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Should Your Child Do School Work During The Holidays?

The decision to have your child do school work during the holidays should be based on many factors including the type of schooling your child is doing, their educational goals and their natural interests. 

Here are some questions to consider when deciding whether your child should do school work during the holidays:

What type of schooling is your child doing?

If your child is being homeschooled, then you probably don’t follow the regular school calendar anyway. So doing school work during the “holidays” won’t really make much of a difference. If your child is in regular school, then the holidays could be a much-needed break for them (and you) and perhaps adding school work to it will feel like an unfair burden. 

Whether your child is homeschooled or in the regular school system, they should not abandon their routines during the holidays i.e. waking up early, exercising, eating well, etc. Just because it’s the holidays does not mean that all good habits go out the window. Consistent good habits lead to long term success. 

What are your children’s educational goals?

If your child is preparing for a major exam, then the holidays might be a good time to revise key concepts and sharpen their skills. But if this is not the case, then extra school work might not be necessary. I also think it’s important for you to know that even if your child didn’t get stellar grades in their end of term tests, extra lessons might not be the answer. 

I know that even though it’s the holidays, you still want your children to learn. It is very important for parents/guardians to appreciate that learning is not limited to school work nor does it have to be structured. Children learn a lot from unstructured, adult-free play. Play enhances the quality of our children’s lives - promoting mental and physical well-being.

Maybe during this time, you want to help your children develop certain character traits and skills that are not related to academics. For example, you may want to use the holidays as an opportunity for your children to learn about responsibility and managing money, maybe it would best serve them to get a holiday job.

What are your child’s natural interests?

Many times, parents try to fill up their children’s schedules with activities that they think their children should/want to do. Sadly, children aren’t involved in choosing how they want to spend their own time. I’m not saying that you should not provide guidance. But I believe that you should give your children choices and allow them to follow their natural curiosity within reason. For example, instead of just signing your child up for dance, you can let them choose among dance, swimming and some other type of physical activity. Any of these will teach them useful skills and help them get their physical activity in!

Involve your child in decisions about how they will spend their time. Maybe he/she might want to go to some sort of camp. They might even choose to do lessons. But, you should listen to your child and try to understand their points of views.   

Education is not a one-size fits all. You need to cater your child's education to suit his/her unique learning needs and interests. This is the only way to create the opportunities that bring out the absolute best in your children during school time and holidays. Education is also not only about academics. Your child’s total development should be your top priority. We must take a holistic approach to our children’s education. This is the only way that we will equip them with the skills that they need to function in life in the real world.

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