July 29, 2019 by Kim Wyrley-Birch
Make a scrapbook with your child this summer. It’ll help their brain retain everything they’ve learnt from their previous school year.
Summer holidays are for fun, laughter and precious family time. However, as a mum of people with dyslexia, I discovered weeks of down-time meant going back to school in September was an enormous struggle. All prior learning seemed to disappear, and it took a while for my children to get back up to running speed. My children would have to work even harder to catch up in the new school year. Their confidence got knocked, and their anxiety increased. Because of this, I soon learnt we were not a family that could get just down tools. We had to keep our learning momentum going
All that said, I was, and still, am, a big believer that the summer holidays should be about play and rest. My children are exhausted at the end of each school year. They need time to recoup, allow their brains to relax and enjoy being children. There has to be a balance!
I tend to find that as soon as I mention the words “school” or “homework” my children shut down. So, I discovered the trick to keep reading, writing, spelling and maths going throughout the summer is finding an activity that practises these skills without children realising it. I call it ‘Hidden Learning’. Hidden Learning activities means your children study core subjects without them seeing the connection to school. Sneaky, I know. But it worked so well in our house!
Building a scrapbook to document our summer was a Hidden Learning activity my children loved the most. They had fun writing in their scrapbooks and reading back to me what they’d written. They’d be practising so many essential skills without even noticing. Best of all, we have lovely memories of our holidays!
So, if you only do one educational thing this summer, make it building a scrapbook. Happy sticking!
MAKING A SCRAPBOOK OF YOUR SUMMER
What you’ll need
What to do
A few times a week (more if they want to) get your child to do a page in their scrapbook documenting what they’ve got up to. The pages don’t only have to be about their day. They could practise a skill or be creative.
We used to collect items from places we visited, such as tickets, wrappers, leaflets, postcards, leaves, lolly sticks, basically anything we could find or wanted to take home. We’d stick these in and write and draw pictures around them. A popular favourite was making leaf bugs. We’d collect leaves, stick them in the book, and make bugs to lie on them! We gave the bugs ridiculous names (great phonics practice) or used them for fun maths reinforcement.
Here are a few ideas for your scrapbook to make sure you cover the necessary educational skills. I would stick to one power at a time and practise it a few times – overloading tends to end in disaster!