The annual exams are over, the new academic session has begun and students are settling into the new curriculum and books in schools across India. As soon as the month of May approaches, a sense of excitement and joy is visible as it the month everyone has been waiting for. Yes, it’s time for summer vacation!
Children are bound to be super-excited for this period away from hustle bustle of school. It is the month where math and science take the backseat and are replaced by fun-filled activities, sightseeing, picnics, different sports, theme-based water parks, various types of creative camps or in some cases vacations to exotic locations with family.
As a parent, one must understand that summer vacation is a very crucial period in a child’s academic year. Parents must ensure that their children utilize this period well and learn something new, something that is not the part of the general school curriculum, but would nevertheless, be of great use.
Here are the 5 things a parent can do for their kids during summer vacation:
- Take your kids for a vacation: Taking a child to a new destination triggers his/her desire to learn new things. It might not necessarily be an exotic location, but taking a kid who has spent most of his/her life in the city for a short trip to a remote location or a village would help them see the other facets to society. Child Psychotherapist, Dr. Margot Sunderland’, states in her article in The Telegraph: “The brain fertilisers triggered in enriched environments are also associated with higher IQ in children. So, spend time exploring together in a new space, and you’re making your child smarter.”A vacation also proves to be a great stress-buster for kids and enhances their curiosity levels.
- Teach them a new skill: A month-long leisure time away from the school is the best period to add some new skills to a child’s repertoire. There are various short-term courses like Creative Writing, Calligraphy, Sketching, Art and Craft, Foreign Language learning, Science Olympiad Preparation etc. Learning any of these would add greater value to a child’s future career.
- Introduce them to a new hobby: Throughout the year, children follow a strict routine, both within and outside school. But when they are suddenly exposed to a month-long vacation, they tend to become bored and can even get lazy. That’s where a new hobby comes into the picture. Engaging them in book-reading, swimming, dancing or playing different indoor and outdoor sports would do a world of good for their future.
- Giving them responsibilities: It has often been observed that children love to act like they’re already adults. So, when they’re given some responsibility to carry out a task, they find some of the most interesting ways to do it. Parents should involve their kids in simple household chores like cleaning the house, washing the car, taking care of the plants in the garden, learning to cook a new dish, buying groceries etc. so that when the child grows up and starts living an independent life, s/he will know how to handle these responsibilities.
- Keep the desire to learn alive: Children are most likely to lose attention towards their school curriculum during the vacation period, when they don’t have their teachers around to instruct them every day. So, parents also have to play the teacher’s role, but in subtle ways. Showing interest in their school books, asking them to recite a poem or a short story form their literature book and reviewing what they’re learning in the classroom would help keep the learning flow intact.
At St. Andrews School, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, we strongly believe that children learn best when they are happy and thus we encourage our students to utilize their summer vacations well and come back to the school with a rejuvenated mind.