Children are expected to learn and retain a lot of information and, of course, there will be a certain amount which they just can not remember. However, when it comes to school holidays, especially the long summer holidays, they may not be using the information they have learnt, meaning that they could simply forget information or appear to fail to improve skills when they return to school. This does not have to be the case.

Children are capable of learning outside the classroom (some, in fact, find this easier and more enjoyable). Parents can ask teachers for homework which may promote learning and understanding or might just be some things that the child has learned which will just keep them refreshed. Also, there are so many learning opportunities, parents can take children to new places, even just going for a walk can be a learning experience. Of course, much depends on the age of the child but teaching them new things or asking them questions about what they have seen are all good.

A child who is interested in something is willing to learn more about it so, knowing what your children enjoy is important. It is also important to remember that the child can learn so much when we might not even realise. For example, a child who enjoys trains might sit at a train station and watch them go by but they can look around and expend their knowledge which, not only expands their knowledge of trains but also their vocabulary and their love of learning.

Remember to ask the child questions as well as answering theirs. If ever you do not know an answer to a question, don’t just tell them you don’t know. Tell them you’re not sure, then ask them for their opinion and tell them where they can find the answer they need. They will probably ask a lot of other questions once they have found the answer but you will know that they are learning.

Perhaps the child has done a project at school in which they are interested. If this is the case then find out more about it, give them the opportunity to talk about it and, if possible, to write about it. Ask them what they have learned and what else they would like to know. Then help them to find out.

There is no reason why any child should not be able to retain the information they have learned at school. All they really need is a little practice, a bit of a refresher now and then and someone to encourage them and answer their questions without being pushy. Remember, children usually learn best when they enjoy something and when they don’t realise they are learning. Anything they enjoy can be worked into activities to promote learning.