School’s out, children are free, and parents are tearing their hair out about how to keep their young’uns’ brains engaged over the long summer holidays.
But never fear! We have some ideas for you…
It’s hard to overstate the importance of reading to help develop a child’s writing, vocabulary, imagination and even maths/reasoning skills (seriously). Hopefully, they’ll already be in the habit of reading regularly during term time, and the summer offers even more free time – so more time to read! It can be a struggle, so you can have a look at our interview with children’s author Ross Montgomery, on how you can encourage children to read more.
You can use your local library as a resource, or check out some brilliant websites that suggest which books might appeal to different kids of different ages. For starters, here’s Book Trust’s 100 best children’s books.
It sounds obvious, but even half an hour’s academic work a day, or every other day, can be enough to keep young minds from totally switching off and forgetting half of what they’ve learnt over the year. You can’t necessarily expect a child to do this of their own accord, so all the better if you can sit with them and do it. Even better, encourage them to work with a friend, or offer rewards for completed work (because there isn’t a child out there who can’t be effectively bribed).
You can get loads of resources from Galore Park, who have books for everything from 7+ to A-Level practice, for every exam board. Likewise, there’s a whole load of resources available online (like , who have endless primary resources), from free past papers to monthly subscriptions and websites offering education quizzes. Speaking of which…
Playing around on a computer or tablet doesn’t have to mean you’re not being productive. There are tons of great education apps out there (some free, some not), that include games, quizzes and practice questions. Sometimes, you can even trick a child into working when they don’t realise it!
You can check out Minerva’s pick for some of the best education apps out there. Beyond these, the good people over at Educational Appstore, Digital Trends and Parents.com have produced some more comprehensive lists of great educational apps for your child, whatever age, subject or level they’re at.
4. Me Club
Minerva is running our annual summer school for kids age 7-11, over the whole summer holidays, and we still have a few places left! Mornings are spent doing either 7+ or 11+ classes with our expert tutors, learning in a fun and engaging manner, while we now also offer coding classes as an alternative. And there’s even a sibling discount available! Check out our Me Club page for more details about booking, or our blog about why Me Club is London’s best holiday school experience.
There are some amazing games out there that can help develop a child’s skills. Word games such as Scrabble and Bananagrams can be great fun (while bringing out the competitive streak in every child…and adult), simultaneously helping to develop vocabulary and verbal reasoning skills. Sum Fun does the same but for maths, using tiles to make connecting and intersecting sums, and is great for mental arithmetic and quick thinking. Story cubes are also brilliant for creative thinking, and can help adults and children alike come up with weird and wonderful tales
Finally, a bit of tutoring over the summer never hurt anyone (especially for those parents who find that, however hard they try, their child simply refuses to do work with them). This can be especially useful towards the end of the holidays, gearing up for the return to school, if you’re concerned the kids haven’t quite done enough work over summer. Minerva’s expert tutors cover every subject for any student, from age five upwards. They are available for one-to-one home visits, small group sessions, online tutoring and even international jobs. So feel free to get in touch!
From everyone at Minerva, we hope you have a lovely (and productive) summer!
If you would like a tutor over summer, for the coming academic year, or would like to enquire about Me Club places, you can call the Temple of Minerva on 0208 819 3276, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
By David Bard
David is a Minerva Pro Tutor who specialises in humanities subjects at A Level and is a trained expert in the 7 + and 11 + exams. Outside of tutoring, David writes blogs about everything that’s trending in education.