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Get Ahead Kids® Feature Article
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 5, No. 5 - September/October 2013

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Teaching Your Kids During the Holidays

By Dr. Joan Brien

As parents, we are usually required to help our kids learn academically by supporting them when doing their homework. A large number of parents work either full-time or part-time, so time with their kids is precious and by the time they get home from work, prepare dinner and help their children with homework, there is not much time left for "extra-curricular" activities.

A number of parents organise their annual holidays to coincide with the school holidays in order to spend time with their children.

For this reason, school holidays can be the ideal time to get involved with the kids, doing lots of things that are not possible during school terms. Things like a trip to the lake or beach, fishing, camping, walking, movies, visits to museums and art galleries are only some of the myriad of things that can be done when time is available.

During these activities, parents can provide their children with education that can then supplement what they learn at school. These educational experiences add to the child's general knowledge, which is just as important as the academic knowledge that they gain at school.

At the beach, they can learn about what causes the ocean tides, look at the shellfish that live at different levels on the rocks, see what types of creatures live in the rockpools, look at the different types of seaweeds, look at the range of seabirds etc.

Camping provides the opportunity to learn about how to live without the "normal" everyday conveniences of a suburban home.

They may learn other ways to keep warm or stay cool other than turning on the air-conditioner, understand that living in a camping ground may require waiting for an available shower or toilet instead of these things being instantly available, learning ways of making friends with total strangers and investigating a new environment, which may include previously unknown plants and animals.

Even the joy of walking and discovering new things when on foot - we see more things while walking than when we are driving past in a vehicle.

This is in addition to the increased health benefits that come with regular exercise, which may not be easily achieved during term time.

Fishing can contribute to an increased knowledge of the range of fish that live in a particular area and how these are part of the "web of life". That is, each type of fish is both prey and predator and if one of these fish species were to die out, then those they prey on and those that prey on it, would both be affected.

They may learn about fish that are poisonous and those that are suitable for food.

Enjoy your time with the kids and you may find that as well as you educating them, they may actually educate you in ways that you never thought possible!

Checklist

  • Learning things to do at the beach
  • Survival skills to be learnt at camping
  • Fishing can be used to learn about the web of life

More Information

Dr. Joan Brien
Certified Irlen Diagnostician
Irlen Diagnostic Clinic
Suite 3/136 Nelson St.
Wallsend NSW 2287
P: 02 4955 6904
F: 02 4965 6894
joan@irlen.com.au
www.irlendyslexia.com


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