The long school holidays can be very stressful when you are trying to juggle a busy home life with work or other commitments. How do you initiate a routine to avoid turmoil when term time comes back around and who can you trust to occupy your children when you are trying to keep your house running?
But don’t worry, help is at hand and with a few simple plans in place the holidays can be stress-free (we promise!). Holiday learning, whether through fun educational games you can play with your child each day or through a more structured learning programme can provide children with much needed continuity and an established routine. Of course, this can also have a huge impact of their learning and performance once they are back in school.
The brain acts like a muscle – you either use it or lose it! Educational activities should be viewed in the same way as tennis or music lessons. If you stop practising a sport you lose muscle strength and endurance and it’s the same for the brain. Having a long break in educational terms makes it harder for a child when they need to switch back on as term starts. Keeping up the momentum is essential to ensuring that your child is not at a disadvantage when back in the school environment. One way to keep on top of your child’s learning during the holidays is through gentle tutoring, whether by you or a professional tutor.
The right tutor doesn’t just prepare your child for their exams but will take the role of mentor, confidence-grower and inspirer. Taking a child to the theatre or a museum can bring a subject to life in a way that can’t be replicated in the classroom. There are some brilliant plays that will still be on over the Easter holidays. We love Tim Minchin’s Matilda for the younger ones or why not try out Shakespeare in Love if you have older children? Tom Stoppard reignites Shakespeare’s plays in a modern and very funny way.
A good tutor can then work this experience into a project. The impact of real-world learning has been shown to be effective at bringing subjects to life that children might traditionally have found ‘tricky’. A recent report by the University of Manchester (2010) found that children are more engaged with and enthusiastic about their learning when it is applied to a practical situation.
A high-quality tutoring agency will offer you a number of options. Every child is unique and their learning programme should be tailored to reflect that. Enjoy Education ensures that all children are offered a full assessment before being assigned a tutor to understand what areas need improvement and how your child works best. Some parents choose to take a tutor away with them abroad, fitting in lessons around activities whilst others decide that a Back to School booster course will suit their child better. This particularly applies for children entering Year 6 where they face multiple exams.
With rest and rejuvenation the long holidays offer a wonderful opportunity for your children to enjoy learning, explore a passion and build their confidence, ready to start the new term with relish.