Learn new board games and jokes, go on picnics and watch fireworks
Fly a kite, look at the clouds and describe their shapes, and tell someone you love them looking right into their eyes are on the long homework list children at a primary school in Andalucía have been given.
Although children and teenagers get nearly three months off school in summer, very little of it involves full relaxation – daily homework from as young as four or five, extra-curricular remedial and reinforcement classes, practice exercises, set books to read and comment on, sums, language work, essays and more are set for the ‘holiday’, meaning they spend as much time on homework between mid-June and mid-September as they do the rest of the year.
And ‘Profe Manolo’ – or ‘Manolo the Teacher’ – has given his third-year primary school pupils a list which covers a whole side of A4.
Children are required to complete at least half the list – but as mum María Carmona Rubio writes on Facebook alongside an uploaded photograph of the instructions, “for the first time in all their years in school, children will enjoy their summer homework and will make sure they get top marks in everything. Thanks, Profe Manolo!”
María Carmona says the instructions are ‘the best homework ever that you can give a child for the summer’.
Conscious that academic work only makes up part of a child’s schooling and development and that other ways of learning, experiencing and discovering are equally important to personal growth and to a future as a well-rounded and healthy adult and employee, ‘Profe Manolo’ has set his kids tasks that involve fresh air, exercise, creativity, essential life skills, healthy eating, friend and family time, and general active enjoyment that will ensure they are refreshed and ready to bounce back into class in September.
Make homemade ice-cream or ice lollies and homemade lemonade – and drink it ‘nice and cold’; tend to a plant; look at the stars for a long time; watch some fireworks; give at least three hugs a day; read two books and a handful of comics; learn to cook something, with the help of an adult; go down a slide you’ve never gone down before; never throw litter on the ground, in the countryside or on the beach; collect shells on the beach; watch a film with your family; watch a sunrise; go to bed really late one night; walk for a decent distance without shoes; build a sandcastle; go for a bike ride or on roller-skates or a skateboard; learn a new board or card game; write and send a postcard, and jump in the swimming pool and try to splash as high as you can, are some of the fun jobs on the kids’ summer list.
‘Profe Manolo’ also invites his children, aged seven and eight, to eat a recently-picked fruit or vegetable and eat fruit kebabs; laugh until their cheeks ache; go for a picnic on the beach or in the countryside; make themselves a bracelet or necklace; visit a museum or exhibition; visit a library; write a story; learn three new jokes; play with water balloons; build a den or a hut; visit a new village, town or city; watch a sunset; sing, play, do sports and dance; enjoy spending time with friends and family; make at least two new friends; dress up in fancy dress, and do at least two different domestic chores.
And one of the tasks they will find hardest to do as adults, but which they should start practising this very summer, is the list entry of ‘love yourself, believe in yourself and look after yourself’.
‘Profe Manolo’ and his homework, which encourages children to be children and to get the very best out of childhood summers while they still can, has gone viral on social media – and is likely to inspire quite a number of adults to complete most of the ‘to-do’ list over the next three months, too.