The school holidays are fast approaching and children across the UK will be excited about the prospect of having 6 weeks off school. I suspect many parents won't be as joyous about having such a long break to keep their children entertained!
There has been much discussion over the past few years that the school summer holidays are too long and should be shortened. The school summer holidays are something that has been in place since the Victorian times as children used to have to work during the summer months doing jobs such as harvesting fruit and vegetables. The fact school hours are generally from 9 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon also comes from this time period, schools finished at 3:30 in the afternoon so children would have time to help with housework.
Nowadays children aren't required to work during the summer so many people argue that there should be changes to the holidays. Either they should be shortened or spread out throughout the year. Having such a long break from school can have an impact on children's education, especially for families who have a low income according to a survey that was carried out. This is due to families being unable to pay for their children to do activities throughout the summer that will education them in some way such as being part of a sports club or travelling.
So in this article, I want to explore with you how parents can carry on educating their children throughout the school summer holidays so they don't miss out.
Yes, believe it or not, some games can be educational! From physical games to video games, there are games out there that will help teach your children some kind of skill.
An example of a physical game is chess, children will work their brain forming strategies and helping improve their concentration levels. There have even been studies carried out that show chess can even improve people's IQ!
If your child can't get off their iPad or laptop, watching cute cats on YouTube or talking to their friends on Facebook, then luckily there are tonnes of fun and educational games out there for all ages as well. From Peppa Pig Paintbox where younger children can learn to draw which helps with coordination to Blackbox for older children which is full of puzzles to crack that makes you try and think outside of the box. If you've got a laptop instead of an iPad there are still lots of games children can play to learn, check out Neuronation or Bitesize.
Get in the kitchen
Believe it or not, the kitchen is a great place where kids can learn, so throughout the summer encourage them to help out. Not only will they learn some basic cooking and baking skills but they can also learn a whole host of other skills such as reading when following a recipe, maths when measuring ingredients out and basic safety know how when it comes to holding knives and operating a cooker. For some really great recipes designed especially for kids make sure you check out the kids BBC Good Food recipes.
Getting away on holiday or travelling can be great for learning as kids get to experience different places and environments. Encouraging your children to keep a diary of their getaway will help with their writing and memory skills. It's also important apart from visiting the pool and the beach to visit places of history so children get the chance to learn about the place they are visiting and not that it's just the place where the beach is.
If you're visiting a country that speaks a different language then why not try to learn some basic phrases so you can talk to locals. It would be wise to learn some before you go away, a great app that can help you and your children learn different languages is Duolingo.
Explore the garden
Source: Public Domain Images
You don't have to get away to learn, you can do lots of learning in your very own garden! How about letting your children grow some fruit or vegetables? This will teach them about the growth process and what is needed such as water and the sun. They'll also be much more likely to eat the vegetables or fruit they've grown themselves if they are picky eaters which is another bonus.
Where there are flowers and grass you can be sure there is a whole host of other living things such as butterflies, birds and possibly even the occasionally hedgehog! Ways you can educate around this varies on age, but some ideas are to identify the different animals and insects, count how many you spot in a certain time frame and learning to spell the animal and insect names.
I hope you get some ideas on how you can enhance your child's education throughout the summer holidays with these ideas. If you have any tips or advice yourself please share them in the comments below.