Doing schoolwork during the summer holidays might seem like the last thing you’d want to do. But doing a bit of work during your holidays, whether it’s the summer or winter holiday, is especially important if you have linear exams that require you to remember several years of knowledge, or if you have completed studies at one level, e.g. GCSE, and are moving to a higher level like A-levels.
Ensuring that you have the basics remembered will save you a lot of time and stress when you go back to school. Read on for some easy and fun ways of keeping your knowledge fresh over the holidays.
1. Do a little bit at a time
We’re not suggesting that you whip out your heavy maths textbook every morning at the crack of dawn to keep your mind refreshed. Instead, you can do a little bit of work every day by looking over your notes or going through a group of flashcards.
You can use any free minutes that you may have in the car or on the bus between journeys to get some revision in. Just remember that a little a day goes a long way.
2. Make it fun
Nobody said that keeping your mind active and alert had to be boring, so instead of taking time out of your fun summer activities to get some revision in, why not incorporate it into your summer? Visit some of the historical sites that you have learnt about or watch a documentary on phenomena that you learnt about in science. You could visit museums, galleries or watch film enactments to really make your learning come to life. Not only will these methods give you an all rounded perspective on the topic but also make learning about it enjoyable.
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
– Joseph Addison
3. Read, read, read
Read some books. Think of it as exercise for your brain – just as sport stretches the muscles in your body, reading strengthens your brain and improves your memory. It doesn’t have to be related to your school work, find something that really interests you and will keep you turning the pages.
For more interesting facts on how books can help both your mind and your body, take a look at this infographic on the brain-boosting benefits of reading.
4. Get creative
Make some art – join an art class and have fun learning a new skill, or practice your drawing skills at home. Drawing and painting will help to exercise your motor skills and exercise your mind by making you consider how colours and objects work together, as well as making you think more about the world around you. Or start writing or taking photographs. Take a class in playing the guitar. Whatever you do, whether it’s learning something new or practising something you already enjoy, your mind will stay active and alert and you’ll find it easier to get back into studying when you’re in class again.
5. Save your notes
It is very tempting to throw your worksheets and revision notes up in the air or even get rid of them altogether at the end of the school year. But this material can be used as a revision aid to help you revise over the holidays.
You can stick revision materials around your house, your room and on your fridge so that you are forced to look at it throughout the day.
As you constantly see these images your brain will begin to internalise them and they will form an imprint on your mind helping you to remember it.
You will also begin to form visual associations with the revision material and your house.
For example, if you have a particular revision note on your fridge, you will form a photographic memory of that topic stuck on your fridge, so even if you forget what the topic was, the word and image of a fridge will jog your memory.
It is an easy and subconscious way of remembering things.
6. Teach others
Another easy and fun way to ensure you remember what you’ve learnt is to teach it to others. If you have just finished your GCSEs in biology but need to remember the knowledge for A-level biology, or even if you are moving from A-level to University, then teaching others is a fantastic way to retain your knowledge because as you teach you will identify gaps in your own knowledge and learn to fill them in. You can offer your services as a tutor to friends of family, at your local tuition centre or even online. It’s also a great way to make some cash for the rest of your summer activities and get some useful work experience in whilst helping others. It’s a win-win-win!
Keep yourself motivated and challenged to try new things and you can not only keep your brain active and alert but make it a summer to remember!