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Summer Study- How to Do it and Why

Beth Hodgkison 4

Why should kids study over the summer?

This is a fair question- and one that many don’t even think to ask. It’s assumed that, during the 6-8 weeks of summer holidays, kids should be left to their own devices. And while I won’t argue against the value of free time and play, I do think there’s a compelling argument for adding a little structure to their routine through a personalised summer study course.

It all depends on what you count as ‘studying’.

Summer study should be fun, delight-directed, and a joy to do every day. So we’re not definitely not talking vocab memorization and math drills (unless your kid’s into that sort of thing). Read on for some tips on weaving some natural learning into your kid’s summer break.

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Hello, Summer Holidays- Hello, Summer Study!
Hello, Summer Holidays- Hello, Summer Study!

Here’s my guide on how to build a summer study ‘curriculum’:

  1. Brainstorming

    Brainstorm with your child (that’s a point in itself- make sure you involve your kid throughout so that they feel excited and in control) about what they would like to do. What are their interests, hobbies, passions and talents? What activities and subjects would they like to explore? Encourage them to see this time as ‘time for myself’ rather than ‘time out of school’. It’s a stretch of weeks where they can do anything at all- simply staying conscious of that fact will reduce the instinct to slump into the ‘couch potato’ lifestyle. Here are some areas to explore:

    – Volunteering/community participation
    – Excercise/sports
    – Part time job (babysitting, retail, garden work, pet sitting, etc)
    – Reading
    – Online classes/community centre classes/clubs
    – Improving an area of academics (from most loved subject to least)
    – Life skills, chores, cooking, etc
    – Games for brain training, such as those focusing on language, thinking skills, coordination, time management. My favourites are Duolingo and Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training. There are even programmes out there that turn Minecraft into an educational journey, too!
    – Spiritual/religious activity. This can be yoga, meditation, church on Sundays, joining the choir, reading about world religions and much more.

  2. Planning

    Make a list or mind map of their ideas, leaving plenty of space on the page. Now, next to each idea, jot some thoughts about how to achieve it. Here are some examples:

    – Reading 20 books: Keep a reading log and use the local library. Create a Goodreads account for ideas.
    – Volunteering for charity: Approach local charity shops, animal rescue centres, and even the local council, or look online for local opportunities.
    – Going to a summer camp: Search online for camps relevant to your interests (eg. Science, outdoor experiences, music).
    – Learning to code: Look into age appropriate books, online courses, etc. and build your own program of study.
    – Becoming active in the local community: Research which clubs, classes etc are near you- scouts, church groups, martial arts, writing clubs and so on are usually available. If you can’t find the club you want, don’t discount the possibility of creating your own!

  3. Timetable

    Now select the best of your ideas and start a new piece of paper for drafting a timetable. Write all of the activities down and add how long each will take per day/per week. Move them around so that each day has a sensible amount of activities- leaving plenty of time for relaxing, friends and fun. Add in or remove activities as needed, until your child can look at the plan and be genuinely excited. Keep in mind that plans can and should change as needed- if the routine becomes a burden instead of a guide, change it or chuck it!

  4. Finalise

    Write out your plan so it looks neat and attractive, then stick it somewhere prominent. If it helps, add it all into your calendar- or even get your kid their own. Being able to manage their own time will be an invaluable skill as they grow.

  5. Finish

    Get excited- then get started!

I’m sure everyone has memories (or non-memories) of summers that flew by without consequence or personal growth. I know I do! Hopefully, this little guide will help you create fantastic and truly memorable summers for your child. I would love to see your results- leave a comment or picture below and we can see how everyone’s summer study compares!


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  1. Paul Hodgkinson Paul Hodgkinson

    Ok I admit that as your dad I may be a tad biased, but this is so good and yes I wish you could have written to my younger self too. Well done sweetheart x

    • Haha thank you, I really appreciate you reading this. Maybe you can pass it on to Vikki for when Isabelle is older!

  2. This looks so professional beth :0 it sound like what my teachers send out each summer!!!
    I really think Ed trail is going to take off 🙂
    PS. Love this font u chose :))

    • Hi Amy,
      Thank you! Has it given you any ideas? Or will our tutoring suffice? 😉 x

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