More Helpful tips on what your child could be doing over the summer?

Getting to know more of London – or Berkshire

In my late teenage to early adulthood years, one of the things I used to do was to take the bus and walk instead of taking the tube. I lived in North London at the time and I had a student-type job on Oxford Street. At that time, Bus 73 used to go all the way to Hammersmith, via Oxford Street. I used to leave home very early and take the bus all the way to Hammersmith and then come back to Oxford Street on the bus. I did the same with the Bus 159, but when I lived in Brixton. Sitting at the front at the top of a London bus is such a wonderful way to explore this great city of ours! I must say that Bus 73 does not go to Hammersmith any more as it now stops at Victoria. London is so blessed with museums, large parks and art galleries and these are not all just for tourists alone. Visits to some London residences are also allowed and you should exploit them.

Greenwich Park – the beginning of time, centre of the universe and a hidden treasure!

London is also endowed with so many parks; from Regents Park to Hyde Park to Battersea Park and many others. The one that I think is a brilliant but largely undiscovered is Greenwich Park. With so much history and fun to have, the whole Greenwich area is a hidden treasure. After all, it has the Greenwich Meridian and it really is the centre of the universe!  Excel in Key Subjects has been so fortunate that one of our oldest centres, where we have been for the last nine years or so is at the magnificent Old Royal Navy College in Greenwich. We actually use a building, Queen Anne Court – opposite the Painted Hall – where the body of Lord Horatio Nelson lay in state. In case you have not yet done so, I would certainly advise you to explore Greenwich – including the park, the Maritime Museum and all the other wonderful places.

It’s not just London, country folks should explore too

Actually doing things around where you live does not apply to just London, When I lived in Sonning on Thames in Berkshire, I also took advantage to make the best of what the area has to offer. It was such fun cycling on my mountain bike along the Thames, with locks and other sceneries to see.  Sometimes I went in the Oxfordshire direction towards Henley and other times I went in the opposite direction towards Reading and beyond.

The reality is that we are all so busy and it is a shame that most people don’t know much beyond the places they go to all the time, and they can’t tell you the name of any of the roads that are only 300 metres away as they don’t venture beyond their normal day to day route of travelling. I must say that it may sound a little odd to suggest that a young person wanders about on buses but it does really depend on their age and other practical issues. I appreciate that these days, there are security and other related concerns and the dangers of being bullied, and gangs and so on. However, bus journeys can still be enjoyed as a family on a regular or occasional basis.

Reading a novel or comic

After I finished my O-levels, I did enjoy the freedom that I had as I waited for my exam results. I can’t remember if it was the boredom or something else that lead me to start reading at the time, I started reading comics and then graduated to novels. After I really got into reading, I was reading a book a day. I remember four years ago when a parent came to me at the start of the summer break. They had a bright son who was 15 at the time, he had just finished Y10 and would be going for the final year of his GCSE in September. There were two main concerns that they had about their son, whom I will call Wilson for the purpose of this article. Wilson was really good in all his subjects except for Chemistry and English. We spoke about what he could do to brush up his Chemistry over the summer and I recommended a couple of revision books and workbooks. As far as the English was concerned, they said he was not at all interested in doing it.  When I spoke to Wilson, he told me that he does not like reading books and I then questioned him on which books he does not like reading. He said to me all books. My next question to Wilson was to ask him how many books he has tried to read. He struggled to name two. I then said to him that he has not explored books enough and asked his parents to go to a bookshop with him and that on arrival, they should go to the coffee shop and just let Wilson browsed through the novels and any other books he liked. There was just one rule: he must choose two books.

When they came to see me just before the end of the summer, it was rather nice to see the smile on Wilson’s face and he was really proud to tell me that he had read four books over the summer and that he now enjoyed reading books.

Honestly speaking, I sometimes struggle to remember the name of some of the books that I have read, but what I do remember is how much I enjoyed opening the pages, and the smell of those books, the characters and the way reading has helped me to learn more about the society and the world around me.

Make the best of the summer

I must say that I am not suggesting that children and parents do the activities detailed above all summer. Since there are six or more weeks to kill and most of us only manage two or perhaps three weeks of holiday, it is always good to mix it with something a little different. If you ask me if the summer time is a good time to do it, my answer will be: Why not?

The summer can also provide an excellent opportunity for a young person to gain a good grasp on a particular subject in which they have been struggling, or just need to master one or two things. With the pressure of homework out of the way, studies can be approached in a more relaxed way and this can help to understand things better.  I would suggest that the student relax in at least the first one or two weeks of the holiday and try to take their minds off schoolwork. It can be refreshing when they go back to it after having had a break.

Please feel free to do or persuade your children to do any or all of the above. Whatever you do, please make sure you all try to stay away from electronics

such as computers and smartphones as much as possible. Do something with your hands, read a book, go walking or cycling or canoeing or whatever but not electronics please!

Your comments are always welcome and are much appreciated.

Please see below for a link to some of my recent blog articles or related blog to this one.

For more about Greenwich see a link to the too blogs below

Greenwich blog 1 : (by Peter Pegnall) : 

Greenwich blog 2 :

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