Best Ways for Students to Prepare for the Next Academic Year Through Online Learning
By Komal Mahajan
Summer holidays play a very important role in the academic cycle, both for students and for teachers. This vacation period is an opportunity for everyone to break the monotony that could set in due to continuous teaching-learning activities throughout the school year. Investing this time in summer programs could be used to support a range of goals for children and the development of various academic and non-academic areas of interest. Therefore, holidays are a time to relax, learn new skills, read new books, pursue hobbies, etc. It’s an opportunity to recharge. This is the intention of the summer holidays and other holidays scheduled in the school calendar of schools. In the current circumstances due to COVID-19 and the context explained above, the intention of the summer vacation must be realized not only in letter but also in spirit.
Here is a Shaping Summertime Experiences book; which provides insight into how summer experiences can affect children’s academic, health, social and emotional outcomes, and safety. It provides a special opportunity for families, schools, communities and other sectors to work together to provide programs and services that support the development of technical and social skills and advance learning as well as the promotion of modes healthy lifestyles among students. Now, to foster active summer learning, here are some great ideas that teachers could recommend to the parent community to embrace and make the most of this time:
- Offer recommendations on live, active learning experiences: A list of government and private park recommendations on recreation and other activities could be shared by teachers. The school should encourage parents by providing a list of exhibitions, events and concerts taking place in the city. These events could be incorporated into a calendar of summer learning activities. The live learning experience could also help build interest in extracurricular activities.
- Be an Active Citizen: Students who participate in community service activities not only learn new skills, but also boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. Activities like giving meals might help the child understand the concepts of hunger and food. Parents can encourage children to plan a day to donate food to roadside beggars or handicapped people in their locality. Another activity could include setting up a “blessings box” in front of their house, where they can place free food and essential hygiene items. Children can place a note on the donation box with a slogan like “Take a blessing when you need it. Leave a blessing when you can. Another idea is to donate your children’s old clothes and toys to a local children’s hospital. This might be the easiest thing to do with old clothes and toys. For more ideas, you can check out Amazing Ideas to Inspire Kids and Teens.
- Read about your world: The teacher can recommend websites/resources that can inspire students to learn more about world events. It would help kids explore the latest information across the globe through various platforms like NatGeo and Discovery Plus.
- Watch a Garden Grow: Watch a garden grow and develop your research, reading and writing skills with this helpful Kids Gardening website. This website has many ideas and resources for families and schools on gardening. The idea is to create opportunities for children to play, learn and grow through gardening, engaging their natural curiosity.
g) Participation in online activities: There are good interactive educational websites that parents and young children can explore together. like National Geographic Kids to watch nature videos, activities, games, stories, and more. Discovery Kids to watch videos about animals, space, pets, history, and more.
With the help of these ideas, the teacher community can provide meaningful learning experiences for students to ensure they have a successful and productive summer vacation experience.
The author is part of the Academics and Teacher Training Team, Schoolnet India.