Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Parenting | Summer Holiday Homework

Now, let me explain...
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. 


What do you think? 
Do you think the learning pilot is a good idea? 
Or should homework be saved for term time?
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Super Busy Mum

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28 comments

  1. My two are still at the pre-school stage so I'm not sure really what I'll think in a few years' time but for now it looks like fun - especially the can tall people swing faster question, I'm puzzling over that myself!

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  2. My boy is only two so I'm not at this stage yet but six weeks is a long time yo be at home and a little studying can only be a good thing, there's still plenty of time for fun! #MMWBH

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  3. I think that is a difficult question. When I was in school I did maths puzzles for fun, because I enjoyed it! My kids aren't in school yet but I hope I would encourage them to learn in summer, though perhaps not in a traditional pen and paper way... time will tell! #sharewithme

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    1. Bradley finds it fun too, so he doesn't really see it as 'work'.

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  4. I think this is BRILLIANT and so true. In the south here they hardly have any summer time off because that very reason not to be out of school and brains not exercised enough for long periods. They take more little breaks throughout the year. Which I think is great. I think I will be the same when my kids go to school as we practice and exercise their brains now before school why stop there. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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    1. Thats it, I think small little snippets of learning to keep their brains working is so important after a big break away from education!

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  5. My eldest is the same age and also about to enter Year 6. I think that pack sounds like a great idea and would've loved to receive that from my boy's school. We have projects we're giving to my eldest (using the computer) where he has to use a programming thing or drawing. We're trying our best not to let the holidays affect his learning. Not an easy task though. #MMWBH

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    1. Its not is it, I think those projects are a great idea!

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  6. I think this is great. Where we are in the US we get maths and reading calendars for the summer. Even my younger son had a maths problem a day to do last year, and he was still in pre-school! My 8yo has enjoyed doing his maths this year, and while we don't necessarily do a problem a day, we'll spend half an hour every few days choosing a few to do. My 5yo, who starts kindergarten in a couple of weeks loves it! He'll spend ages doing problems. And, they both love reading so meeting the 30mins a day requirement is easy. I think it's important to keep them engaged in learning, we have 10 weeks in the summer, which is a long time to go without doing anything at all. #ShareWithMe

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    1. Thats brilliant! I think its great to start young too, that way it won't be such a big deal once they're older!

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  7. I wish my kids' school had given out packs like that! I think it's a great idea to do just a little over the summer, to keep the brain ticking over! #brilliantblogposts

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  8. Fab idea, good to get them doing homework over the long summer holiday-less of a shock on their return! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

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  9. I think it's a good idea, but I'll be honest, I don't think I'd have been too pleased about it at his age! x
    #weekendbloghop

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    1. Haha thats so true! Luckily he's not too fussed & we've only done it a few times when he's been bored :)

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  10. It is a great idea indeed! As a fellow Mom I also appreciate the 2 days with no screen time. it may be a struggle for kids but it is good for them to have days wherein they can find things to do other than those related to technology. and the 30 mins. math work is a good one!

    Thank you for dropping by at http://momkatsnotes.com thru the #WeekendBlogHop! Congratulations on your new baby!

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  11. I think it's a great idea. It always takes kids a couple of weeks to get back into work mode so anything to keep their brains ticking over must be good. I'm glad to see they are fun activities too! (I'm slightly biased though, I'm a Maths teacher!) xxx #sharewithme

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    1. Thats good to get your input as a teacher too :)

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  12. I think this is a great idea. I try to sneak questions and things in to the kids when they don't realise to keep their brains ticking over. I wouldn't get away with sitting them down and doing things at 5 and 7...but I guess if it looked exciting enough they probably would sit down with something like this. Good for you for having 2 screen free days a week. I might have to introduce that...something usually sneaks on for an hour or so each day!

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    1. Its hard at 10 years old, as everything involves an iPad or games console!!

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  13. With my 9 and 6yr old I've been doing exactly the same. I remember having those lazy summers then getting catapulted back into education and I swear, my brain melted on more than one occasion. It's good to have them fresh minded and ready to absorb rather than slouched and moaning about not being bothered. Good for you! Thanks for linking up with the MMWBH xx

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  14. Before these holidays I would have said "save it for term time", but my oldest (aged 12) recently suggested I test him because he was feeling a bit stupid. I pointed him in the direction of BBC Bitesize, admitting that my brain was also atrophying after so long. I know it won't take him more than a week to get his head back into gear once school starts, but 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there means he won't waste that time. My youngest (aged 7) is showing no signs of forgetting anything, but he doesn't like being left out so he's doing stuff too.

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Thanks for reading!
Please leave a comment as I'd love to know what you think!!

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