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Should kids be forced to study during summer break? Educator's advice

Should kids be forced to study during summer break? Educator's advice RBC-Ukraine collage
Author: Maria Kholina

Summer holidays should be a time dedicated to relaxation, especially considering that in today's world, children have limited leisure and free time to unwind. However, many parents believe that children need to "study, study, and study some more" even during their rightful breaks.

Whether children should have structured learning during holidays was discussed by Anzhelika Tsymbalaru, scientific director of the educational project The World Awaits the Winged Ones, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, and author of textbooks and manuals for primary education in general secondary education institutions, in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

Should children have structured learning during holidays?

Education, the educator emphasizes, is hard work.

"Scientists consider the workload during education to be as strenuous as the labor of a miner. That's why holidays should last not 24 days, but at least 30 calendar days during the school year (from September to May), plus three summer months. This amount of time is necessary for children to fully recover from educational stress," she says.

The fact is, that overexertion during school age can lead to numerous chronic diseases, including mental disorders.

On the other hand, well-organized rest for children not only contributes to their health but also enhances their learning capabilities and cognitive interests.

Continuing academic activities in certain subjects during holidays (with parents, tutors, or otherwise) usually leads to the opposite results.

"Adults can better understand this by imagining being asked to continue their work during vacation, just not at their workplace but at home. I don't think anyone would enjoy that," Tsymbalaru says.

However, this does not mean that during holidays, children should only sleep, eat, and spend all their free time in front of the computer or TV.

According to the educator, holidays are a time for children to engage in their favorite activities that bring them joy.

What should children do during holidays?

First of all, Tsymbalaru emphasizes creativity.

  • Organize family exhibitions or galleries of the child's work.
  • Purchase or find coloring books and various craft schemes online and print them up.
  • Encourage your child to attend one or two clubs of their choice (no more).
  • Host a book night at home every night with interesting children's books.
  • Don't forget about active games.

"Teaching children to spend their free time interestingly and beneficially requires guidance, not just in words but by example. This way, a healthy, happy child will eagerly look forward to September 1, dive into the learning process with renewed energy, and delight both themselves and their parents with their achievements," the educator concludes.