While children can absorb new information at an amazing rate, they can lose it just as quickly. Did you know that learning loss is a big problem over the summer holidays?
Consequently, six weeks of the new term are spent relearning old material. It is estimated that just two to three hours of active learning a week is enough to prevent learning loss over the summer – and a few hours of private tutoring is an ideal way to maintain your child’s learning (if this financially feasible, of course). If you’re worried about what other parents might think, don’t worry – 96% of parents say they wouldn’t judge others for using a tutor.
One key subject which typically requires a refresher is science, and in this blog, we look at some of the other ways you can help your kids swot up in the summer, while still having fun!
1. Embrace the 'Great Outdoors'
There is no time like the summer for learning outdoors, and when it comes to science, the kind climes are perfect for studying nature. From basic astronomy to teaching children about the different seasons, and the wide range of wildlife and plantlife, depending on your location. You could look up to the sky and study the different clouds, or go bird spotting. And how about bringing in a chemistry element with a basic lesson on the photosynthesis of plants?
2. Get reading
With all that spare time on their hands, it can be a challenge to keep children away from the screen. So that's why arming yourself with a fun library of science books can make all the difference. Use graphic books which use illustration to explain some of the basic science principles - from the law of gravity to the difference between mammals and amphibians. You'll find some of these books, which often include lovable characters, are so engaging that kids can be learning without even realising it!
3. Bug hunt
It is amazing what we can find in our garden or at the local park. After learning about bugs indoors, kids can be let loose (to a certain extent!) outdoors to see which bugs they can find. For children who are traditionally squeamish about the prospect of creepy crawlies, the fear can soon dissipate as they look at the base of plants, under rocks and near trees for their new little friends. Here are some bug hunt tips.
4. Conduct an experiment
There are so many simple science experiments which we can conduct at home that will leave children wide-eyed. These include making your own lava lamp using alka seltzer and vegetable oil, using a water bottle to demonstrate light refraction, and creating a blood model using multi coloured sweets to teach kids about white and red blood cells.
5. Any questions?
If your child is prone to asking what seems like a million questions a day (whose isn't?), you can satisfy their curiosity by undertaking what is sometimes known as a 'rabbit trail'. Every time your child asks a science-related question, you can research and find out the exact answer together, using books or the internet. You might even learn a few things yourself!
Whether on or off the curriculum, there are plenty of ways to keep science at the forefront of kids' minds during the summer.