Now that all Primary 6 children are done with the Primary School Leaving Examination, it’s a milestone to celebrate!
After the exams, schools will switch into recreation mode for their P6 students. And with all exam worries out of the way, we’re sure many parents will be happy to let their kids dive into screens without strict time limits.
However, there’s much more to life besides video games and TV binges. To help your child make the most of this break, you can introduce them to new hobbies, encourage outdoor adventures, and perhaps even rediscover the simple joys of board games, books, and crafts.
It’s a golden opportunity to learn and create memories beyond the digital world, but it does take some planning! Here’s how you can start.
Top Tip: Think Like a Life Coach
How can you help your 12-year-old to plan for a three-month break from studies?
Although you may not be a life coach yourself, you can adopt a coaching approach to walk your child through the planning process. The goal is to guide them into self-reflection, and help them identify what they genuinely want to experience or achieve during this time.
Here are 10 coaching-style questions that you can use:
- Visioning: “If you could imagine the perfect day during your break, what would it look like from start to finish?”
- Interest Exploration: “What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn or try, but didn’t have the time for?”
- Self-awareness: “What are three things that make you really happy or excited when you think about doing them?”
- Skill Building: “Are there any skills or hobbies you’d like to get better at during this break?”
- Health & Wellness: “How do you see yourself staying active and healthy over these three months?”
- Social Needs: “Who are some friends or family members you’d like to spend more time with? What activities can you imagine doing with them?”
- Reflection: “What was something you wished you had more time for during the last nine months?”
- Giving Back: “Is there a way you’d like to help out at home or in the community during your break?”
- Personal Growth: “What’s one challenge you’d like to set for yourself to achieve by the end of these three months?”
- Planning: “How do you think we can create a balance between screen time and doing some of the offline activities you’re excited about?”
Put Your Child’s Plan into Action
After chatting with your child about their break plans, it’s time to turn those ideas into reality. Here’s how to do it.
- Summarise and Validate: Repeat your child’s answers in your own words — this reinforces that you’ve listened to their needs.
- Organise the Ideas: Together, work on categorising your child’s responses into a list, with headers such as “Activities with Friends,” “Personal Growth Tasks,” or “Community Projects.”
- Prioritise the List: If the list is long, ask your child to identify which items or activities matter most to them.
- Set Realistic Goals: Discuss the feasibility of each activity. For instance, if your child wants to master a new instrument, remind your child that three months might lead to basic proficiency, but not mastery. If your child has the interest, they can continue with the activity after the break.
- Create a Tentative Schedule: Use a calendar and start plotting activities. You can also use a free productivity app such as Notion.
- Identify Resources: For each activity or goal, determine what resources might be needed, such as books, materials, or even mentors and teachers.
- Encourage Flexibility: Remind your child that plans can change, and that it’s okay to adjust plans based on mood, weather, or unexpected events.
- Do Regular Checks: Set aside time to review these plans on a weekly basis. During these check-in sessions, ask your child to reflect on what they’re enjoying most, and if there’s anything they would like to change or add.
Where to Get Outdoor Activity Ideas
While it may be tempting to enrol your child in a series of post-PSLE enrichment camps or workshops, it’s definitely not the most affordable option. What’s more, it can be hard to tell if some of these enrichment providers are truly delivering value.
For parents who prefer a DIY approach, you can comb through local activity portals to look for sports, arts, and cultural events to engage your child. As the final school term will run till November 17, you can start by filling up your weekend calendar for now.
Here are some websites with updated listings all year around.
Where to Get Indoor Activity Ideas
Is your child more of a homebody? That’s perfectly fine — many of us are!
For the child who prefers to spend time at home, you could think of solo or family projects that are not only fun, but also teach valuable life skills. Here are some ideas:
- Start a Small Business: Set up a print-on-demand store, featuring self-designed printed mugs or t-shirts, hosted on an e-commerce website such as Etsy. There are many YouTube videos and short courses to teach you how to do this.
- Cook Together: Launch a “Family Recipe of the Week” where your child researches, plans, and prepares a meal. Document the process, in order to create a family cookbook by the end of the break.
- Home Gardening: Start a mini vegetable or herb garden, either within your home or at your nearest community garden. Your child can learn about plant care, and it’s a gratifying experience when they get to eat what they’ve grown.
- DIY Home Improvement: Identify a space in the home that needs sprucing up, such as a wall that could use some artistic flair, or a room that needs reorganisation. Let your child take charge of redesigning the space.
- Documentary Making: Encourage your child to create a documentary on a topic that they’re passionate about. It could be about family history, a hobby, or even the wildlife at your nearest park. They can research the best apps for filming, editing, and showcasing their work.
If your child is an avid learner, give them a budget to choose online courses or video subscriptions for learning. Below are some learning portals that you and your child can browse.
Want more post-PSLE ideas? Find out what other parents have planned for their children — join the PSLE 2023 conversation on the KiasuParents forum!