STICK TO A ROUTINE
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.
LET HIM LEARN ON HIS OWN
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.