Updated: Jan 30
The holiday season is the perfect time to unwind, spend time with family and friends, and take a break from our daily hectic schedules. But, it’s still important to keep kids learning while on break from school to make sure they don't fall behind. Keeping your kids learning at home may seem overwhelming, but there are simple steps you can take to make sure your kids stay engaged during the holidays. Here are some tips to keep kids learning a little bit each day while they’re not in school.
Take on work consistently
You don’t have to do all your school work or lesson plans in one day, try to spread out your kids’ learning time over the length of the break. If you have a set time every day or every few days, the work you have planned will seem less overwhelming. Just doing a little bit of work on a consistent schedule will help your student stay on track.
Set goals for learning over break
While you don’t have to have your child do as much work as they would during a normal school week, you can set goals together for what you want to accomplish over the break. For example, you can have your child set a goal to read a certain amount of books, or do a certain amount of math problems. Having an end goal can help keep your kids motivated to do a little work each day to keep up with their learning.
Have a set time for your kids to do their work
Whether it is once a day, or once every few days, having a set time to work will give your kids a sense of structure over break. Making a schedule can also help keep you and your child accountable. Schedules let kids know what they can expect throughout their day, and they can come to expect that a certain hour of the day will be reserved for learning.
Find creative ways to incorporate learning into everyday activities
Learning does not always have to take the form of sitting down at a desk or a structured lesson plan. You can also find fun and interactive ways to incorporate learning into your holiday activities. For example, you can use baking holiday cookies as a way to learn about fractions and measurements. You can help your kids make ornaments, holiday decorations, or snowflakes to decorate your house. Activities like this will keep your child actively learning, while also giving you a fun activity to do together.
Create fun and friendly games to review material
One way to motivate kids to learn is by making it into a game. You can make a game out of something like a spelling or math test. You can do this by taking spelling lists from your child’s classes and set a goal to review a certain amount of words throughout the break. Then you can use these words to have your child construct sentences, this can help improve communication and vocabulary skills. Or, you can use old math worksheets to review, and give a small prize if your student gets a certain amount of problems correct. This is a great way to review what your child has learned throughout the school year so it is fresh in their memory when break ends.
Learn through music
If you have an instrument in your house that you always feel too busy to learn, school break could be the time to introduce your child to music lessons. Studies show that playing music uses almost every part of the brain and helps strengthen your memory. Playing an instrument can also help boost confidence. All of these skills translate to abilities that will help students succeed in other areas of school.
Read with your child
Reading aloud with your child increases language comprehension and helps with word
recognition. You should read to your child at a slightly higher level, to peak their curiosity about new words and expose them to more advanced sentence structures. Reading also exposes them to new vocabulary words that they aren’t normally familiar with.