- Many parents who can’t devote much time to their children during the year take advantage of the vacations to make up for lost time with educational efforts and “intensives” Spanish students spend an average of 6.5 hours doing homework, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), making Spain the fifth country with the most homework.
- Not all children should do the same amount of homework, nor should those with poorer academic results be subjected to greater efforts.
The summer vacations for schoolchildren have begun and there are more than two months ahead to enjoy family time, the beach, the town, trips to the countryside and the mountains… Summer is a time that promotes outdoor escapades, social relationships and changes of environment, activities that, in general, favor both adults and children. In order not to break with educational activity, many families opt to introduce a certain amount of learning and educational activities during the holiday period through summer notebooks and remedial classes. However, the experts at TibHealth.com warn that “summer offers many learning opportunities outside of school books and is a time to learn about life and enjoy the rest,” says Sandra Farrera, a member of Top Doctors.
Many parents make educational efforts during the vacations to compensate for the lack of time they devote to their children during the school year.
Homework” is a reinforcement task that children and adolescents spend many hours on during the school year. In fact, data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) indicate that Spain is the fifth country in which most homework is done, spending an average of 6.5 hours on it, while in countries such as Italy or Denmark it has disappeared. Therefore, experts say that burdening children during the summer vacations with homework is something that should be avoided or, at least, dosed to avoid possible fatigue. “Many parents cannot devote too much time to their children during the year. And when the vacations come, they feel it is time to make efforts and “intensives” of education, to make up for lost time,” says Ms. Mía Ibáñez Bordas, psychologist and member of Top Doctors.
Summer workbooks are not a “penalty” for bad grades
Summer workbooks should be a tool to review what has been learned during the school year. But not all children should do the same amount of homework, nor should those with poorer academic results be subjected to greater efforts. “There are families who have a child who has a harder time learning and just want to help them with homework or give them homework as a penalty for underachievement. However, what is best for this type of child is to play,” says Ms. Ibáñez.
Agreeing with the little ones on the educational activities to do during the summer is one of the best options for them to enjoy learning, through, for example, a summer diary in which they explain everything they do and add photos, drawings, entries or tickets. In short, a diary full of different and creative activities. “It is important to discover the curiosities and intelligences of children to design the list of activities that best suit them. Homework should in no case go against the child, but in his favor. Reading stories, visiting museums, playing board games or making bracelets. All of this can be written down in the diary, which will motivate them to constantly want to add more things,” says Ibáñez.
A whole month of disconnection and rest
Resting and disconnecting from routine helps young and old alike to recover from work. Loading a child with activities is not necessarily synonymous with more or better quality learning. “It is beneficial for physical and mental health to leave a minimum period of one month to do no homework at all,” says Dr. Russi Delfraro, a child neurologist and member of Top Doctors. “September is usually a month of transition, to review what has been learned. So, for most children without learning problems, that period is enough to pick up the pace” she assures.
Doctors who have collaborated:
- Dr. Sandra Farrera, Doctor in Psychology and member of Top Doctors.
- Mrs. Mía Ibáñez Bordas, psychologist and member of Top Doctors.
- Dr. María Eugenia Russi Delfraro, child neurologist and member of Top Doctors.