Making summer holiday fun

Most students would prefer to travel but the break from classrooms can also be an opportunity to learn and discover talents with fun-filled activities during summer holidays.       

Children play soccer and learn how to control the ball, calculate space, time, opposition, teammates and ultimately make decisions.

Soccer opens up endless possibilities

Summer is the perfect time to be active and engage the mind while playing fun games. Did you know that soccer is played by more than 265 million people worldwide, making it arguably the most popular sport? 

Children who play soccer develop motor skills, endurance, coordination, cognitive ability, strength and social lessons. Another benefit of soccer is that it requires players to overcome obstacles (sensory development and self-confidence) that can seem challenging and beyond their control. 

By spending time practicing technical tricks like juggling and moves/fakes one will encounter failure through the exploration of new skills with their feet (often used only for gross motor skills). Practicing these soccer skills repeatedly helps to increase the finer motor skills and the inevitable success of performing these skills thereby increases self confidence. Furthermore, soccer is a game of infinite possibilities and solutions. Children who play soccer need to control the ball, calculate space, time, opposition, teammates and ultimately make decisions. 

With so many factors to consider while playing soccer it is truly a thinking man’s game. So this summer, why not engage your mind and body and give soccer a try?

(Carl Edwards) 

Carl Edwards is director of soccer at Dulwich College Shanghai.

Summer activities prepare children for new school year

Children might groan at the thought of having to attend summer school. 

Just when they thought they had a long summer ahead and were escaping the demands and routines of school, their parents go and sign them up for more school.

Why?

Well the fact is that summer schools can be a great opportunity for children to learn, grow and also have lots of fun. 

Rather than experiencing the “summer learning loss” where children take a dip in their learning after the long summer break, at summer school children can keep their minds active and continue to develop and consolidate their learning.

They can build and practice their language skills in a nurturing and safe environment with skilled teachers who can personalize the program to meet the needs of each child.

The result is that instead of learning going backwards in the summer break, their learning is pushed forward, meaning children are ready to start the new school year well prepared, “mind ready” and ahead of the game.

But, this is summer school so teachers ensure that all the learning takes place through a balanced program of challenging and fun activities, and also giving the children time to have lots of fun through sports, arts and music. 

Children come together with a range of students — socializing and making new friends in a focused but relaxed environment. 

So instead of groaning and being resentful, children quickly realize that summer school is a great way to fill some of the long days of summer and that they can both learn and have fun.

BISS summer school will run from July 3 to 21 for children aged between 3 to 18. 

The program offers courses of one to three weeks in English or Mandarin. 

For more information please visit our website (www.bisspuxi.com).

(Niki Meehan)

Niki Meehan is vice principal at BISS Puxi.

Tips for making the most of holidays

As travel is often a big part of the summer holidays, often families will use this extended holiday time to visit prospective universities and colleges for their children. Students and parents often ask whether it is worth the time and effort to visit a university campus, a campus which in the international world of education may be continents away. 

The answer is: Yes! They absolutely should if it is at all possible.

While students can gather facts and information about a university community and envision with a best guess what life might be like on campus, there is no replacement for observing in person all the sights and sounds of a university environment.

In addition, students often say that visiting a campus makes them feel more at ease with leaving home and taking on the challenges ahead because they are able to do activities that feel surprisingly familiar and comfortable.

Hence, the beauty of the campus visit is that it allows students to see how they fit into in the daily life and rhythm of the school.  

Below is a list of 10 things students can do while on campus so that they can make the most of a visit.

The key is being proactive. The more students reach out to others and make connections, the more they will gain from the experience.

Please note that campus admissions offices can be very helpful in setting up many of these activities.

1. Take part in a group information session at the admissions office and go on a campus tour.

2. Find an academic department of desired study and meet a professor to learn more about a particular academic track.

3. Sit in on a course of interest if classes are in session. If classes are not in session, find a classroom and see what it looks like.

4. Approach a student on campus and ask him/her about his/her experiences at the university.

5. Find the first year dorms or living spaces, walk around the halls, and observe the common spaces.

6. Take the opportunity to have a meal in one of the dining halls.

7. Find a copy of the school newspaper or other publication and read about the latest events.

8. Spend the night on campus with a student host if possible.

9. Locate a quiet bench in a courtyard or public space to observe the surroundings and people watch. 

10. If there is a nearby neighborhood or town, walk up and down the streets and explore all it has to offer.

With these suggested tips in place, students can gain a clearer picture about the universities they are considering.

(Christopher Wilcox)

Christopher Wilcox is deputy principal and college counselor of WISS.


Summer camp is a time to experience getting messy

Summer is often filled with fun in the sun — swimming, sports, and picnics. For expatriates, summer is also a time of travel, transitions, and visiting family. 

So how do children play when their routines are different than usual? One of the great ways to promote fun and learning through play is to enroll in a summer camp program. Whether you choose a camp here in Shanghai or in your home country, children will have a semi-structured way to have fun in the sun, social interactions, and new rewarding experiences. This also helps support parents who may need to take care of business during the day.

Summer camp is a time for children to experience getting messy, baking cookies, and jumping into a pool. For some children these are regular pastimes, but for others this might be one of the best times of their young life. These joyful moments can be recreated at home, too. Invite a friend for a playdate and set up face paint and popsicles. Take your child to the zoo with a notebook and crayons and spend the afternoon drawing animals. Put on bathing suits on a rainy day, and go run around.

As we launch into the sun, heat, and lazy days of summer, do not forget to find the joy in each day. Make small adventures, and have silly moments. We are fortunate to find playful joy in the summers of childhood.

(Aleksa Moss)

Aleksa Moss is pre-kindergarten teacher at SCIS.


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