School Holidays: Time to Relax or Revise?

School Holidays: Time to Relax or Revise?

19 March 2019

Hey, school’s out until the 2nd of April! Pure joy, right?

School bags are shoved in the back of the cupboard and ahead lie days of freedom, play and sunshine…

Yep, end of term break is a time when particularly high school students clear their heads and relax a little, and maybe have time to stretch their brains in different ways. But times have changed, while this break is much-deserved, time away from day-to-day learning can have a detrimental impact too.

In fact, studies show children lose so much of what they’ve learnt over long holidays that in one case study in Malawi, the gains from a US-funding literacy programme were basically all wiped out over one holiday where the kids forgot everything they’ve learnt.

Okay, so no need to panic… this break is not nearly long enough for your child to forget everything they’ve learnt since the beginning of the school year… phew! But schooling has changed dramatically over the last decade and allowing a study routine to slip means that your child could be missing out on a huge opportunity to get ahead.

During the school holidays, students don’t have the onslaught of new content coming in from their teachers every day, which makes it the perfect time to organise notes and write summaries for each subject. It’s important to keep a sense of routine and rhythm going so that when exams creep up, it will be less stressful. Remember, the brain acts just like a muscle; it needs regular exercise to keep working at its best. Think about it, when you stop working out at the gym for a few weeks, it takes time to get back up there! So, by doing low level studying throughout the break, your teen will be first in their class to pick up where they left off.

For smaller kids, we all know how important routine is. Routine helps your child to feel safe and develop self-discipline. Getting back into the “learning” routine after a holiday can be very hard. So, yes, keep his/her reading, writing and/or maths time during the holidays. This will make the transition to the next school term so much smoother.

So, how much is enough? Well, by doing a little work often, kids will maintain the stamina and concentration they’ve built up during the term. Balance is the key: It is very important for students (young and older) to relax, unwind, and have some downtime during the break.

So, allow your child also to just “be”! To relax, to dream, and to have spells of time where there are no planned activities and no electronic devices in hand. Kids need to know that they can take time off without worrying themselves – it’s a holiday after all!

It’s essential to encourage your child to enjoy the outdoors and socialise with friends during the school holidays, however it is just as important to ensure the hard work they’ve put in over the first term isn’t lost because of major disruptions to their study routines.

Relaxation and revision during the holidays are equally important in raising happy, confident children.

Happy first-term break everyone!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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