'Holiday Syndrome' is what I like to refer to the forgetfulness that befalls any language student over the holidays or prolonged period of time of not actively studying their language. This happened to me every year over GCSE and A level. Basically I would do very little towards actually remembering the Japanese I'd learnt over the year and come September I would have forgotten most of it. Luckily about 2/3 weeks back would put me back to where I was before school broke up. However, I seriously can't get away with it this year. In fact, this year I'm going to be ultra good and study the material ahead of where I'm supposed to be >8B (...one can aspire.)
Studying can be seriously tedious, which is probably why I don't want to do it in my holiday, no matter how much I love the Japanese language! So if your memory is like a sieve (like mine), here are some simple methods you can use to try and keep your vocabulary and grammar slipping into the recesses of your memory!
1. Keep exposing yourself to Japanese language reading material, no matter how irrelevant it may feel!! This could be websites about something your interested in e.g. Your favourite anime, Jpop artist, fashion whatever! Just keep yourself reading something your interested in, your more likely to actually want to read it. Alternatively, looking at the Japanese version of Wikipedia can be interesting!
2. Write essays/作文 about something your interested in. This can be really useful as your killing two birds with one stone. Your practising your language skills and at the same time learning to talk about something that you probably will want to have a conversation about at some point. Use as much kanji and vocabulary/grammar as you can, even if you have to look it up! (Also don't be afraid of putting in new words to do with the subject. Like I said it probably will be useful eventually.) The way I do this is I type it first so I can edit and correct things etc. I then write it out by hand. Typing may help remember readings, but won't help you remember how to actually write a kanji!! If possible get your teacher or a Japanese friend to check them for mistakes, that way you'll learn from it more.
3. Passively learn and exposure through listening. I did write a previous post on this. By watching anime or drama your exposing yourself to the language and will subconsciously listen and pick things up. Alternatively you can use this actively. (Again, see previous post.)
So to round this off, keep it interesting and do little things often. Try to put a proper study sessions in once or twice a week. Also, whenever the feeling takes you and you actually do want to study properly, EMBRACE IT!!
In the last 3 weeks or so of the holiday when I'm getting geared up to go back I'll probably cram (exam style) and learn some new stuff. I keep telling myself if I do it now, I'll forget it by the end of September...
I'm a terrible, terrible lazy student!!! Forgive me!