With holidays around the corner teachers everywhere are excited to breathe, relax and take a break. Reports are written, half of the year is gone and the second half is already planned out. It’s an exciting time.
Holidays mean family time, time for self and time to just be.
For our little people though, holidays are just as important. Holidays are designed to give their brains and bodies a rest, to let learning settle and to allow time for reflection (with some key questioning by parents that is!).
Holidays also provide a time for children to learn everyday things, continue to build a love of learning and also share that with others. Without this though, getting back to school can be a little difficult.
2-3 weeks out of routine, with no learning and no talk of school, can make the return to school a bit of a challenge. The secret to holidays is finding the balance between relaxing and keeping the brain connected with learning. It’s not about homework or ‘school work’, but connecting it all together.
So how do we allow our children to enjoy the holidays but not forget about school altogether?
Reading is essential. I promote daily reading to and with your child. Some of the best learning to do with reading actually comes from being read to. No matter what age your child, choose a picture book or chapter book together and read to daily, talking about what you read. Stuck for great book ideas? The library is a great to place to visit for a few hours during the holidays and will have a book for everyone!
- Play and creativity
Play is something we often let go of once we start school, especially from about Year 3. But play and creativity are both linked to amazing learning; problem-solving skills, critical thinking and collaboration are all skills which are proving to be more sought after and valuable as time goes on. This goes for both adults and children. So get messy, arty and creative with your children, make things, get the paint out, build and construct and let your imagination run wild.
- Go places and just talk
There is so much to see and learn beyond the classroom walls, and so much more than a teacher can cover in a year (believe me they do the absolute best they can, but the world offers so much more). Museums, bush walks, the beach, libraries, the park, documentaries, reading and researching, questioning and exploring. Each of these experiences allows children to learn and talk about things they are interested in or may not yet know about. Holidays mean you can give your children a range of experiences to learn about without even knowing it, as well as allowing you to learn and discover things together.
Holidays really are a great time to rest and recover but also bring learning and play and fun into the home for everyone to enjoy.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!
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