Planning for the holidays

It’s coming to that time of the year again when students will put down their pens, bags, and uniforms, and look forward to the end-of-year break that comes with it.

Thousands of students will roll back their sleeves and kick off their shoes at the end of the week.

You can sense there is great anticipation in the air.

We are near the end of a long year and heading towards the beginning of the eight weeks school holidays.

Surely many students will eagerly look forward to spending time out of the classrooms. Many will be leaving school with mixed emotions as well. There is excitement in the air as well as a touch of sadness.

From those in kindergarten, to those in high school, there will be many reasons to celebrate. There will also be many reasons to leave with sadness as children anticipate a move up in grades in the new school year.

Then there are those who will be leaving high school to enter tertiary education or perhaps join the work-force.

School days are important for many reasons. They help us set a base for our personal development and prepare students for adulthood.

Friendships that are developed in school can sometimes last a lifetime.

Many students will eventually go their own separate ways as they grow up and leave school, and develop new friendships as their lives take a different turn.

As we head towards the school holidays, we should remind ourselves about the importance of planning activities for our children before they return to classes next year.

This would be a good time to teach children to swim, take up music classes perhaps, learn self-defence or even a new language.

They could join a sports club, or learn ballet or become members of a library maybe. The point is, the advent of the digital age has brought with it many avenues for children to occupy themselves.

Social network sites, smart phones and tablets can have a massive influence on how children spend their holidays now.

Shouldn’t we nurture in our charges a yearning for activity outside the confines of internet cafes?

Now that we are inside the annual cyclone season, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to create some awareness about basic safety issues and likely evacuation plans.

Wouldn’t it be good to nurture an avid reader with a quizzical mind as a child perhaps?

How about making the effort to ensure our children are not just taking lazy holidays stuck inside their rooms or in internet cafes, but instead are part of an active holiday period discovering themselves and appreciating life in general.

Then there is the challenge for parents and guardians to be vigilant and proactively engaged in ensuring children are safe and happy, and ready for the new school year.

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