Research has found that children can regress in reading and maths by up two months over the summer holidays. It’s known as the “summer slide”.
"Over 100 years of research has shown that students typically score lower on standardised tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer," she said.
Kids need a break from the pressures and routine of school over the holidays, but there are many ways you can help them retain their skills.
Here are some ways to slip in some learning over the summer holidays.
Surround yourself with books over the holidays. Libraries are a great place to start, and many of them have summer school holiday programs. Get your child their own library card so they can take ownership of borrowing the books they want.
If you have a reluctant reader, try to offer your child incentives for reading. They could have 30 minutes of iPad time after every 30 minutes of reading, or offer them their favourite treat.
Make and bake
Spend time cooking in the kitchen with your children, and get them to read out the recipe and measure all of the ingredients. You could even talk about the chemistry of baking.
Keep a scrapbook
Help your child make a scrapbook diary of their school holidays. They can write a journal entry each day, draw pictures and stick in things like ticket stubs, maps from the zoo, postcards from the art gallery, etc.
Engage in activities
There are loads of activities on offer for children throughout the holidays. Check your local council’s website for opportunities in your area, and visit websites such as Ellas List and North Shore Mums for the latest events and activities.
Sign up to all of your local galleries and museums for weekly updates on what’s happening throughout the holidays. Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, the Australian Museum, Art Gallery of NSW and the MCA all offer school holiday workshops, events and programs.
Play board games
Keep little minds busy with games like Scrabble, Monopoly and Snakes and Ladders. Let them read the rules and apply them to the game. Puzzles are another great way to give the brain a work-out.
Talk to your child’s teacher
Ask your child’s teacher for advice on reading lists, recommended websites and suggested activities.