Best Activity Book for the Summer

Summer means holiday and a lot of free time that we know perfectly how to enjoy and make the most of, but...what about our kids?

Many parents and teachers think that this time of the year should be employed by our little ones for reviewing, reinforcing, or at least maintaining a minimum level of fluency and knowledge of everything they've been studying during the school year. Furthermore, this 2020 has seen half of the school population at home dealing with online classes for the lockdown, and, perhaps many of you have this feeling that not enough effort has been put into studying and learning. It is then possible that your first reaction is to look for, apparently, simple grammar tasks and download them from the internet just to realize that our sons and daughters, especially those attending the first grades of primary school, are incapable of doing any of that. 

And the first feeling is... Panic. You think that your kids don't know any English and you don’t know how to help them or at least it looks like that what you’re trying is not working at all (?!?!?!?).

High Five 3! - MacMillan - Sample pages.

Well, first of all, the grammar approach to learning languages, especially at young ages, is an old method no longer in use. 

Secondly, open any of the the Stuedent’s books that your children are using at school and observe it. What can you see? Pictures, songs, sometimes links to online resources, speaking exercises to refresh what they already know from previous years, and then… more pictures, dialogues, a bit of new grammar in context and more speaking exercises. 

Finally, take a look at the Activity book: you’ll notice that it is full of written tasks and projects where children can practice their writing skills, always, always, always after having previously used and developed their listening, speaking and reading skills with the Student’s book. 

Why so much preparation for writing? Because we know that any brain, for learning anything, needs to relate the new knowledge to the previous one and, all those listening, speaking and reading activities are needed in order to add the new information to the learner’s mental schemes in a significant and persistent way. Moreover, translation is not an aspect they work at school either, (as I mention in my book) so even if the exercise looks amazingly simple to you, they might not be able to make connections between their first language and English yet. 

At this point, you have already understood that your children do know English, it’s just the way they learn it that is different from what you were taught when you were their age, so, to them your grammar exercise doesn’t make any sense because it hasn’t any context from which a primary school child can deduct and create connections.

Does this mean that you must change into a schoolteacher? Well, not really. Just try to look for the right material or activity books so that your child can work out the meaning of what they’re doing by themselves, using all the resources that are already planned together with the activity.

I hope this post was useful, and of course if you have any question, sen me an email at misslucysteachingfun@gmail.com

Also, more information about how children learn English, but any second language really, is available in my book Mi hijo habla inglés, on Amazon and other ebook platforms. 

>> Quiero leer este post en español

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