Please don't think I'm a nasty Mum that makes my child sit and do hours of homework throughout the summer holidays.
Nooooo... Of course not!!
Holidays are for taking a break from working hard, and having lots of fun.
But that said, I do think it's important to keep their little minds working hard. Little snippets of brain exercise, to stop it turning to mush from excessive iPad and PlayStation playing!!
Research shows that for some children, the long summer holiday can have an impact on children's learning when they get back to school. It can take a while to settle back in to a routine and find their concentration.
Bradley bought home a bag of Maths goodies on his last day of school as part of a 'Summer Learning Pilot' his school are trialling, to see if they can reduce the impact on learning, by providing activities and resources to support learning during the holidays.
Inside was lots of bright, inviting, fun looking work sheets and also a brand new calculator and maths set including pencils, rulers, a compass and protractors. How fab! We love a freebie!! ;)
I personally think it's a fab idea.
Bradley is 10 and will be going into Year 6, the final year of primary school after the holidays. It's a pretty important year for him, he'll be doing his SAT exams which will deter at which level he will enter into high school at. He is a very smart boy, yet has a tendency to lose concentration very easily, is easily distracted and often becomes a bit silly in class. So anything to work on his concentration is great.
He has 2 days a week where he isn't allowed any 'screen time', so no iPad, no computers. And he struggles! Particularly on days where the weather isn't great so he can't go out to play. On a couple of these occasions I've bought the Maths Pack out.
Now, let's be honest, your usual child would probably think this was a BAAAAD idea, [I probably would've!!] but luckily Bradley enjoys Maths and is pretty good at it. So we sit at his desk, together, and he chooses an activity or 2 to do. Just for a short while, maybe half an hour or so. And it's also nice to spend some time together.
By no means is he sat doing pages and pages of sums or anything like that, now THAT would be mean! These worksheets include simple activities and short projects for different age ranges that the children will enjoy doing, without even realising they're learning at the same time. Not all activities need to be done sat at a desk, they can also be done out and about too, there are activities that can be done at the beach, on a journey, at the park or on rainy days.
Some activities and questions include...
'How many times can you swing backwards and forwards in a minute? Can taller people swing faster?'
'Find objects that represent different mathematical shapes - both 2D and 3D. How many can you collect? Can you make a maths collage?'
'What is the ratio of the circumference of your head to your height? Try this with other members of your family. Are all ratios the same?'
'How many lamp posts do you pass in 1 mile? Are they always the same distance apart? Estimate how many you will pass in your whole journey.'
'At what times during a 24 hour period do the hands of a clock create a right angle?'
'Estimate the total amount spent on your shopping trip. Play against each other.'
A quick 30mins doing a Maths activity, then back to the usual Summer Holiday fun. That's all it takes. And I'm happy knowing that for that short while, he was putting his brain to work and concentrating without distractions.