Updated: Aug 12
Phew, we made it. It’s the (rainy) summer holidays! Time for students to relax, put school out of their minds and enjoy themselves with friends and family. Or is it?
Is there anything to be gained by continuing to study during the summer break? Could this be the best time for children to catch up or even get ahead in their studies, or would it be best for them to simply switch off and have a complete break?
As with many things in life, there’s no “one size fits all” answer. When planning how much (if any) of the summer holidays to dedicate to studying, the key to success will be to adopt a balanced approach and take account of each student’s individual needs and circumstances.
In today’s blog, we’ve put together some thoughts to help you come to a balanced and healthy decision that’s right for your child!
Making Up Lost Ground
Those who may benefit most from summer tuition are students who need to make up lost ground. If they’ve just received disappointing exam results or missed some of their schooling this year, then there really is no better time than now to set them up to succeed next year. Academic distractions and commitments should be fewer and setting aside a few hours each day to study will still leave them with a vast amount of time to relax and enjoy themselves. You’ll also reduce your own levels of stress and worry! Knowing that everyone is putting in the time and effort now will leave you all feeling that you’ve regained control.
Do you remember from your own school or university days how difficult it was to get back up to speed with subject knowledge and even note taking after the summer break? Things that were simple in July – quotations, formulae, key dates - eluded you in September!
So, even if your child’s exams went well this year – or you’re waiting nervously to hear about GCSEs or A Levels - you’ll certainly help them to minimise brain fog at the beginning of the next academic year by keeping them moderately engaged with their studies. Perhaps by reading a non-curriculum text or researching a non-essential topic which interests them, or which aligns with future career aspirations. It doesn’t need to be book-based study, either.
Go outdoors and plan some trips – visit exhibitions, museums or historical sites. If they have an interest in local history, why not research your hometown – what’s the relevance of your street names? Why not check out census information to find out who used to live in your house!
Don’t Leave It Too Late
If you’re a family who need or want to do some serious study in the holidays, though, our main advice would be not to leave it too late. You may think that the summer is endless but once we get towards the middle of August, shops, television and social media will be full of adverts reminding us of “back to school”. The last thing you’ll want is for your child to be cramming in their work and feeling burnt out and exhausted at the very time when they should be full of energy and enthusiasm for the new school year. And bear in mind that if you decide that the help of a private tutor will be beneficial, with the best will in the world it’ll take at least a few days to get you up and running.
Whatever the circumstances, we certainly wouldn’t advise that students spend all their summer holidays studying. Their brains and bodies need time to relax and assimilate all the learning from last year. They need time to try new activities, have new experiences, broaden their horizons and develop as young people. We all need time to switch off and let our minds wander - and to make exciting plans for the future!
Here at Titanium Tutors, we work with a fantastic team of tutors from undergraduates to Heads of Department and Exam Board Examiners. We can arrange both short and long-term tuition across the curriculum, so if you’re thinking that a private tutor might be the right solution for your child, just get in touch with our friendly team and we’ll be only too happy to talk through some options with you.
Blog Post Crafted by Sue
Sue co-manages our Admin Team, and has a strong school teaching background.
Sue graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Italian and Latin from the University of Hull and subsequently completed an MA in Language Teaching while teaching at Westholme Upper School in Lancashire (where she also set up the Italian Department). As well as her passion for languages and ancient history, Sue loves discovering new countries and cultures. She completed the London Marathon in 2012 and keeps intending to lace up her running shoes again!