The past year has been tough for many families as home learning became the norm for school children up and down the country.
However, there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon after children returned to the classrooms on March 8.
A Croxley school headmaster shared with CroxleyNews on how to boost the learning opportunities for children over the Easter holidays.
Jon Gray, headmaster at York House School wanted offered the following advice for parents who may be wondering how to keep their children busy over the holidays.
“To all of those parents who are concerned about what their child should do during the school holidays in the face of lockdowns, you are starting from the right place. It is a worry to us all (myself also as a parent). But if we consider that our children have been robbed of much joy and vital socialisation throughout last winter (and indeed prior to that), we shouldn’t plan to address that by ruining their upcoming summer with endless bookwork.
“The wonderful people who teach Early Years children (Nursery and Reception), will always tell you that ‘child-initiated learning’ is the most successful kind of learning, but in fact, this is key in education for all ages.
“If a child is genuinely interested in something, the engagement will be much greater. For example, if a child expresses an interest in going to the woods to explore, we should allow them to do that and then seek out the multitude of learning opportunities that exist there.
“Activities such as making a triangle or a square from sticks that you find on the ground can be helpful for younger children who are learning to make shapes and you can take that a step further by asking them to create their own shapes too. Getting out into nature can also help children to Identify different trees and wildlife.
“Screen time continues to be a worry for parents during the holidays, from overuse of devices to watching too much TV. But this Easter, why not try switching on the subtitles to keep younger children focused? This approach gets them reading and it can also add to the sense of mindfulness because if they are reading the subtitles, they’re not glancing at a device or getting distracted. Subtitles On should be the default setting for children’s TV.
“Maths is also all around us; from weighing ingredients for cooking, to keeping score during a cricket match, helping to add up the weekly shop through to counting the stairs as you go up and down or the number of red cars you pass on a local journey. Everything that comes from real life and coincides with the interests of our children can help to slip learning opportunities under the radar whilst the child has some much needed, post-lockdown, fun.”