Sunday, 31 July 2016

Summer Slip

Summer Holidays are a great time to get ahead if you 've been falling behind in school. But equally it's been a tough year and everyone deserves a break.

Parents and students should attempt to find engaging ways to keep using your reading and writing skills over the holidays. Keeping a blog / diary or writing lots of postcards to friends and family can help stop that summer slip.

READ things they find INTERESTING ! - it doesn't have to be 'War and Peace' to count - if they express an interest then help facilitate them in reading. Even i it is too hard for them - help them with the bits they can't do but then get them to read the bits they can. Then discuss it and what they found interesting about it.

Comic Strip Template for Kids PrintableCartoon templates : writing diaries or letters may feel a lot of 'unfun' work, but a new set of colouring pencils and a printed cartoon template (they can also cut pictures out of magazines if they don't feel their drawing skills are up to the task)  - 

Colouring books - some of the beautiful new colouring books inspire both mindfullness and increase fine motor control. While it might not be as good as writing it does increase penmanship and control which will improve handwriting. 

Jigsaw Puzzels - this is a good way of practicing both visual memory, and mental rotation. It can be quite difficult to sit and focus on a puzzel for a long time but if you start with a smaller number of pieces with an interesting graphic they can build up their 'staying power'. This may have a postive impact on their ability to maintain their concentration in the classroom when they go back in September.

Equally holidays often mean long car journies - or times without electronics.
This can be a time to engage with games that can help mold our thinking. 

20 questions  - asking a family member to guess an item in 20 questions helps develop top down processing skills and encourages using logic - as well as supporting their memory.

I Spy with my little eye...........
             something beginning with ..... 
             something ending in.......
             something with 'ai' in the middle 
Aways give the phonic sound of the letter to young children rather than the name of the letter ( - i.e.  'ah' rather than 'AYYY' ). This can help fill time over a long car journey while also helping with spelling.

I went to the shops and I bought ........
this is a memory game which can be made easier or harder though limitations. It is easier to add restrictions such as 'in alphabetical order' or 'only foods' it can be made harder by removing those limitations.

Give them a go - they are a fun way to help extend your kids abilities without feeling like you are imposing work during their holidays. 

Summer Revision - its never too early to start .......

It's true !

As much as you hate me and your parents saying it - starting early really does make the biggest difference. 

No matter how much extra time or how good you think you are at cramming nothing will have more impact on your grades than how well you understand your subjects. If you KNOW something you write a much better argument or exam answer than if you have to waste time trying to REMEMBER it. 

The good news is that there are now lots of fun ways to go about this.

Youtube and the rest of the internet are FULL of really quite informative and engaging videos that help provide information in a way that helps your memory. 

That doesn't mean you don't have to practice pulling all that information back out of your head - or make a few lists of names and dates that you will have to really go over to be able to remember them. But a few different videos can help make a boring text more interesting or help give another opinion  on a book that you hadn't thought about.

Here are some of my favorites 

Lord of the Flies

or Macbeth (a bit rude so not for sensitive ears )

The summer holiday is a great time to relax but also to get ahead  - you'd be surprised how many great books are on the reading lists and how many have been turned into brilliant films (Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet will always be one of my favorite films)

Just remember that for every little bit you do now - its a bit that you will feel slightly ahead on next year. You will go to them remembering things better and understanding them more. When we understand things we are able to look for the hidden meanings or the implications - all this makes it MUCH LESS BORING 

its a win win