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How much of my child’s summer should be spent on catch up?


 

The last year saw some of the biggest disruption to British education in our country’s history. With the pandemic forcing schools to close and home-learning becoming a new buzzword, both pupils and their parents had to quickly adapt to a new way of schooling.

Now things are beginning to return to normal, much has been said about how best to address the inevitable disruption the pandemic has had on education. While homeschooling is hopefully a thing of the past, the new focus seems to be on how pupils ‘catch up’ on missed learning. The government has pledged millions of pounds to schools for extra resources but what should parents be doing, if anything, to help their child ‘catch up.’ We’ve shared a few thoughts below…

  1. First, you need to consider whether your child has actually missed out on any essential learning. Although unusual, many schools worked hard to ensure they were providing effective home-learning during their closure. If you are concerned that your child is not where they should be academically, it’s always best to have a chat with their teacher before considering a plan of your own. They will be able to let you know what plans they have in place to ensure any gaps in knowledge will be filled.

  2. Don’t panic. The one thing about a year of lockdowns is that literally every child is in the same boat. You are not the only parent worrying about the impact of the pandemic on your child’s education and so take comfort in knowing there are millions of other people feeling the same way you are. Schools know that parents are worried and so will be prioritising this in their planning efforts.

  3. Consider what else your child has missed out on as a result of the pandemic. Of course education is a vital life tool, but as well as missing out on time in the classroom, your child has also lost valuable social time with friends. Any extra-curricular activities they did pre-Covid are likely to only just be starting up again and the reality is, after months of staying indoors, school work may not be their priority. As much as their education is important, it’s also key to look after their mental wellbeing. If you’d like them to spend some of their summer holiday studying, make sure it’s balanced with plenty of outdoor time and socialising with friends. Why not create a plan together specifying how many hours of learning they will do a week, and be sure to plan fun activities for them outside of the agreed learning time.

  4. Recognise your own exhaustion. Homeschooling was a learning curve for so many of us. For many parents, balancing being a teacher, employee and parent was a big ask. Add in the mental toll of being in a global pandemic, it’s ok if you’re counting down the days to the summer break as a chance to recharge. As well as looking after your child’s wellbeing, don’t forget to take care of yourself too.



  5. If you do decide you’d like to devote some time to catch-up activities at home, why not try a learning platform like BOFA. Our adaptive tests fit easily around busy family life, with each test taking about 15 minutes to complete. The best part about our unique 3-step process, Test - Teach - Retest is that it creates a personalised learning pathway for your child, only focussing on what they don’t know, so no time is wasted covering material they understand well. You’ll also be able to view personalised progress reports identifying where the knowledge gaps are for your child.

Whatever decision you make with regards to catch-up time over the holidays, know that you’ve made the best decision for you and your family. After such an unusual year, there’s no right or wrong way to move forward.

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