School Summer Holidays - To do homework or not?

Advice and Tips Type English Maths General Free Teaching Resources Key Stages Key Stage 1 Key Stage 2

School summer holidays.  Primary school children at home for nearly 6 weeks!  

Unless you are taking the family away for a week or two, you may be thinking about how to keep the kids entertained for all that time.  You can take the children out on day trips, to the cinema, soft play areas, playground but some of these can become quite costly.  It sometimes can feel like the best option is to let them just watch T.V or play on their games consoles or smartphones.  Then there is the kids education - you may be thinking 'but it's the holidays, we all need a break'.  This is definitely true! Kids need time out to relax and just be themselves. Pressure at school from the curriculum means they have to work hard, just to cover the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum and meet the required standards. 

Like adults, kids need time out to re-charge their batteries and un-wind. However, there is reason to suggest a little bit of homework after they have been given time to relax, won't do your children any harm.  

30 Minutes Will Help Your Children Learn More Efficiently

In fact research suggests 30 minutes, 3 - 4 times a week is a very effective way of helping children catch up, maintain or even excel in their academic abilities, especially if they are given one to one input.

Dip in Academic Ability

Many teachers notice a dip in the academic abilities of children after the summer holidays.  The Maths and English level children are at prior to the holidays, may not be the same at the end of the holidays. Many children are assessed again, when they enter their new year groups, to give their new teacher a good idea of where the children are in their learning after the long break.  There is often a noticeable difference in many areas including handwriting and reading.

Take a Break

However, everybody needs a break.  There is a lot of pressure on children at school these days, which can lead to stress in children.  Children need time to unwind and have a break without the pressure of homework hanging over them. Parents also need a break from telling children what to do all the time.  Going straight from school work to homework during the summer holidays can leave children and parents feeling un-refreshed.  A good break is needed to recharge everyone's batteries!  Children need time to just play or do things that they feel like doing, in their own time.  Holidays are also the ideal social time, where children get to play with each other outside of an education establishment.  It is a time to feed creativity and imagination.  Remember: it is ok to let children get bored sometimes, this is when they have to think f what to do themselves.  In turn it can lead to more imagination and creativity in finding something to do!

What are the benefits of doing some Maths or English holiday homework during the holidays?

  • 30 minutes, doing short activities, can help children catch up with their peers.
  • Activities can be focused on key skills you know your child needs to develop.
  • It will avoid children forgetting key skills they have learnt at school.  The long holiday has been known to do this!
  • It will keep children mentally alert.
  • A great opportunity to brush up on handwriting, spelling and mental math skills.
  • It will help set a routine, so that children don't spend the whole day watching T.V or playing computer games.
  • If possible, one to one time spent with children has a high impact on their learning.
  • Activities can be Maths or English based, but more open-ended or linked in with creative activities e.g. design a board game and write the rules or instructions to go with it.

School Holiday Homework Summary:

The summer holidays are there to be enjoyed.  Children need the time to rest, relax and do the things that they enjoy.  A lot of pressure is put on children in Primary Schools these days.  However, 6 weeks is a long time.  Many children will benefit from doing some Maths and English homework during the summer holidays.  It will help maintain the skills learnt at school and a great opportunity to focus on the areas they may need a bit more support with.

Why not take a look at our Downloadable Key Stage 1 & 2 Workbooks - Ideal for helping your child focus on a key area they are struggling with or could do with a little more practice.


Join Teach My Kids to gain access to a whole year's worth of Maths and English worksheets for as little as £24.


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