4 Tips to Keep Learning Momentum Going Over the Holidays
The holidays are a favorite time of year for many. There’s a familiar cheer in the air that accompanies an eagerness to discover the contents of unopened gifts and to spend time with loved ones. However, school is not typically a part of all of that excitement and warmth. Many students experience a lengthy break from school around the holidays, but also may struggle with focus in the weeks beforehand.
We’re here to help! Here are four tips to help keep your child’s learning on track around the holidays.
1. Stick to a Consistent Learning Routine
Part of the reason learning momentum may suffer during the holiday break is the loss of routine. It’s easy to completely forget about school and academics during this time, which is a similar obstacle that many students face over summer break as well. A solution to this could be attempting to incorporate some form of a learning routine into their schedules daily. It can be as little as 10 minutes of journaling, to 30 minutes of critical thinking activities. In the Kumon Math and Reading Program, students typically dedicate 30 minutes per day to worksheets that enables them to master various concepts. That 30 minutes helps to incorporate a solid learning routine so that students can advance regardless of the time of year.
2. Challenge Your Child to Think Critically During Routine Activities
We all know the saying, “Practice makes perfect”. This especially rings true when attempting to master academic concepts. With that being said, it is understandable for your child to want a break from traditional schoolwork over the holidays. However, that doesn’t mean the learning momentum has to stop. Asking them questions that get them thinking during everyday activities is a great way to keep their brains working. Whether it’s asking your child to help you calculate the correct amount of change at the grocery store, or making a word game out of sites you see while driving, learning can occur without your child realizing it!
Reading is a fun way to continue the learning momentum. Encouraging your child to read for up to an hour per day around the holidays can help them take their mind off traditional schoolwork, while still exercising their brain. Reading boosts important learning skills such as vocabulary, comprehension skills, and the ability to focus. Giving your child the choice of the genre or type of text to read can help them feel in control of the activity. Setting these expectations with your child and taking a trip to the library or local bookstore can also help generate excitement on their end, and have them looking forward to that hour of their day.
4. Create Engaging Learning Opportunities
Learning is a very broad term and can happen when we least expect it. This is why consciously creating learning opportunities in your child’s typical day is extremely beneficial, especially over the holidays. This can be as simple as asking them to tell you a story at bedtime, which in turn exercises their imaginations, or asking them to complete a puzzle with you. Playing board games can help strengthen strategizing and general critical thinking skills, or watching a movie and making hypothesis about how the plot will play out. Writing thank you cards after the holidays is a great way to practice some reading and writing skills. It might not seem like it, but all of these simple activities will go a long way when the holidays have passed, and your child is back to their everyday routine.
It’s only natural for students’ focus to trend away from learning around the holidays. Instead of bracing for disruption and hoping they catch up in the new year, counter learning loss with the simple tips above. Your child has the potential to return feeling confident and ready to take on the second half of the school year.