Holiday and winter breaks are just weeks away, and while students and teachers will get a well-deserved break from the classroom, it doesn’t mean children need to stop learning. Here are a few tips to keep children’s minds sharp and challenged during their break, and it might just prevent cabin fever:
- Ask your child’s teacher or search online for worksheets or projects that can be done over the holidays. For 20 to 30 minutes a day, review with your child math concepts, spelling words, or sentence structure. You can also work together in starting a cool science project.
- Have your child read to you daily from the newspaper, a magazine, or excerpts from their favorite book, and let your child see you reading.
- Use the winter break to strengthen your child’s vocabulary. This is a perfect time to start a treasure chest of words, by having your child look up new words, then write the word and definition on 3×5 cards. Use the word in a sentence or have them write a story based on the word. This exercise will reinforce reading comprehension and writing skills.
- Give your child an opportunity to appreciate the arts by attending free events like concerts or plays during the holidays, or stop by a local museum.
- Give a book or educational gift that will keep on giving throughout the year.
Don’t forget to thank your child’s teacher with a special present, gift card or note before the holiday break.
Carrie Jasper is director of outreach to parents and families at the U.S. Department of Education