Rest, Relax & Regroup

The Importance of the School Holiday Period

After a busy year of classroom learning, tests and exams, homework, school socials, extra-curricular activities and sport, the end of the year school holiday is eagerly anticipated by most learners! It is a time to get together with their friends, sleep in, look forward to a possible family holiday and have lots of fun.

For some children, it does not take long before boredom sets in, and some may even start missing school. Many children function well with routine, and the school vacation is unstructured in most cases. The end of the year school vacation is felt to be too long by some people, not least of all parents who need to be at work and have to contend with the constant refrain of “I’m bored”. Some people believe that such a long break is bad for academic performance, especially for children who are not academically strong. If you feel that your child would benefit from some holiday tutoring, contact for some assistance.

However, there is a need for a few weeks break from school as more children than ever before are stressed out, anxious and even depressed. They need time away from the books and the homework to clear their minds and give their brains some downtime before the new school year when it all begins again!

There are some important elements to include in your child’s school vacation time to ensure that they are able to start the new school year energized and motivated to do well. These elements are: rest, relax and regroup.


This is integral for children who are tired out from a hectic school schedule of constant studying, sports and other activities. For the first few days of the school vacation, it is wise not to plan too many activities and let the child sleep in as much as possible. Limit too much stimulation and noisy activities for this period. A reasonable bedtime should still be followed, perhaps just a little later than normal.

Rest Recess


Once your children are well rested and have regained their energy, encourage them to enjoy their favourite activities, including being physically active. Sitting in front of the TV or PlayStation all day is unhealthy and leads to mental tiredness once again. Encourage them to “read for fun” instead of for school. Younger children can be encouraged to show off their reading skills to holiday visitors. Your children will certainly enjoy outings and time spent with friends. Encourage your children to pick up some new hobbies that interest them so they are still learning, but in a fun way!

Relax Recess


This phase involves putting the current year behind you and moving forward with renewed purpose. It is good to include this in the week or two before school resumes. Help your children reflect on what was good during the year (for example, being selected for the first soccer team), and what can be improved upon (for example, a drastic drop in maths marks). Teach them to set some simple goals to work towards in the new school year, and provide them with a nice planner or journal to use. Time management skills will be one of the most important life skills that your children will learn in order to cope with adult life, and the sooner they start learning (in an age-appropriate way), the better they will become at acquiring the skill. Children will still be relaxing and enjoying their vacation at this point in addition to “regrouping”.

Regroup recess

Returning to School

About a week before school resumes, encourage a return to normal routines so that the start of the school year is not a complete shock once again. Help them to pack their school bag and check their school uniform. This ensures that all the benefits of the school vacation is not lost on the first day back at school when you are unprepared and in a panic.

Another important thing that you can do to go into the new school year well-prepared and relaxed, is to book a tutor for the challenging subjects and get started with consistent lessons as soon as school starts.

A little planning of school vacation time will bring great benefits to your children, and be less stressful for you too!


Written by: Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Blog Writer