It may not be entirely obvious with our weather, but summer is finally here, and school’s out. After the stress of exams, studying may be the last thing on your child’s mind, but keeping their brains engaged and the knowledge within it fresh is key, especially in the summer before GCSE or A-Level year. Just what is the best way to do this? Let’s find out…
While summer is a time for children to let loose, and relax after a hard school year, there are fun ways to maintain the knowledge learnt throughout the school year. Children’s shows are films in foreign languages are perfect for a rainy day – put the subtitles on, and you’ve got both aural and listening practice rolled into one. Moreover, with this type of learning, kids will begin to associate language learning with fun and thus education in general with enjoyment.
Summer camps and courses are another brilliantly immersive way of getting children to keep using their linguistic knowledge, and to also get them out and interacting with their peers. Boredom can soon set in during the long summer holidays, as can the longing to be around their friends as they were every day during the school year. By combining the fun and frolics of summer camp with the educational aspect of language lessons (or whichever the chosen subject may be), kids won’t even realise they’re learning, and both confidence and knowledge will flourish.
Language learning is a cumulative process, and by virtue of that, constant practice and reinforcement of both vocabulary and grammar is key to success. Keeping a new language at the forefront of a child’s mind with books or bedtime stories in the target language is a sure-fire way to ensure knowledge is not lost – and parents just might learn something in the meantime too. The key here is little and often; even 15 minutes a day of reading in the target language will go a long way to helping keep their schoolwork fresh in their mind over the summer months.
It’s always been my belief that you will be most successful in the things that bring you the most joy and entertainment. In that vein, ‘studying’ over summer should be a lesson in the fun that education can bring to your child’s life, rather than a simple extension of the school year. Focus on engaging games, interactivity, creative projects connected to your target subject, and most of all fun, and there is no doubt in my mind that your child’s thirst for knowledge will be just as strong as their thirst for some fresh summer lemonade.
Enjoy the holidays!