7 ways to sneak learning into the holidays
The school year is all but over and the summer holidays are almost upon us, stretching ahead… far, far ahead. Parents often ask me what I can do to ensure their son continues his learning journey over the holidays. Let’s face it – few boys who’ve just wrapped up the school year want to spend the summer poring over textbooks and worksheets.
Here are 7 fun ways to sneak some learning into your son’s summer holidays:
- Read for fun
Make sure that you give your son at least one book as a Christmas gift this year. Relate it to his interests. If he is getting a soccer ball, accompany it with a book about soccer. Read with your son – shared reading is enjoyable and a great way to see how your son is progressing. Make sure that he reads aloud and discuss the book with him to ensure that he is reading for meaning.
- Cook together
Ask your son to join you in the kitchen and challenge him to cook up a storm. Have him read the recipe himself, and try to avoid the temptation to take over – no matter how messy it gets. Cooking helps your son learn about science (baking), accuracy (measuring) and, if my experience in the kitchen is anything to go by, resilience!
- Make the most of long car rides
When I was a young boy we would drive to Sydney at least three times year. We used to play Quizmaster in the car. My dad would be the host and ask all the questions. This was a great way to develop our general knowledge. My brother and I also used to play car cricket, which is a fantastic way to keep up basic number skills (Google it – you don’t have to be a cricket fan to play).
- The 5-word challenge
Developing your vocabulary can build on your comprehension skills, so have your son look up 5 new words that he doesn’t know. Get him to write down the definitions then write a story including these words. To mix it up you could substitute the writing for oral storytelling. He could record it and play it for his family and friends. You could even give it a festive theme. This is a great way to keep up his writing, comprehension and speaking skills.
- Encourage him to keep a holiday diary
This is a fun way to promote his writing skills. He doesn’t have to hand write either – he can mix it up by typing, voice recording or videoing his diary entries.
- Good old-fashioned postcard writing
If you’re going away, have your son write and send postcards to family and friends. This one’s a double whammy – your son gets to practice his writing while his loved ones will enjoy receiving a rare hand-written note.
Play, play, play!
Board games and puzzles are a fun way to help your son keep up with his numeracy and literacy skills. And don’t forget to go outside and play. A healthy body is a must for a healthy mind.David Eggleston is Junior School Learning Support Coordinator at Brighton Grammar School, an all-boys school in Melbourne. This article is about Education
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