (Each box has 6 eggs in it. How many eggs will there be in 7 boxes?), writing 6 x ? = 42 on Saturday for them to find the missing number and asking on Sunday, “I have 42 grapes altogether. If I share them equally between 7 children, how many grapes will they have each?” will actually help them lots. Even if you ask just one of these, repeatedly, it will help. Maybe ask your child which facts they find particularly tricky and work on those first.
3. Practice number bonds.
It is surprising how many children struggle with their number bonds. If they know their number bonds, then it makes it easier to concentrate on working out harder calculations due to not having to worry about their number bond facts. Your child could make a poster of number bonds to 10, 20, 50 and 100 and it could be stuck onto the kitchen wall for them to look at while eating their dinner each day.
10+0=1, 9+1=1, 8+2=10, 7+3=10, etc. as well as 10-1=9. 10-2=8, 10-3=7, etc.
4. Don’t put too much pressure on your child – have fun!
The holidays are for relaxing, resting and having experiences other than the experiences they gain in school. Any academic-type activities you do with them in the holidays should be fun and not stressful. There is much incidental learning can be found in many everyday activities, for example, baking involves all sorts of skills from reading instructions, to weighing and reading scales, to finding out how food change as they are cooked.
5. Keep talking and help them to be bored sometimes.
Discussing new ideas, old ideas and giving your child time to be bored are great ways to help them over the holidays. You are an adult and you know an awful lot of stuff. Tell your child something that interests you/a skill that you are great at and the chances are your child will want to learn about that interest/practice that skill with you. You also need time to let them be bored. They need time to think of how to figure out problems themselves, how to think of their own activities that they would like to take part in and this will help their creative minds to develop.
Over to you.
I hope that these 5 points will help to give you some ideas of how to support your child’s education during the long summer holidays. I have written some more posts on other ways to support children during the summer with my EdPlace Review, The Dreaded Four Times Table, Five Ways to Make Spelling Homework More Fun or you could play games such as Bananagrams, Appleletters or Pairs in Pears to help.