Don’t forget to keep the learning going through the holidays!

So the summer holidays are well and truly here and our children are ready for the break that’s for sure, but we shouldn’t assume that a whole summer away from school is necessarily a good thing!

We must not forget the brain, although actually an organ, behaves like a muscle and the more you use it the stronger the neural pathways within it get! However, we need to put this in the context of children and we are certainly not advocating 3-4 hours of sitting at a table every day!

Nonetheless, it is worth considering keeping some structured learning going through the summer, perhaps an educational word game or a number sorting game but the emphasis should be on having fun. A game of catch, for example, can have a significant impact on hand-eye co-ordination which in turn is important in handwriting (more about this next time).

Another activity to help develop handwriting skills is to scribble simple shapes on a large piece of paper, whiteboard or even in sand. The developmental path is to start with straight lines, move on to circles, loops and then rectangles. This visual motor integration activity will help your child to learn to perceive and copy shapes, numbers and letters correctly.

Depending on where your child is in the educational ladder will help you decide what the focus should be. Have a look around for more interesting ways to prepare your child for the new school year, different styles of books, games or activities can, and should, make learning fun for the children. You’ll find plenty of options in our site at

There will be many opportunities during the holidays to stimulate your child’s mind, whether you are away or staying at home. It is a great time of the year to get outdoors and for most that involves spending more time with the family. So enjoy the time but don’t miss the opportunity to get your child in great shape for the new term, which is only 7 weeks away!

Debbie Watthey – Director, Focus on Phonics Ltd

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