With the weather brightening and the end of term looming, thoughts are turning to that glorious two-month stretch of freedom. But as our lives get busier, and academic pressures increase, how do families make the most of their summer holidays together?
For many, the idea of continuing education over the holidays is not a favourable one. Surely, after a busy school year, this is the time to kick back, sleep in, and chill out? There certainly should be time for that, but if students are to avoid the so-called ‘summer slide’, it’s important to find ways to stay mentally stimulated.
For some that may mean a light course of tutoring over the holidays, helping to consolidate the year’s learning or to prepare for the new term ahead. Not only will this help keep children on track, it’s a valuable way to develop a strong work ethic that will stand them in good stead for the future.
But learning needn’t always take a formal route – particularly in the case of younger children. There are plenty of ways to inspire young minds beyond textbooks and practice papers. Simply travelling abroad, immersing children in another culture and language, can be a great way to develop additional skills. Or drawing on the environment around you – whether that’s a DIY science experiment at home or a nature trail in local woodland – can create exciting new experiences that will keep children engaged over the summer.
While summer camps have long been a great go-to option, increasing numbers of parents working longer hours are making them somewhat of a necessity for many. From sports to science, coding to crafts, there’s a huge range out there – and it’s important to choose a camp that’s right for your child. For younger children, a more well-rounded offering can help introduce them to a broad range of new activities and experiences to pique their interest. Whereas older children may benefit from the commitment instilled by a camp that’s focused on one pursuit.
Putting various parenting approaches aside, the summer holidays should be a time of balance. Where students of all ages can unwind, feel good about their achievements in the last year – and continue to grow and develop. Whether that’s through day-to-day activities or scheduled sessions to help prepare for the coming term, the summer holidays should be a time of laughter and learning.