Advice For Parents Over The Summer Hols

  • 6 Jul 2017 9:00 AM
Advice For Parents Over The Summer Hols
From Richard Dyer, Principal, The British International School, Budapest: With the summer holidays upon us, we often get asked by parents, "What work should my child be doing over the summer?" and "Have you given any homework over the summer?"

While we would hope that child will never stop learning during the summer, it is a time to relax and take stock, to spend time with the family and to enjoy something new.

Of course, for our students in examination years, summer is a time for coursework and revision and many subjects will set specific tasks to be tackled in dependently.

Nevertheless, for those students and for children of all ages, there are things that can be done to continue your child’s education in a more informal way that will enhance their enjoyment of the summer. So, here are some suggestions of the sort of things that you can do with your child.

Help children to learn a new skill

This could be anything that they have never done before. How about learning to juggle, rollerblade or to knit? Perhaps they are sporty and could learn a new sport or do some rock climbing. Take a course in cookery or learn a new language. Cycling or waking in the countryside can be combined with bird watching or identifying trees or plants.

Do anything that you think might spark their interest then entice them into learning a new skill. Once they have that skill it will be with them for life and in the future may become a perfect way for them to relax.

Read a classic novel or play

Reading is excellent for language and vocabulary development, but for some children reading is not their favourite pastime. Finding the right book could really spark their interest, whether it is a Dickens, Orwell or Rowling. Your child may like adventure and so perhaps you could try ‘Moby Dick’ or ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.

Others enjoy family and relationship stories such as ‘Jane Eyre’ or ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Some are into sci-fi and fantasy, then ‘The Hobbit’ or ‘Lord of the Rings’ would be good. Try to think of your child’s area of interest and find the classic to match with the interest.

Keep a journal

They say that the most successful people in the world keep a journal. This is a habit that can be encouraged early in life and will then become part of daily life. Get a notebook that will make your child want to write in and then let them loose!

There are no hard and fast rules about what should be written but the discipline of thinking and reflecting on their day will help them to learn from their successes and failures. Regaining the skill of letter writing could provide a focus for this, as children write to grandparents or other relatives about their days.

Visit a new place

Of course this is what many holidays are all about! This is definitely one where the child will probably have strong opinions about where they might want to visit. Involve your child in planning a day trip or visit. Try to go somewhere that is different from where you have been before.

This could be a museum here in Budapest you have never visited before, it could be a day trip to a castle or a historical town nearby, a trip on the train to another big city to view a different culture or even a trip abroad to see a whole new country.

Enjoy the holidays

Finally, at whatever stage your child is, just allow them to be the child they are, to run, walk or sit in the sun and to engage with people around them. The summer is for having fun and enjoying the more relaxed timetable of life.


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