Even as a relatively new parent of only 5 years (I still count this as new people), Adam and I have often found ourselves straddling the rather fine line of being laid back parents and not pushy, allowing our children to develop at their own pace and at their own time, yet also encouraging to have a go at things and do their best, and helping them get the most out of their education.
We all want our children to do well, but especially at the tender age of 5, we would never want Freddie (or Sasha when she’s at school next year) to really feel like they’re learning or being pushed in any great way.
Both children break up from school/preschool within the next few days, and blimey, do they need the holidays now. Freddie in particular is really tired, and I know will benefit from several weeks of being able to switch off. BUT (and this is where the ‘but’ comes in), I’m always torn between letting them chill out totally for the whole of the holidays, and still keeping their little brains ticking a bit with continuing reading/doing some fun number exercises etc. I’ve read about ‘learning loss’ over the holidays, and why some teachers would prefer shorter summer breaks so as the children don’t forget a proportion of what they’ve learnt and have to start with it all over again come September.
In my opinion, great learning, especially for younger children should be made fun so as they don’t really know that they’re learning at all. Freddie has actually really enjoyed being tested on subjects he enjoys (ask him a question about train routes or the London underground and you have a child in his element), so I was interested to try out some fun KS1 quizzes by ‘Education Quizzes’ in a variety of topics to see if this would be something he’d enjoy doing over the summer (and not even realise he was keeping on brushing up on school work, natch).
He’s always been good with numbers as a toddler, can read well for his age, and has a budding interest in countries and the world in general, so thought the maths, English and Geography quizzes in particular would be right up his street.
The primary aim of Education Quizzes is to help children of all ages be successful at school, with quizzes in all subjects, from KS1, right through to GSCE. All the quizzes are written by teachers, and therefore they really GET what children need to learn, and also HOW they learn, which makes it very appealing.
The Subscription for Education Quizzes is £7.50 per month (and can be cancelled at any time), and having seen and reviewed the quizzes I believe them to be good value for money from a parental point of view, especially as something you can do within your home. We have a ‘learning centre’ that offers quizzes among other educational things down the road from us, and it works out much more expensive than this, per child, per session, plus you have to actually take your child there. With education quizzes you can leave your child to it (if you wish, although I found I learnt a fair bit myself actually going through the quizzes with Freddie!).
Here’s a bit more about the quizzes…
Education Quizzes are conscious that not every child can afford the monthly subscription (which comes to about £90 per year), which is a major reason for them to want to offer them to schools as well. In essence, a school can pay on behalf of the students and benefit from greatly reduced costs. Depending on the number of students at a school, it can work out as little as £2 per year per student- a tiny percentage of the £4,500+ that each school is paid for each
student each year.
Not too shabby at all!
So what did we think of the Key Stage 1 Education Quizzes (the level Freddie is going into at school come September)?
Well first up we tried the Geography section (there are a HUGE number of subjects on offer with quizzes, from English and DT to History, Science and RE). Freddie aced the ‘Going Shopping’ (all about your environment when out and about) and the Transport quiz, and did very, very well at ‘Seasons’, ‘Weather’, ‘Seas’, ‘Countries of the World’ and ‘Countries of Europe’. He has a world map on his bedroom wall, and was visibly pleased that he remembered so much from his map. I loved watching him grow in confidence after each quiz. If there was something he didn’t know or didn’t get right, we spent time discussing what the right answer was and why.
Next, we tried some of the Maths quizzes- Counting in 2s, 5s and 10s, Additions and Days of the Week- which got Freddie thinking a lot more. Luckily he loves numbers and Maths (definitely doesn’t get that from me!), so really enjoyed getting stuck in to counting, or working out what came next in the sequence.
In the English section we confirmed his knowledge of upper and lower case letters, and in the science section (one of my favourites, we’re going to doing a lot more of these quizzes!) he learnt about our bodies, baby animals and also caring for animals. Freddie discovered that an animal doesn’t want a dry bed for watching telly, but rather for keeping warm and dry (we SO need to get those kittens when we move house…).
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at how much he enjoyed the quizzes as he’s quite a ‘fact lover’ child, but can sometimes show reluctance to do his homework after school. With these quizzes, he really didn’t want to stop them, and I had to turn the laptop off so he could wind down and get ready for bed.
It was only after our quiz sessions that I realised we’d spent quality time talking to each other whilst he was learning (and didn’t realise it!) and it was fab.
We’re looking forward to continuing to make the most of our quiz sessions, and I’m persuading Adam that it would worth us signing up indefinitely.
Big thumbs up here and one happy boy!
*Thanks to Educations Quizzes for letting us review their site. I was compensated for this post, but all views are my own.