It’s normal to have a break during the summer holidays, all the way from late July to September. Just because things are common, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re right! Imagine taking a few weeks off exercising, when you return, it’ll be much harder than when you stopped. Perhaps we need to be thinking of studying in this way, with a 6-week ‘break’ actually being a detrimental factor to a child reaching their full potential.
Vivienne Stiles is a tutor of children aged between 4 and 16 throughout the summer and she spoke to the BBC, saying “children’s brains need to be stimulated throughout the holidays”. She continues, “You can’t expect them to pick up in September where they left off.” Vivienne works for Kumon, a tuition company, claims her students learn new skills, develop a strong work ethic and get into a good routine throughout the holidays.
The extra time in the holidays, free of schedules of normal days mean children are not pressured for time. This makes it the perfect chance to extend knowledge in the subjects that they are truly interested in. This can give them a great foundation in terms of where they want to take their career as they discover the topics which truly drive them.
Being on a long break can mean children’s brains aren’t being fully utilised for an extended period. The brain is a muscle, which, like all muscles needs to be used repeatedly to keep working at its best. Furthermore, breaking study routines and habits with an extended break could prove costly as habits may be hard to rebuild in September
Our advice is to keep the brain active and keep challenging it with new content and ideas. Reading, writing, doing puzzles and debating can be interesting ways to boost brainpower. Another method is to aim to retain what has been learnt throughout the year.
Video games, television & mobile devices take up a lot of time. The addictive qualities of these hobbies mean it’s very easy to form habits around them. Once the school year comes around again there is only so much time in the day to fill up with work and these new hobbies, so some planning should be made to pre-empt any issues. If you can help your child balance their time effectively throughout summer then come September there will be less disruption for your child getting back into their school routine.
Studying during the summer can also lead to a reduction in stress and anxiety. This extra time, when used efficiently can make children feel more prepared, meaning they can approach their lessons and assignments with more confidence. It is also the perfect time for children to catch up if they fell behind their peers!
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