And just like that, we enter the final week of term three. As far as term calendars go, I lost my bearings a long time ago as this year has been unconventional for all of us, but I do know that most South African schools will be off for a one week period soon.
The teachers and kids need the break and if we’re really honest, so do we. Albeit short, it can feel very long when you are also juggling working-from-home as a parent. Here are three tips for the holiday period.
Tip 1: Enjoy the downtime:
I think it’s important to take this time to let the children rest. They have been through many changes and navigated through many new complexities. My first tip is to try not to over-schedule activities – if you are not going away, factor in downtime at home, and don’t feel guilty about having to work because you’re not the only one.
Encourage them to:
- Spend time outdoors (swimming, walking, sports and free play). Fresh air, vitamin D from the sunshine and exercise are amazing for growing minds
- Try a new creative hobby (think Rock painting, planting seeds in the garden it or trying a new recipe) that will stimulate their brains and develop fine motor skills.
- Take on an additional chore around the house to help you with the load
- Read and finish a book or listen to a child-friendly podcast
- Start a recycling project or plant new seeds in the garden
Tip 2: Prepare ahead for exams:
Most schools will start exams and assessments in the beginning of term four. During the holidays, you can subtly start preparing your child ahead of time by talking about the plans you will put in place for exam preparation.
Preparing in advance will put everyone at ease and set up for success.
- Draw up a study timetable for the new term
- List subjects or topics of concern that may require additional revision – the sooner you address the anxieties the better.
- If possible and where realistic, set 1-2 hours aside for exam ‘revision’ by printing out fun quizzes online
Extra tip: Keep your bedtime routine the same throughout the mini break, as getting back to it may take much longer.
Tip 3: Find educational content to keep them busy
If your child is in the older grades, treat them to a new book and encourage quiet reading time in their favourite part of the house. For the younger ones, schedule a time with them where you will sit and read aloud to them.
If you have a local library, I would highly recommend that you try and explore it with your little ones for great new reads.
Something you might like to try:
My toddler has recently started swapping books with one of our friends. They have a short play date and exchange books they have enjoyed afterwards. It’s such a fun and inexpensive way to get your hands on new books.
Television and online content:
When it comes to tv shows, it can be challenging to mine through all the channels to try and find educational shows so we are dropping in to let you know that our DStv family have put together a new pop-up channel for the DStv’s School of Laughter.
“ZooMoo” is a collaboration between some of the world’s foremost wildlife filmmakers, early childhood educationalists and technology developers. The programme aims to engage and entertain kids with the wonders of animals. You can find it on DStv channel 314.
Your older kids will love the Da Vinci educational content that can be found online. It features crafts, scientific videos and Smart Quizzes which are all about embracing science and nature. Play them together as a fun family game on DStv SOL
Get a sneak peak here: How to make a scented candle from orange
Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with DStv. As usual, all opinions and content are my own.
Modern Zulu Mom