Learning Momentum Can Slip While School is Out
Breaks and Brains
March. For students, it’s synonymous with the word “break.” It means a chance to break the rules and stay up late.
But, breaks from school can be dangerous to learning: breaks are the time that momentum and good habits can begin to slip.
While children should have fun with their time off, they shouldn’t take a complete break from learning. More than any other school-year break, the spring holidays are an important time to pay special attention to maintaining habits. After all, the end of the school year is only a couple of months away. If grades need improving, this is the time to start improving them—in terms of the school year, there’s very little time to waste.
The Last Push
Most students have projects, essays, assignments and readings that can be worked on over the break. Even if due dates are weeks away, the March holidays are a perfect time to get a head start on schoolwork.
In the absence of actual schoolwork, students should spend at least an hour a day engaged in activities that keep the mind actively learning. The activities don’t have to be complicated or academic-based, but should require some mental activity.
Oxford Learning suggests these activities to keep students of all ages engaged during the school break—
- Read, read, read. Take turns reading out loud. Develop better reading comprehension skills by discussing plot points and talking about the characters. Older kids can challenges themselves to read a full book in a week, or get ahead by reading a novel for class.
- Roll the dice. Board games can help children learn to be organized, to plan, to be persistent, and to think strategically. Board games can also develop problem-solving abilities, memory skills, and teach children the value of teamwork. Games that use money, such as Monopoly, can teach essential mathematical skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even concepts like estimation.
- 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 formally assigned homework.
By keeping the brain engaged over the school break—even in just an hour a day—students will stay mentally agile and motivated to learn…while still having fun and enjoying their break.