How to Keep Your Child’s Mind Sharp During a Holiday Break
The holiday season is upon us. It’s time for students to take a well-deserved break from school, enjoy the cooler weather of the winter months, and spend quality time with their loved ones. Unfortunately, even Thanksgiving Break, which is typically only a week off from school, can have a negative impact on your child’s academic achievement levels. In what’s known as winter learning loss or “winter slide,” students experience significant setbacks in their math and reading skills as a result of not engaging in any acts of meaningful learning during the break.
Thankfully, incorporating meaningful learning into your child’s Thanksgiving or Christmas break doesn’t mean sending them off to summer school or forcing them to spend each day practicing their multiplication tables. In this brief article, Lakeside Christian School, an affordable private elementary school in Clearwater, FL, goes over three methods parents can use to keep their child’s mind sharp over a holiday break.
Keep Them Reading
Keeping your child reading is by far the most important method on this list. It’s incredibly tempting for elementary students to spend their winter break glued to a screen somewhere in their home like a television, video game console, or tablet. One of the best ways to stimulate their brain and make sure that their reading skills continue to strengthen is to motivate them to continue reading throughout winter break. Below, we’ve compiled some easy tips to do just that:
- Take your child to pick out books at the local library
- Try a reading challenge like asking your child to read 20 minutes a day
- Find other books or series by an author or in a genre that your child already enjoys
- Pack a paperback or an audiobook for long road trips
- Set aside a time to read aloud to your child
Make Use of Online Educational Resources
Fortunately, if you find your child inevitably drawn to technology like a mobile phone or tablet, there are thousands of online educational resources available at the click of a button. A quick Google search reveals a whole host of great websites and applications that combine fun and games with valuable learning opportunities. To help you select the best option for your child, we’ve compiled a list of websites and apps below based on teaching value, reliability, and ability to engage students.
- PBS Kids: A one-stop-shop for educational videos and games covering an extensive array of topics provided by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
- Khan Academy Kids: A free, fun educational program for children ages two to seven that includes a variety of learning materials across math, language arts, and social-emotional learning.
- TIME for Kids: Since 1995, American news magazine TIME has published a weekly magazine with age-appropriate stories for elementary students. The complete library of previously published editions and additional educational resources was recently made available online.
Find Teachable Moments
The truth is that we’re always learning, even if we don’t notice it. One way to keep your child engaged in learning is by taking advantage of teachable moments. For example, you could make a habit of asking your child to read license plates, road signs, and restaurant menus. Any little bit helps toward the progression of your child’s reading skills. For math, we’d recommend asking your child to perform basic math problems like counting the number of commercials that come on during a television show. This will also help to show your child to realize that the skills they’re learning in school have real-world applicability.
All of these steps, however, are virtually useless if your child is not returning from their winter break to an elementary school that best fits their needs. If you want your student to benefit from the best possible education, smaller class sizes, and individual attention, it’s time to consider enrolling him or her in Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private schools in Clearwater, FL.
If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.