Trips to National Parks
Holiday fun for children doesn’t have to be an expensive, highly organised arrangement. It can be simple, inexpensive and enjoyable. Holidays are a time to unwind, relax and prepare for the following term. However, as parents we must continue NOT to be teachers but parents. And what do parents do so naturally with their children-they love, play and have fun.
The above three actions actually create the very environment that teachers try to create in the classroom but, at times, with little success because of the class numbers. Parents with one on one or a small number of children have the best chance to informally teach without the children even realising it.
Some time ago, I wrote about improving reading with background experiences. It doesn’t matter what age, experiences change all of us and develops our understanding of the world. With new experiences, young children increase vocabulary and understanding of the world which will support reading. For older children holiday experiences depth information.
There are a number of children who aren’t on a holiday away from home. What can parents do to improve understanding of the world? There are an endless amount of activities that will support academic success. Before talking about the activities that support learning I will give some background to the permeating nature of reading.
Reading’s Importance in Life:
Every day, as an adult, we read nearly every minute of the day. In tests at school, as children move up the ladder, instructions are written. It is imperative that reading becomes a priority because reading is meaning and understanding at all levels whether it be in reading instructions, following procedures, searching for information or relaxing with an enjoyable book.
So back to holiday activities, these are activities that are items we need to complete when children become adults, they are every day functional activities. Children love completing these activities with their mums and dads.
Cooking– there are heaps of kid’s recipes on the internet to access for children’s cooking at any age. But why is cooking so beneficial to children’s academic life? There are so many reasons. Cooking is a skill that is needed in life, it is a functional skill, it requires reading for meaning, it demands that the instructions are followed explicitly to deliver the best results, it requires knowledge of measurement and this is only the beginning.
Shopping: children can write lists of items needed for the cooking. This requires that they make a checklist from the recipe, check what is not in the cupboard, write a list, budget and actually shop for the ingredients. This is also a functional skill needed for life. All ages can complete this activity at different levels. Older children could work independently, whereas younger children could work independently in some areas and require support in others.
This is a procedural activity that requires skill and knowledge and as stated above different levels of independence and support are needed at every age.
There are all areas of sewing that can begin with the simple cutting out of a dress for a doll to making a dress to wear for the advanced child that has been sewing for some time. I love to use materials to make stuffed toys with children. Following completion the child can play with the made item. Hand sewing helps develop fine motor skills for handwriting control.
Libraries offer loads of reading activities throughout the holiday period. There are adult readings of great literature, games and instructional activities about using the library.
Parks offer time for children to socialise and learn how to interact while using play equipment. There is so much learning in this area. Learning the skills of taking turns, introducing oneself to enter a game, communicating politely and conducting a conversation. Beaches are another place that is free where the same skills can be developed.
Don’t forget the Old Favourites:
Play dough, bubble blowing, sliding on a tarp that has soap suds added to the water, camping, exploring a place close to the home, checking museums, libraries, art galleries.
I am a great advocate for introducing children to free, fun activities. Materialism has clouded our perception of what is important to us and what values we want to pass onto our children. All the above activities have one thing in common. They require communication and interaction with the most important people in our lives, our children. Family is everything.
Ann Foster tutors children who have difficulties in reading, writing and spelling.
Contact Ann 0n 0414340883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Diploma of Teaching
Bachelor of Educational Studies
Master of Education ( Special Needs)
Master of Education (Counselling & Guidance)