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It’s holiday…get children busy resourcefully

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 THE holiday period for school children is here again. This is usually observed within a period in July and September, spanning almost two months duration. It is the time when children are observed spinning round the houses and environs, manufacturing one mischief or the other.

Every nook and cranny of the house is turned upside down. Outside the house, some children turn tree climbers; inside the house, it is the same story-while one is climbing the fridge, the other is coming down. Shouting and noise pollution is the order of the day.

At this juncture, it becomes pertinent for parents to exercise tactical control and enforcement of certain orderliness coupled with productive engagement in the home since paramount on the minds of parents at this time are how to get their children busy and away from trouble.

A cursory look on how career parents tend to cope with their children during this period, inferred how most parents in this modern era have started investing all the time duration their wards spend built into the curriculum of the school systems.

Today’s parents are very comfortable starting their day preparing their children or wards for school and also getting themselves ready for work. The children or wards spend  long time in school that it sometimes coincides with when their parents return from work too.

This arrangement tends to give the parents some level of freedom to do their work and while safe-guiding the children in the confines of the school. When the children are back, the parents are back also to engage them in their assignments and other relevant home activities required to give them a balanced upbringing.

This is why the holiday period is a very exceptional period, a challenging and tasking period for parents to redesign and reprogram the activities of their wards to sychronise with the expectations of a well programmed training arrangement that will yield fruitful result in the life of their wards.

Now, the reason for this discourse is to harmonise the challenges and obscurities that come with the school break especially this long vacation period which is a period the children stay out of school for too long.

This is to say that parents are still expected to go to their work places as usual leaving the children in the house all alone to carry on with their lives.  That is the reason why parents with sound understanding of the prevailing challenges faced  by their children normally draw out a map of programmes or activities that will occupy the interest and attention of the children while they are at work.

My focal interest in this discourse is children in their formative age; that is children from nursery to basic 6. This is to make sure that the strategy used to handle this age will not be bungled when you want to include other age brackets.

As not every family is privileged to have nannies and minders, for those who have, the parents are to entrust most of the programmes fashioned for the children to be supervised by the nannies and minders. But the strong points are those who are not privileged to have these caregivers draw out program of activities which must include:

  Basic home assignment.

Practical academic exercises

Exciting holiday reading books such as story books, spiritual moral books, children’s poem books and exciting indoor games like scrabble, chess, ludo, WHAT, snake and ladder games, among other category of games that consume so much time that the children may not know how much time spent playing games.

Home chores: The idea is how to find a way for the children to relax but also learn some important skills during their break. This must not exceed the activities the children must do in the house and in the event of a well fortified compound with gate; the children might be required to do the sweeping of the compound inside and outside the house.

Children must be taught on how to dress their beddings, washing of plates, neatly place the dirty clothes in laundry baskets, wash simple and light clothes for those who are of age. Since the aim is engaging children in productive activities, parents must not make the mistake of boring them with too much house tasks.

The outdoor games are programmes to wait till parents are around to supervise and monitor the children to avoid dangerous incidents such as injuries and predators.

Security happens to be the watchword in this arrangement. You must let the children know that on no condition will they allow any intruder or visitor into the house without taking instruction from parents via phone calls.

That is to say that the telephone must be available in the house for the parents to effectively obtain information and updates on the happenings within and around the house and of course, to enquire on how they religiously carry out their assignments.

At this time, parents may do well to encourage their children to be security conscious and to contact them in the event of any perceived suspicious movement.

Speaking on the issue, Mrs Nonnie Ogbonna, a Civil Servant, opines that, “every holiday programme must start with a drawn time table that will provide appropriate time frame for every slated engagement for the day.

That is to say that every time table must contain all the required programmes designed to engage the children meaningfully within a given period of time mapped for the day’s activities”.

Another parent, Mr Jonekay Emejulu, a businessman, offered that, “the long vacation period should avail the children an enabling environment that will engage them in extracurricular activities to douse boredom gotten from too much academic activities from the last session and that is why it is a holiday; so that when the school finally reopens, they have rested their brain enough and  set for the new academic session”.

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