Six Tips to Stay Sharp on School Breaks
For many students, school holidays are an opportunity to visit friends, socialize, and sleep in. However, before students plan a break filled with TV and video games, families need to create a holiday plan to keep students mentally stimulated.
Holiday breaks can be very disruptive to a child’s routine. In as little as a week or two, students can begin to lose their learning momentum and slip behind in school.
It’s important that the brain is continually challenged during school breaks, whether by playing board games or by reading books and thinking actively about them. Maintaining an active mind is the best way for students to stay focused while on school breaks.
By creating plan before the holidays, parents can help keep kids on track and alleviate some of the stress associated with school breaks. The plan doesn’t have to be complicated—it can be as simple as putting aside an hour a day to read a book, or organize school notes.
These six tips can helps students stay sharp when school is out:
- Keep busy. School downtime is often the time when good school habits start to slide. That’s why it is important that students maintain their academic momentum during school breaks. There is always schoolwork or review that students can work on, even if they don’t have assigned homework.
- Read a book together. Parents can help young children develop better reading comprehension skills by reading and discussing books together.
- Play board games. Board games can help children learn to be organized, to plan, to be persistent, and to think strategically. Children can also develop problem-solving abilities and memory skills. Games that use money can teach essential mathematical skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even concepts like estimation.
- Set a work schedule. Agree to a time when everyone can come together to work on projects—school or otherwise. Children are used to following a routine during the school day, so sticking to a routine during vacation time is natural. Try keeping a holiday scrapbook or writing and illustrating a story.
- Hit the Books. Upcoming projects, essays, assignments, and readings can be easily chipped away at during the break. Students should take advantage of the spare time afforded by the break to make some headway into upcoming schoolwork. In the absence of homework or other assignments, parents should encourage children to dedicate at least one hour for schoolwork everyday, to review school notes, read, or organize a binder or pencil case.
- Avoid the Slip-Slide. Days have a way of blending into one another, especially during school breaks, so students should continue to use a school agenda, calendar, or day planner. Agendas are a great way to practice time management skills and remain focused.