School’s out for Summer

Kids jumping - School's out for Summer - kids education - just kids - My Sheen VillageEnd of term concerts have been performed.  Parents’ parties have been attended. End of year reports have arrived home along with the cleared out classroom clutter – all probably still dumped in the hall!

All are familiar signs that we’ve all reached the end of another academic year and we all look forward, with a variety of thoughts and emotions, to the holidays ahead.

For all children of all ages, the thought of the weeks ahead is greeted with great anticipation.

Parental responses range from those who anticipate endless days with their offspring, to those who grapple with the complications of childcare and achieving the best work-life balance possible. Most seem to fall somewhere between the two.

A Question of Balance

In practical terms, how should we, as parents, balance the time our children have during the long  summer break? 

Some schools send home holiday work or assignments and projects that need to be completed, other schools do not. Again, parents will have opinions as to whether or not this is a good thing!

Whatever the case, school holidays are a time for rest, relaxation and fun – a chance to recuperate and reboot the body and brain ready for September. 

We all need to find a balance in order to achieve this aim.

I have now reached my twentieth year of motherhood and almost my thirtieth year of professional involvement in education. So, for what it’s worth, here are my top 10 tips for achieving a happy, balanced holiday period for your children!.

My Top Ten Tips for a happy Balanced Holiday

1.  Try to give your children plenty of time in the outdoors. Lots of unstructured time digging around for worms, kicking a ball around and climbing trees. Plenty of fresh air and exercise!

2.  Ensure that there is plenty of time in the holidays that is NOT organised! And I am speaking as a Mum who has been accused, by my family, of running the family diary like a military operation!. Children need time just to be, to find things to do that do not involve technology or pre-planning. This is when they become their most inventive, resourceful and creative.
3.  Summer holidays can allow more time to do family things together. Even if you are working all day, share meals, go for early evening walks or watch a family film together.
4.  Children have time on their hands. Age appropriate helping around the house, with cooking, emptying the dishwasher, loading the dishwasher – and even cleaning the bathroom should definitely be encouraged.
5.  Read to your children. This tends to become less as they become more independent readers but all children enjoy and benefit enormously from such a simple shared activity.
6.  Visit the library together.
7.  By being around more, there can be much more time to listen, to talk and to discuss with our children.
8.  Contained amounts of academic work, especially if exams are around the corner, can keep children “on the ball” but a sensible balance is absolutely vital.
9.  Similarly, if children need to consolidate some areas of school work, the summer holidays can be a great time to do this. However, proceed with caution – targeted and well-thought out tasks; little and often with clear parameters of when everything will be cleared away; spread through the holidays …… all this helps to keep a wise balance which can pay dividends.
10.  Don’t make your children keep daily diaries or churn out endless test papers (unless they want to do so!) – this can be counterproductive. Be more creative.
 
In short, balance is the key: outdoors and indoors, leisure and (limited) academic work, organised activities and free time, physical and mental pursuits, time with family, friends and alone….all  are important.

If you can relax and achieve this sensible balance, both you and your children should be refreshed and ready for the familiar routine and new start that September has to offer.

Sue Laidlaw
Laidlaw Education

Laidlaw Educational Support - Kids Education - Just Kids - My Sheen Village

 

 

 

Sue is available at Laidlaw Education

tel: 020 8487 9517
email: support@laidlaweducation.co.uk

Also at Laidlaw Hall

www.laidlawhall.co.uk

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