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Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Ways to Keep your Kids Academically Sharp Through the Holidays

Easy Ways to Keep your Kids Academically Sharp Through the Holidays

School is nearly out for the holidays, which means kids are finally able to take a breather from homework, tests, and class assignments. But rather than have all their hard-earned knowledge wither away over endless Christmas TV specials, try these easy tips for keeping their minds sharp and ready for school in the spring. 

Continue the Learning Process

At school, every day is a learning process; at home, it should be no different. Use moments over the holidays, like roasting the turkey or wrapping presents, as a way to keep your child learning about different processes – cooking, measuring, counting, and reading directions. The most important thing is to keep your kid interested and curious about the world.

Vacation Activities

One of the most common holiday traditions is travelling to visit family and friends. Vacations are also a great time for kids to be involved in learning activities. Let your kid have the map and figure out the best possible route to your destination. Have them make a travel brochure that includes pictures and quotes from the trip. 

Family Reading Contest

Set aside time each night during the holiday break for a family reading contest. The competitive edge will keep your kids motivated to read as much as possible throughout the break. Keep a tally sheet where they can record how many pages they read each night. The winner at the end of the break gets a gift card to the local bookstore. 

Counting Everywhere 

There is always an opportunity to help your kids’ minds stay sharp. If the family has tickets to see the Nutcracker Ballet, challenge your kids to count the number of leaps made in each scene. If you’re traveling, you may be watching the Weather Channel to be prepared and pack appropriately for your trip. Show your kids how the Weather Channel maps and charts work, and ask them to keep track of daily low temperatures or areas of snowfall and rain. Get a weather calendar where your child can record the amount of snowfall or rain each day.

Family Interviews

Visiting family can be a great way to get your kid involved with your distant relatives. It’s also a perfect opportunity to gain some interviewing skills. Plan out some interview questions with your kid and get them to ask your relative (a grandmother, uncle, or cousin) the interview questions. Then, ask your kid to type up the interview questions and answers, print them out, and share them with the whole family. In this activity, they not only get to know someone in their family better, but they gain vital skills of communicating, taking notes, and listening.

Easy Ways to Keep your Kids Academically Sharp Through the Holidays

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