This is a guest post from Explore Learning about how to stop your child from falling behind over the summer
As the summer months approach, children will be looking forward to long, lazy days, playing outside, watching TV and enjoying time with friends and family.
However, research has found that at least two thirds of children fall behind in their studies over the summer holidays, with children slipping back up to 3 months in their maths and English progress.
This is not necessarily surprising as midway through the summer holiday, after the excitement has worn off, children are often bored and restless while parents are frustrated and bewildered by how to keep them alert and entertained.
One mum who has experienced this very feeling is Susan Kew from Peterborough who said: “I love the summer holidays as I get to spend lots of time with my young children, but after a while I really struggle to find new ways to keep them entertained – and I worry that their maths is slipping, which she has to work so hard for at school.”
The large gap in studies also leaves children feeling reluctant to return to school. This coupled with a child not feeling secure in their ability can lead to a real crisis of confidence when September comes.
Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum Development at Explore Learning has the following advice for parents keen to keep their children’s minds busy over the summer:
- Story Time: Encourage your children to keep up their reading by introducing a ‘story time’ at a set time each day. This could include them reading a story to you, you reading to them or them writing their own and reading it back to you.
- Mix shopping with learning: Get your young ones involved in the weekly shop by asking them to recite prices and add up what’s in the trolley. You can then reward them with treats when you get to the check out!
- Visit the library: Libraries are havens for parents and children alike. For parents because they’re free to enter – and a great place to get some peace and quiet. For children because they offer a whole world of fiction to get them inspired. Many libraries put on events during the summer holidays so check with your local library for more information.
- Bake and Read: Turn baking cakes and cookies into an educational game. Get the children in the kitchen and ask them to read the ingredients and instructions. They can cook and learn at the same time. For older children you can test their division, multiplication and problem solving skills by asking them to adapt the recipe for different amounts of servings.
- Discovery: Give your child a new word each day and explain what it means. For that day, see if they can use the word in a sentence as much as possible.
- Games and Apps: You could say that many children are more technologically minded than their parents and there are many educational games and apps that you can download to keep them busy. The Explore Learning Times Tables App is free, easy to use and encourages children to have fun while practicing their times tables.
- Museums: Do you remember your first trips to a museum? Well so will they. Museums are great for children as they’re educational, they’re fun and they get your child learning new things that they wouldn’t have done at home.
- Tuition: Perhaps the best way to boost your child’s confidence and keep their mind’s busy over the holiday is through extra tuition. Explore Learning are offering a special 25% off your first full month when you join in July. If you’ve never been, you get one free complimentary session so your child can have a taster to see if they like it.
- Make play dates: Mixing with other children will encourage them to feed off others’ energy and keep their social skills up. A good way of entertaining and educating them would be to home tutor them together.
- Bath Time: Make bath time fun by using colourful letter or number magnets. These float on the water and can be used in fun games that help with their counting and alphabet learning.
The most important thing through all of this is of course to encourage your child to have fun and enjoy their summer holiday!