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For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:01 pm
by citizentwiglet
For those of you with children in school....

My eldest is six, and has just finished P1 (we're in Scotland, they don't start until 5 as 'reception' class is covered by the second year of nursery). My youngest is three and about to start his second year in nursery (preschool year) though is currently on the deferral watch list as the nursery (and I) don't think he will be ready to start school in 2013.

I am having a bit of a guilt complex because I have suddenly realised that we only have two weeks left before they go back to school and, well, I have been rather lazy. I had all these big ideas of worksheets, and projects and whatnot and - well - some volunteering website work I do took over more time than I had hoped.

How much 'work' do you expect your children to do during school holidays? I will be the first to admit that I think my six year old actually gets quite a lot of homework in comparison to some schools; and he is certainly using what he has learnt in the past year in everyday life - reading street signs, counting money, etc. I don't want to be some kind of 'hot-housing' mum who throws a worksheet at him every time he wants to watch TV. They have both spent as much time as possible tearing around outside with friends, riding their scooters, going on walks - is THIS what holidays are for?

I have a fortnight to get them back into the idea of learning again, so I think there are going to be a few visits to the library on the cards!

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:41 pm
by chickenchargrill
We do workbooks for fun every now and again during the holidays, but most of their learning during school hols comes from stuff like trying to guess the fastest and slowest animals and seeing whether we were right, and then going off on a tangent to talk about the local peregrine falcon and what it eats etc. We had a little bonfire outside last night, so we were talking about fire safety. I love teaching my girls stuff and I'd home school if their dad would let me. Holidays are a great time to encourage them to talk about the books they're reading, to brush up on the local plants, cook together, go visit places to learn about things they haven't discussed at school etc.

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:01 pm
by clare
I think they learn so much during the school term that holidays should be just that.Our school does not give them a reading book during the hols and we have plenty of books that they still read but we do fun things like cooking,nature walks,trips to the beach,the park and see friends etcThey need to play,they don't forget what they have learnt in those few weeks and are learning all the time.We played bingo today (good for numbers) and they did painting by numbers,walked the dog and baked a cake.

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:37 pm
by yvette
I am a firm believer in allowing children to get 'deschooled' during holidays, so i wouldn't feel guilty if i were you. Sounds as though your kids have been busy developing their social skills and exercising, and generally having a good time! Lucky them.

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:35 am
by Mustardseedmama
We learn "life skills" all summer! She works in the garden, housework, animal chores, cooking (she's really into fixing breakfast for all of us at the moment!), helps with the canning, and laundry. She sews, crochets, reads (a LOT), swims both at the creek and in the neighbors pool, plays with her friends, goes fishing, writes letters, runs with the dog, catches fireflies, and at night we go out and she identifies all the constellations for me (could I do that? No way!). She's learning a lot of important stuff---no time for "school" work!

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:38 am
by boboff
Oh good I am not the only one.

Absolutely none, thats the amount of homework I would do during the Holidays!

Give them pencil and paper and play doh, and anything else which gives them activity on a rainy day, and then it's all about remembering what fun things they did, pond dipping, walks, building bedroom dens, watching TV, etc. More important at that age is that the activities are done with Mum or Dad or Mum and Dad, plus if possible time away with Nan and Grandad for them to appreciate you are not as strict, inconsistent or thoughtless as your parents! (or is that just my life!)

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:59 am
by oldjerry
Total agreement.Let them play,preferably away from screens for some of the time.....there's loads more to learning than school stuff.

Hope this isn't too divergent,but I really think that people in general work TOO hard,and this is reflected in the way we are encouraged to approach our kids education.It's too easy for this to lead to a curriculum based on job suitability rather than an appreciation of all the stuff that makes life worthwhile.

( I'm not suggesting that applies to anything that anyone has said,or even believes here,I just remember the Old Man sayng what a waste of time it was planting roses,if you never take the time to smell them.)

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:11 am
by citizentwiglet
Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your input.

I am blessed with inquisitive children who are constantly asking questions, it's easy to forget that they are little sponges at this age and are learning all the time, even if it's not in the traditional sense.

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:07 am
by fifi folle
Sounds like you are giving them the perfect environment to learn. In the early years and first few years of primary the focus is supposed to be on learning through play (not filtered through to all teachers though) so providing new experiences and responding positively to questions is absolutely what you should be doing in the holidays. Have fun and enjoy the remainder of the holidays. You could check out Play at Home Mom for some directed play ideas but often following their lead is much better! (Then again with the Scottish summer - ha! you may be needing a bit of inspiration)
The traditional sense of learning is not necessarily the best for all children. We all learn in different ways. You as their parent are their main teacher and know them best re what they're interested in, what they will enjoy etc.
Enjoy the hols!

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:11 am
by boboff
From my experience the child who could read at 3, write at 4, etc etc who got all the home schooling from "elderly" (Dads mid 50's) parents is now a spoilt single child who at 9 can only cope with praise, social interaction is poor and he cries allot. Jerry is right, and having just been through a year where my son has been actually diagnosed with learning difficulties, the best advice a Doctor has given about school when I asked what we can do for him was " Make sure he does stuff outside of school he enjoys!" Bloody simple advice really but in the new age of living vocariously through our offspring, something which is easy to forget.

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:13 am
by Bookworm
I have a 7 year old. He's on his second week of the school holidays and we have done nothing. Well I say we've done nothing... We have read books together and played games together. He constantly asks me questions and we are going on holiday in a couple of weeks to Cornwall where we will go to GoonHilly and various other educational places while we're down there.

I'm not a teacher. I trust in my son's educators and with his SAT results I'm quietly happy that he's meeting targets and achieving. I don't see that I need to spend hours forcing him to write stories or do sums. He has workbooks, he'll happily go and get them out and do them off his own back. I have NEVER put pressure on him to perform and he's doing fantastically.

You are a brilliant mum. I know you well and I know that BOTH your boys are intelligent wonderful young men and you are doing ALL you can to ensure they progress as they should be.
Enjoy the time with them. They are small for so short a time and a book read together helps improve speech/reading/comprehension and relationships. They can learn maths by letting them pay for things in a shop. N will always tell me how much change he should expect if he pays for something for me etc.

It's the enjoyable and simple things in life that I enjoy during the holidays. I'm here to help him learn, not to educate him. If I was meant to be an educator, I'd be earning a hell of a lot more money!!! ;o)

Be kind to yourself. x

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:38 pm
by The Riff-Raff Element
My three get between 11 and 12 weeks off. Some years ago we did buy them the holiday work books that are soooo popular in France, but we stopped doing that. The older ones (11 & 13) have both had a camp away from home, but otherwise they've just had time off. It's good for them, I think.

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:15 am
by julie_lanteri
The Riff-Raff Element wrote:Some years ago we did buy them the holiday work books that are soooo popular in France, but we stopped doing that.

I remember those very well... sitting at the table in the garden with my sisters and my grandma marking the work!

from a teacher's point of view, you know in September the kids who've had some imput/stimulation and those who've spent 6 weeks in front of the tv/playstation/you name it... it's not about doing "work" but just what you are already doing as a good parents.

Re: For those of you with children in school...

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:20 am
by citizentwiglet
Well, we've joined the StoryLab thing at the library - took out three books yesterday and he whizzed through them, so that's good - I really want him to read for enjoyment, not just consider it 'work', so that was great. He's at that age where his eyes light up when he works out a long word by breaking it down into smaller chunks, he actually surprised me with some of the words he was able to read.

He's also really very good at flags - I don't think many British six year olds could differentiate between the Australian and New Zealand flags - he's learning through 'lympics!! :icon_smile: :icon_smile: