It’s school holiday time and I know my children are looking forward to a break. The downside is that children’s learning levels will often go backwards after the school holidays and this is very evident to us as educators.
Children need a holiday and it’s important to relax and play. However, there are ways of doing just that and keeping their brains stimulated at the same time. Here are five ways to help your child these holidays:
- Keep them reading. I touched on this a couple of weeks ago but it is so important for children to have reading as part of their lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if it is a comic book or a travel brochure about where you are holidaying. It doesn’t have to seem educational – it’s still reading!
- Keep them writing. Depending on their age, encourage your child to complete a holiday diary writing a little each day or after a special event. Buy a postcard and have them fill it in and send to a friend – even if you don’t go anywhere!
- Think outside the box and stimulate their thinking. Are you hiking or camping these holidays and there isn’t room in the backpacks for books or pens? These are perfect educational moments. Talk about what kind of bush you are walking through – is it a wetland system or a dry open woodland? Ask questions about what kinds of animals would they expect to live here? What do they know about the plants they can see? Do they recognise constellations at night or know what components are needed for a good campfire. What have they learned at school that they could teach you about your environment?
- Don’t overschedule. It’s okay for children to be bored and that is often when their imagination comes into play. If you have every minute of the holidays mapped out for them, not only is it exhausting for everyone but there is no room for creativity.
- Rest well. It was good enough for God to rest after He created the world so it is important for us also. Slow down enough to thank God for our families, our homes and our friends. Resting is the breathing space among all the stimulation. You can’t really enjoy one without a good balance of the other.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday no matter how you are spending them and look forward to a very stimulating Term 4.
Mike Curtis, Principal