Winter break is a time for students to relax and unwind, but it doesn’t have to mean all learning stops.
In this blog, we’re sharing eight simple ways families can make the holidays both memorable and educational.
1. Set realistic expectations for homework and studying.
Depending on your child’s teachers and class load, they may or may not have homework or projects to complete over winter break. If they do, it can be helpful to set aside a certain amount of time each week to work on assignments or even set some hard deadlines and post them on the refrigerator. It’s best not to wait until the Sunday before break ends to tackle a student’s school to-do list.
The same goes for students who have tests or college entrance exams after the break. Regular study time is important to keep students on track and to help them plan ahead for January and beyond.
Some students might need a little encouragement to study on their days away from school. Then are others, who might overdo it because they are stressed about upcoming exams, and might need reminders to take breaks and have fun.
2. Turn traditions into learning experiences to make the holidays memorable and educational.
Find some fun ways to incorporate learning with your family traditions. Your child can research the holidays you celebrate and discover new holiday traditions from around the world.
They can also spend the season researching their own family tree. This could be a fun conversation starter at family get-togethers or over Facetime with out-of-town grandparents or other relatives.
Turning on the TV can also turn into an educational experience. The holiday season is a great time to share some of your favorite holiday-themed movies with your family, which might include some classics that could invite a conversation about history or culture.
3. It’s a great time of year to learn about goal setting.
Helping students stay focused and motivated after winter break isn’t always easy. But goal setting can help keep them on track and make a huge difference in personal and academic outcomes.
The start of the new year is the perfect time to teach kids the importance of goal setting while helping them build skills like planning, organization, and time management.
You can get some tips in our upcoming free webinar, New Year, New Goals: Helping Students Plan, Persist, and Achieve Success in 2022.
Register here for the Zoom link or the replay.
4. Create a holiday reading list or fun reading challenge.
Is it cold outside? That’s a great reason to stay indoors and snuggle up with a good book. If your child is bored with the books at home, winter break might be a great time to head to your local library or to find a new novel on your tablet. Or perhaps Santa will deliver some new books to get your kids excited to read.
If your child needs some extra encouragement, you could sign them up for an online reading challenge or create your own challenge and reward system at home. Reading is an excellent way for students to entertain themselves, including at the airport or on long road trips to see relatives.
5. Turn any road trip into a learning journey.
Whether your family is driving to a different state for Christmas or just down the road for New Year’s, you keep your travel time entertaining. Younger kids might enjoy playing games like counting all the red or purple cars they see or looking for a specific letter on a license plate.
Parents can maximize their time on the road with older kids by playing 20 Questions or quizzing them on State Capitals as they drive around town. If you’re taking a road trip this winter break, it might be fun to schedule some stops at a museum or historic site to break up your trip.
6. Cooking can create holiday memories, math practice, and more.
Teaching your child to cook a holiday meal or bake some seasonal treats is a great way to bond, spark creativity, and help prevent winter learning loss in the process.
Younger children can practice reading recipes, measuring ingredients, and calculating how long something will take to cook.
Older kids can research new holiday recipes and learn some new cooking techniques in the kitchen (or on YouTube).
7. There are many reasons to write during winter break.
Many relatives and friends love receiving letters and handmade cards from kids. This can provide an excellent reason for your child to get in some handwriting practice and letter writing lessons during their holiday break.
If your child enjoys writing, they can also keep a journal of what they’re up to each day while away from class. Here are some winter writing prompts to help get their creative juices flowing.
8. Schedule a tutoring session or online class.
If you don’t want to serve as the homework police during the holidays, sometimes it’s best to bring in backup.
Scheduling a virtual tutoring session each week during winter break can help keep your student on track, help them prepare for upcoming tests, and plan ahead for big projects and the next quarter.
It can also help alleviate your family’s stress surrounding academics.
We can help keep the holidays memorable and educational for your child.
When families incorporate learning into a child’s winter break, the holiday season can become memorable and educational.
We get it though. It’s not always easy to keep up with academics this time of year. There’s only so much time in the day during an already very busy season.
Educational Connections is always here to help! Schedule a free consultation here and get your child matched with an academic coach who will help them keep up in class or excel academically in 2022.