Making School Based Activities Holiday Fun!
If my children are anything like me, then by the time they go back to School in September they are going to have forgotten almost EVERYTHING they have ever learnt. I think this is why that for as long as I can remember, I've tried to incorporate the children's learning into everyday activities for the children to participate in. I figure that the if the children are being given little reminders on a daily basis that just maybe they won't forget what they are being taught!
During the Summer we want to do things which are fun though, right? Getting our Children to practising their handwriting and Maths skills is probably the last thing on our mind and rightly so. Summer is a time to relax, a time to kick back and forget about School work... but remembering that several of my Teacher friends have said that the first half term back to School they have to reteach all the basics to the Children maybe it doesn't hurt to do a little practising during the summer!
The are several easy ways to practice writing based skills.
Climbing on Monkey Bars. Seriously! Apparently, playing on Monkey bars helps children to develop strengths in their hands which allows children great pen control. So, go to the park, play on the monkey bars and see better handwriting!
Writing a Shopping List. When writing has purpose I find that children are more willing to participate and asking them to write a shopping list for you so that you don't forget certain items when you are out is a great start. Just remember to check that you did actually ask them to write twenty chocolate cakes, a set of Lego and that new cereal they've been after.
Sending Postcards. If you're away on holiday, purchase a few postcards and get the children to write them for various friends and relatives. It's a perfect chance to get them to practice without realising that what you're doing is getting them to practice.
Keeping a Journal. You can make this a Summer thing, or a lifetime thing. Asking the Children to write a few sentences or paragraphs each day will help them to not only remember a time in their lives where they had no responsibilities but will also remind them in the future of times when they loved spending time with their family!
Don't forget that Reading is an important skill to practice during the Summer Break too.
Reading doesn't have to just be books from the library, although do sign up to the local Library reading programme, it is always amazing fun and the Children love the certificate you get at the end. Don't forget that you can get the children to read comics, websites, cookbooks and even newspapers!
One thing that we did last summer, that we will do again this year is to pick a few books that we can read together. For the most part I got to read the books, but both Top Ender and Big Boy got to read pages, or chapters (depending on their mood!) too. This was a brilliant way for us to share reading together, remember if a child sees that you read they are more likely to imitate!
The last skills are probably my favourite, Maths skills, and again there are hundreds of ways to keep up practising in the Summer. Here are a few of my favourites.
Telling the Time. BB is going through a phase at the moment, where he constantly wants to know what the time is, at what time things are happening and how long things have happened for. Telling the time is an important skill, and practising telling the time, working out five minutes from now or working out when a specific TV show is on is a great way to do some Maths without sitting down to do 100 equations.
Make a Cake. One of Top Ender's favourite homework assignments was when she was asked to measure items around the home using a tape measure or a ruler, weighing scales and a measuring jug. Top Ender decided to make a Maths Cake and it was a genius idea and one which I'm sure you'll love to copy. Weighing out and measuring the ingredients as well as making sure the oven is the right heat and the cake is cooked for the right amount of time is great maths practice and yummy to boot!
Ask Real World Maths Questions. The Children love going shopping, especially if I give them a few pounds to spend and then let them loose to spend it. With a plethora of discount stores not too far from our home they know that they can get several things to see amuse themselves with, but of course they have to work out themselves the prices of various items and how this eats into their budget... it's a perfect way of getting them to answer real Maths Questions.
Use Maps. The quickest way to work out the distance between two places is to measure right? Well, then get the children to become familiar with maps and whilst they are at it, let them see if they can work out a quicker route to the local shops, park or even your holiday destination. Despite the rather amazing invention of Sat Navs, map skills are always a much needed skill and I think they always will be!
Don't forget that board games that make use of a dice, dot to dots (where you have to join up numbers), colour by numbers, card games and even Bingo are also great ways to practice Maths Skills when you're pretending that all you're doing is having fun with the family.
And lastly just 30 minutes a day is all that is needed to keep everything ticking over nicely, so it's not like keeping up School work is going to take over the Summer!