The Christmas holidays are just a matter of days away, and parents up and down the country will be wondering how they can support their child’s education over this three-week break and ensure they return to school having not rested on their laurels over the festive period. Here are some top tips to ensure youngsters don’t become disengaged or complacent over Christmas:
Make any task educational
While it can be tempting for some parents to simply position their children in front of the television while the shopping and the wrapping is taken care of, there are ways in which you can turn any task into a learning opportunity. Shopping for the turkey? Ask your child to help you work out the ideal weight and calculate costs. Wrapping presents for family members? This is a valuable chance to help your child learn how to work out the optimum area of the wrapping paper based on its measurements. Playing board games with the family can also be a learning experience.
Choose educational gifts
Try to invest in some educational gifts that will benefit your child in the long-term. Nothing will replace the traditional games and toys, but make sure they’re supplemented with books, puzzles and other items that require a bit of brainpower. This will help ensure your children remain engaged over Christmas.
Make use of apps
Instead of leaving children with the television for entertainment, kit out your smartphone or tablet computer with plenty of educational games. Counting games, puzzle games – even games like Angry Birds can help children learn about the laws of physics, angles and hand-eye coordination. These mobile devices are invaluable for busy parents with lots to do over Christmas – you can keep your child entertained while ensuring they’re exposed to plenty of informative content.
Help with exam revision
If your child is older, and has the prospect of January exams hanging over their head, take an active role in their revision. Help them draw up a schedule and ensure they stick to it. Little and often is the key – there’s nothing worse than getting to the 1st of January and realising you need to cram for an impending examination. Thirty minutes per day should be sufficient to keep their brains ticking over and ensure they don’t forget anything vital they might need for the exam.
The best tip we can offer is this: don’t forget to let your child relax! Christmas is a great time for recharging the batteries and getting some space. It’s often this time away from school that helps certain lessons sink in, and it also prevents kids from experiencing burnout. While it’s important to maintain your child’s education over the holidays, it’s equally important for them to have time to themselves, when they can enjoy all the things that children love without worrying about school or examinations.