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How to Educate Your Children During the Holidays - Maple Education

Sunday, 21 July 2013

How to Educate Your Children During the Holidays

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I have many parents who ask me how to avoid educational relapses during the long summer holidays. Everyone needs a break from life's routines, and children are no exception. On the other hand, too much indulgence is never beneficial. The challenge is to ensure your children enjoy themselves, yet continue to learn at the same time.

Here are some tips:

  • In the first week – let them have lots of fun and allow them to completely relax and forget about school. Detoxing from school is vital. Even if there are milestone exams to prepare for which require constant revision, let the children chill out for a two or three days every week.
  • During the second and third week engage the best, free teachers your children will ever have – YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. Don't try to emulate school or try to be a traditional teacher, it simply won't work. Instead, be yourself and involve your children in your own everyday life.
  • One of the greatest maths lessons you can give your children is taking them shopping. Get them to draw up a budget and give them the challenge of finding bargains of products they themselves want. Reward them if they make any savings on the family shop. If food shopping, let the children work out whether supermarket offers are really as good as they appear. They will learn about percentages, about economies of scale and about weights and measurements. Task them with working out whether fruit and vegetables are cheaper if bought loose or pre-packaged. Ask which BOGOF offers are worth it and which are not.
  • Travelling will bring geography and history to life if you involve your children. I am dismayed every September when children return from holidays to exotic places but can't place them on a map! Holidays away are expensive so you may as well incorporate some learning to get value.
  • Even if you're travelling to the next town, spread out a map so the kids learn which direction they will be heading in i.e. south, north-east, etc. Before leaving, make them read up on the new place. You can easily design a car quiz for the journey which will eat up travel time with the added benefit of a being fabulous lesson. For example, on a trip to Warwick Castle you could ask the following questions:
    • Which road are we on now (i.e. the A41, the M40)?
    • Which county is Warwick Castle in?
    • How many kilometres away is it?
    • Why is it famous?
  • And then there is yummy food. No doubt you will eat out more during the summer holidays or, better still, go on picnics. Give the kids lessons on food groups,nutrition and calories. Then task them with designing a picnic that has:
    • protein
    • carbs & sugar (cake is a basic necessity for all children!)
    • fruit & veg
    • fat (chocolate is compulsory for holidays!)

The above advice may sound tedious but remember...you can always catch up with chores and make money, but you can never re-live holidays with your children.

We wish you a glorious summer – rain or sun.

Chris Garnett

Chris Garnett is the Chief Executive Officer of Maple Education, responsible for operations, finance and exams. A social entrepreneur, Chris co-founded and managed an ethical fashion business from 2000 to 2009. In the 1980s Chris had her own successful office management business in Canada.

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