School breaks are designed for children to rest, spend time with their families and friends, and reset for the next academic semester. However, over the long vacation period, many young people actually miss out or ignore many of the skills and learnings they get to practice at school. What do we mean by this? Research suggests that for some children, the break in education can influence children to forget up to 30% of what they have learned during the year. This is primarily seen in core classes, such as Maths and English.
How Can We Prevent This?
Whilst most parents are battling to get their children off their phones, laptops, and iPads, there are many educational websites that can be used to keep children up-to-date with their learning during vacation. Screen time doesn't always have to involve social media and messaging - you and your child could agree they can have their device whenever they want, providing they devote a high majority of the time to looking at educational resources. Here are our top site suggestions:
For Middle School Students - Aged 10-13
United States Mint - Instead of forcing your kids to do school maths, why not let them understand how money is made? Your children will be able to play games and learn how to start their very own coin collection. They’ll also be practicing their maths without realising it.
NASA Kid's Club - For science education, NASA Kid's Club offers the best out-of-the-world experience for children. Whilst everything on planet earth might appear a little boring, your kid can have the opportunity to explore outer space. Not only will they learn about the planets, space objects, and gravity, they will be able to become a virtual astronaut. Your child can take on their own space missions to understand what it is like to be in outer space.
National Geographic Kids - The thought of children watching the National Geographic channel is unimaginable, so why not send them to the website instead? This is a great choice for children to explore their greatest curiosities about nature. You never know, you might even learn a thing or two as well!
Weather Wiz Kids - Forget watching storm chasers, learn first-hand from a meteorologist how the weather works. If your child has burning questions, such as, how are rainbows formed, where does thunder come from, then this site can answer all of these! This platform can even teach them about keeping safe during hurricanes. Finally, they will find cool weather experiments they can try out at home.
NGAkids - If you have a burning artist in your household, then this website is a great way to learn more about art history. They can virtually explore world-renowned paintings and learn key drawing techniques to improve their art skills.
Kids Think Design - To bring out their creative side, send your child to Kids Think Design. They will be able to understand the importance of design in everyday life. From product, fashion, architecture, movies to animation. Your child will have countless opportunities to learn and improve their design skills.
Find You Blue - Created by the Smithsonian Museum, dive deep into the ocean and explore some of the world's most unusual water creatures. Younger children will be able to learn about the different animals, evolution, ecosystems. In addition, the site provides practical information on how to get involved with on-going conversation projects.
High School - Aged 14-17
Brainscape - As your child develops through school, they are encouraged to start thinking about their life beyond school. In addition, they need to learn how to get involved with extra activities, how to apply to college as well as sit exams. Brainscape has been designed to increase your child's pace of learning. The use of flashcards allows them to retain information quicker. Whether they are nervous about a science, maths, or history quiz, the site has all the tools. Explore the variety of subjects which can help your child to prepare for any test.
HowStuffWorks - At some point, every adult will have visited this site after they have googled a burning question. This site looks at topics beyond school and lets kids explore life's natural curiosities. Alternatively, if you have an adolescent who struggles to understand how their core learning is used in real life, this site can help. HowStuffWorks demonstrates how Pythagora's Theorem or speed, distance, and time are used in the real world. Finally, if your child is an avid podcast listener, this site recommends plenty of podcasts that offer an educational element.
Exploratorium - This is a laboratory offered to the general public to learn all things associated with science and human perceptions. The museum is located in San Francisco. However, their virtual platform allows you to explore key concepts, take quizzes and carry out experiments at home.
Theta Music Trainer - For adolescents learning musical instruments, this website can help them improve their music theory. From listening to key cords and notes, they can improve their listening skills. The website tailors to those of all levels so can be used by complete beginners or the more advanced.
Banzai - Is your child looking for practical life knowledge that they don't teach them in school? Well, Banzai can help teach your kids about finance. Although they might think financial responsibilities are years away, the fact is most people in their 20s wish they had classes about handling finances when they were younger. Hence, Banzai teaches young adults about financial problems and gives them tips on how to manage their money.
Innerbody - Great for aspiring doctors or biologists, this platform can teach your child more about how the human body works. The site incorporates interactive models to explain how the body system works coherently.
edX - This platform is a collaboration between MIT and Harvard. Great for those nearing college wanting to get a taste of the different courses available. This site offers learning experiences for all across a great range of subjects, completely free of charge.
The internet can be used as part-educational and part-entertainment. By combining both, you can empower your child to understand the importance of using the internet safely. Educational resources will also enable them to see that there is more to the internet than social media. Encouraging the use of educational resources can have very beneficial results. Explore our recommendations today to keep your child’s education alive during vacation.