As we quickly approach the summer holidays, I recommend that you start thinking about putting a plan in place for the school break. Studies have shown that up to 34% of learning loss is a direct result of the summer months off school.
The good news is that you do not have to force children to sit down for the duration of a regular school day. The key is to have a variety of activities, and where possible, appeal to their interests. Try to develop a routine early on and set aside thirty to sixty minutes per day - that is all you need!
Times Tables and Reading
I would highly recommend including practising times tables and reading into that daily time allocation. The importance of times tables and reading makes a regular appearance in my column, and there is a good reason for that as they are the foundations in maths and English.
Regarding reading, children must have an input into what they want to read; however, it is equally important that you ensure that the book is not too easy and this will challenge them. A challenging book will help build their vocabulary and comprehension skills.
I have written in-depth columns on implementing good practices at home; however, please contact me on the information below if you would like additional information. If you decide that your child will do one hour of work each day, assign 15 minutes for times tables and a further 15 minutes for reading which leaves half an hour for an additional activity.
Advantages of Using a Textbook
One of the hardest things for a parent is knowing what level to pitch school work at. Unless you have a background in education, it is likely that you are unfamiliar with the national curriculum. I would recommend purchasing an age-appropriate textbook in English and maths to give you a good idea. If you feel your child is struggling or thriving, buy a textbook for the year below or above.
Once you know their strengths or weaknesses, you can plan activities around this. Work through the textbook, stopping and helping with any areas of concern. I also recommend encouraging your child to study outside, and they can take their textbook with them. It is commonly accepted that concentration and productivity levels increase while a child is outside.
The children that I help are always very excited to tell me what they have been learning during their topic class in school. They have recently been eager to divulge all of the new facts they have learnt in topics ranging from the Egyptians to the Titanic. I have been truly mesmerised by the facts and knowledge the children retained from school. You can tap into this enthusiasm by encouraging them to continue their learning at home and build a project around this. Likewise, if their learning at school hasn't sparked an interest, you can always create your own project around their interests.
Practise Life Skills
Your family could also practise life skills over the summer holidays. This includes telling the time, cooking and handling real money. Put a child-friendly clock up and regularly ask them what time it is, addressing any areas of concern. Set aside a day where you cook a meal together following a recipe and accurately measuring ingredients. Encourage them to make payments at the shop while checking they have received the correct change.
Prevent Summer Learning Loss with Education Support Hub
Education Support Hub is now taking bookings for summer classes. It is important that children switch off over the break. However, I feel it is equally important to have a weekly top-up session so they will not lose their progress over the long duration of the summer holidays. Last year, many places were filled, so please contact me early to avoid disappointment.
Education Support Hub provides assistance to help primary school children reach their full academic potential. Following a free assessment, your child's learning gaps and needs are identified, which will be communicated to you. They are then placed in a small group of similar academic ability. The small group dynamic helps mirror a classroom environment whilst encouraging some healthy competition! Each child is continually assessed throughout the session, immediately highlighting any areas of concern. I provide support for children from P3 - P7, including GL Transfer Test preparation.
I am a fully qualified teacher (Access NI cleared) and teach through the online platform Zoom in the comfort of your own home. Zoom facilitates an interactive whiteboard, visual, audio and chat features. If you would like to hear more about current clients' experiences, check out our reviews on Facebook and Google.
Education Support Hub Founder