Picture the last day of term. You and your children breathe a sigh of relief. No more dragging the children out of the house early enough to make it to school on time. No more threats, or promises of an early morning pre-dropoff babyccino from Costa!
Six weeks of fun to look forward to, you tell yourself… and it probably is too, for a day or two. By the third day, you are convinced that your kids have turned into stroppy teenage zombies, unwilling to tidy after themselves and even less willing to tear themselves away from the screens they are now addicted to. By the end of the week, you are frantically looking for things for them to do, just to get them out of the house. You’re wishing you had planned ahead.
Whilst the down time can be extremely beneficial for children’s health and well-being, we really have to face the reality that instead of running around in the back garden, getting themselves acquainted with nature, making up games and keeping themselves entertained like we used to back in the ’80s, kids these days would much rather watch Netflix on the iPad. We can’t really blame them.
You see, young people grew up with the Internet. They see it as an every day part of their experience. They can’t imagine life without it. They don’t see these devices as amazing. They see them as everyday tools and can’t imagine life without these things.
So how does one avoid the “Summer Slide”, as it is called? The Summer Slide refers to the loss of knowledge children can experience during the summer time due to a lack of educational resources. It is a very real problem, and many parents want to know ways they can prevent summer slide in their children. If nothing else, some parents just want their kids to do something educational every day during the summer to keep their minds sharp.
It is an even bigger problem with primary school children, as their learning requires constant reinforcement in bite-sized amounts. Little and often. Apparently, about six weeks in the Autumn term are spent relearning old material to make up for knowledge and skills that went unused and were consequently forgotten over the summer.
The good thing is that the slide is completely avoidable. Just a few hours of enrichment a week over the holidays can prevent learning loss.
We offer loads of enrichment opportunities in our summer tech camps too, where the kids don’t stare at screens. They work with physical objects, whether it is lego, or pen and paper or plasticine, or actual robots.