Last week, Việt Nam News asked readers to share with us about your experiences to balance learning and entertainment for children during the summer time. The topic was raised after the Ðà Nẵng City’s Education and Training Department decided to allow local students from primary to high school to enjoy three months of summer break instead of two months and a half. It aims to let the children having more time to enjoy summer time. Most of readers welcome the idea. Here are some comments we received:
Quỳnh Nhung, Vietnamese-Czech, Prague
I really agreed with the move. Summer should be a time to relax. You should take this time to keep your kids from being bored and create memories they should have for a lifetime.
Here are several ideas for your summer bucket list with your kids: take them to visit a zoo or aquarium to learn about animals, such as lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, elephants and fish. Spending a day at the zoo and watching your kids’ eyes light up when they saw their favourite creatures.
Another interesting idea is planting a garden of vegetables. What way to learn the basics of science and how things grow better than planning your own garden. You can start with seeds or small plants. Talking about what plants need to be hardy: air, water, sunlight and nutrients. Vegetables are especially fun and educational to plant because your child will learn where food comes from and will get to eat the product.
You also should go fishing – wake up with the birds, pack your fishing poles and enjoy your kids’ happy moments when they connect with nature.
All the things would make an unforgettable summer time for your kids!
Hiền Anh, Vietnamese, Hà Nội
I never had a three-month summer break when I was a schoolgirl. Normally I finished my school years in May and spent June for summer activities such as go traveling with family or visit hometown. At that time, about 20 years ago, local youth union usually organised summer activities for kids like musical performance or morning exercise. I enjoyed my summer break and though that one-month break was okay. During the break, I missed my friends, school activities and teachers. Backing to school in July, just about three times a week, gave me chance to meet friends and review lessons.
Things are different now as children are seen to having to learn so much, not only during school year but also during summer break.Some people even say that today children do not have any break and do not have childhood because they have no time for any thing else but studying.
I applaud the decision of Ðà Nẵng City’s education sector about three-month summer break. If children can have more time to play, to attend outdoor activities, to explore the world outsides school and home, to learn things in addition to academic knowledge.
However, to meet the expectation, both community and families must join to create real summer break for children. I mean that who and how the activities will be organised. I do not want to see children with long summer vacation found themselves idle. Keeping eyes on children during the vacation is also a concern of busy working parents.
In my opinion, summer camps are good for children where they can meet new friends, learn new things, be more independent when being away from family.
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Hà Nội
Kids should learn how to swim to save their lives. Each year, kids jump in rivers and the ocean and die alone or in groups, or one after another trying to save the last person. It is painful!
For some reason, kids are left alone in the city to wander around. Children as young as four die on construction sites in a pool of water.
Last night I drove around Westlake in Hà N?i. There is dozens of cafes plus dozens of mats where you sit on the ground. Some had lanterns with a flashlight inside. There was an empty boat used to be a restaurant. It would make a perfect diving platform where city kids could learn how to swim.
At the end of the school year, students should be given a project portfolio that high school students could assemble. Inside, there is a scrapbook, a treasure map, and an obstacle course. During the summer, each student must follow the maze of activities. Write a book report and learn the Dewey decimal system at the library. Things like that. Plant a flower and a vegetable and take a photo each week. Oh yeah, and learn how to swim!
Hữu Huy, Vietnamese, HCM City
Spending more time to enjoy summer break is good but parent should balance between learning and entertainment for your children. It is important because student’s learning experiences often lose when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer.
On average, students lose approximately 2-3 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer months. At the beginning of each school year, teachers typically spend between 4-6 weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. Therefore, to avoid this, parents should help them. You had better looking for reading, math and science-based summer camps or clubs that your child can join. Especially reading, it is one of the most important skills your kids need. By reading, your children will gain many benefits, including thinking more logically and mastering language.
Summer time is the perfect time to assist your children filling gaps troubled them in the school year. Parents are also advised to talk with your current teacher about learning gaps. Perhaps your child is having difficulty with their vocabulary or reading comprehension, or with their math facts or telling time. There are lots of great exercise books and resources online for parents to use.
Let’s help your children having a rewarding and fun summer break! – VNS