Reawaken Learning During Spring Break
March 7, 2011 ~
Spring break offers children a chance to revitalize their tired minds and provides families across the country the opportunity to reconnect and spend time together. Prolonged absences from school, however, can also create some setbacks for children who are behind in their grades or struggling with math and reading. Stay ahead of the game and use spring break as a time to refresh and sharpen skills that you, your child or his or her instructor have identified as essential to conquering the academic goals of the remaining school year.
Anticipate the Break To prepare for the time off from school this year, contact your child’s teacher and ask for a quick briefing on any subjects your son or daughter might need to focus on. Teachers are extremely busy the week before the break, so contact your child’s teacher at least two or three weeks in advance. If your child is struggling before vacation, it will be even harder when he or she returns. Ask your child’s teacher to give you specific exercises or assignments that your child can work on during the break and at home during the remainder of the year. Arming yourself with specific information can turn study time over spring break into a wealth of knowledge for your child. You don’t have to wait until the final report card to receive feedback or to start helping your child in areas that still need improvement.
Block Out Study Time School vacations are meant to be enjoyed, and it’s natural for children to want to spend all their time with fun and games. It’s also natural for parents to feel bad about introducing study during time away from the classroom. However, if you know that there are certain areas your child needs to focus on, blocking out time and managing your child’s expectations will ease the tension for you and your child. Every child has individual needs and responds to learning at different times. Try starting the day with a few mental exercises, and then your child can have the rest of the day to play, explore and enjoy the break. Being consistent will help make things easier too. On the first day off, establish an agreeable study schedule with your child and stick to it throughout the vacation. Starting off this way will minimize conflict during what’s supposed to be a fun time with family or friends. Reward Dedication Recognize that adding learning to spring break could be a challenge. Feel comfortable setting up a system of rewards to motivate your child and turn what he or she feels to be a burden into something fun and voluntary. Creating a set of small prizes your children can earn throughout time away from class will help reinforce that you have their best interests at heart and will show them that you understand that what they are doing is an exceptional act on their part to improve their grades.When children feel their hard work and sacrifices are appreciated, they are motivated to work harder and sacrifice even more. Praise inspires positive behavior. Reinforce the positive actions of your children throughout the vacation and watch them start to enjoy study time anytime, anywhere. Make Sure to Have Fun All work and no play made Jack a dull boy, and it also probably made him and his parents pretty darn miserable. Remember that even though there are still things to master in the classroom, spring break needs to be spring break. Come up with some memorable activities that you and your child can do, both together and individually. If you have had something in mind to treat yourself to, schedule it when your son or daughter is on a play date or arrange for an older family member to hold down the fort while you get some downtime. After you have given yourself some time, be sure to seed in some fun activities with your child. Doing this will illustrate how to mix responsibilities with pleasure.
A healthy balance of preparation, work and play will offer everyone a chance to revitalize and recharge while still keeping classroom skills sharp. When school resumes, you and your child will be ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead.