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Let your child en­joy the first week of the hol­i­days, but af­ter that, he needs “a grad­ual but pro­gres­sive rou­tine of en­gag­ing in ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties” for the rest of the break, says Alan.

Be sure to set clear and fair ex­pec­ta­tions from the be­gin­ning of the hol­i­days, Alan ad­vises. “Cre­ate a timetable for your child. Tell him that he needs to do some form of re­vi­sion for at least 30 min­utes each day be­fore he can play an hour’s worth of video games, for in­stance. In this way, he’s more likely to be mo­ti­vated to do his work when he goes back to school and won’t be shocked by the new work­load.”

You should also block out the usual time spent on home­work to do some­thing ed­u­ca­tional dur­ing the hol­i­days. “If home­work time is be­tween 2pm and 3pm, get your kid to read a book or write a jour­nal dur­ing the same time slot,” says Alan.


Self-di­rected learn­ing un­der your guid­ance lets kids have fun and pick up new in­for­ma­tion at the same time:

Bak­ing or pasta-mak­ing is a great way to start. Af­ter­wards, get him to help with the clean-up.

Find a cor­ner at home to con­struct a make-be­lieve mini­zoo. Your young one can draw and cut out paper an­i­mals be­fore putting them into their “en­clo­sures”, says Alan. “Just like in any zoo, in­for­ma­tion about each an­i­mal is needed at ev­ery en­clo­sure. Get him to do re­search on­line or read books to come up with the data. This will boost his knowl­edge of an­i­mals and all that’s re­lated to them.”

Con­duct sim­ple sci­ence ex­per­i­ments each week with ev­ery­day items. “For ex­am­ple, alu­minium foil can be used to demon­strate buoy­ancy. In school, your child learns that buoy­ancy is based on the den­sity of a ma­te­rial. But in real life, alu­minium foil can ei­ther sink or float in wa­ter, depend­ing on how it is shaped or folded. Such ex­per­i­ments can deepen your kid’s un­der­stand­ing of such con­cepts,” ex­plains Alan.

Ask him to come up with his own study plan. In­stead of you dic­tat­ing what to re­vise and when, make him take own­er­ship of his work. He should plan what he wants to re­vise dur­ing the hol­i­days and pick out the im­por­tant points to note – a good tech­nique to have when study­ing smart. When school re­opens, your kid will be up to date on his stud­ies too, adds Alan.


These ac­tiv­i­ties will get his cre­ative juices pump­ing: Watch a movie to­gether and get him to re­write the end­ing.

Ask him to dig up in­for­ma­tion about a dif­fer­ent topic (be it di­nosaurs, the Great Wall of China or the ori­gin of ham­burg­ers) each week, so he can wow you with facts you never knew be­fore.

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