Top Ideas for Catching Up on Schoolwork Over Winter Break
Can you believe it’s the middle of December already? If you’re part of an active virtual school family, you know how much hustle-bustle the season will add to your already busy life! To help you prepare for the midpoint of the school year, we’d like to offer some tips for catching up with schoolwork, plus fun learning activities families can do over winter break.
- Is your student on schedule? Before break, take a few minutes to review your student’s attendance records to ensure he or she is completing the hours required in your state. Check your student’s lesson completions, too. Are they on track? If your student’s attendance and lessons are up-to-date, enjoy the vacation!
- Make a plan for catching up. If short on hours or behind on lessons, your child may need to put in some extra school time during winter break. Don’t let your student rush to complete lessons, but instead create a plan to finish by the course’s scheduled end date. This could be as simple as doing one additional lesson each day or working one day each weekend until caught up.
- Get prepared. If your student will need to work on lessons during winter break, plan for this before the school closes and the teachers go on break. Review the objectives, lessons, projects, and assessments your student plans to complete. Make sure you have all the materials needed. If you or your students have any questions, ask your students’ teachers now.
- Make a backup plan. When working independently, sometimes students “hit a snag” in learning that they can’t resolve without a teacher. Be sure you have a backup plan ready so your students can continue to move forward until the teaching staff return. For example, have your child shift to catching up on a different course or move ahead to another lesson.
- Support your child’s holiday learning. No doubt your house will be busy with activity during break time. You may have been counting on some much-needed family and household time. But if your student is depending on this time to get caught up or organized, some things may need to be adjusted.
- Don’t let your child procrastinate—if you have a plan, stick to it.
- Make sure your student’s learning area stays quiet.
- Keep distractions to a minimum.
- Keep young brains active over winter break. As you’re relaxing during the holidays, don’t let learning stop! Here are some great ideas that will let you watch your children apply the skills they have been learning and transform some of your fun winter break activities into teachable moments.
- Use long car rides to practice those multiplication tables, geometry theories, and science terms.
- Build math and measuring skills while wrapping presents by asking children to use a tape measure or ruler to measure gifts and determine how much wrapping paper will be needed.
- When cooking or baking, have students help by measuring, counting, pouring, sifting, and sorting to target math and fine motor skills.
- While at the store, ask your child to count the number of items in your basket, or discuss other details like, “What color is this? Which is the biggest item? Which looks the heaviest?”
- Make handmade gifts together, and encourage your children to be both creative and resourceful—for example, they don’t need to purchase paper to wrap gifts. They can use paper bags or newspaper and then decorate their wrappings with markers, stickers, and yarn remnants.
- Talk about the snow—why does it snow? How does a snowflake look? After a snow-filled day, ask children to write a story or draw a picture about their day.
- Plan a family field trip to a local museum or park—look for places where kids can get involved, for example by becoming “art detectives” or “geologists” for a day.
- Create your own fun by developing a scavenger hunt for kids to enjoy in the house, in the yard, or at a local museum.
- Spend an afternoon at the library selecting books about the season, and enjoy reading with your children.
Most importantly, take the time to be together—walking, playing games, skating, going to a sporting or cultural event, having friends over, and talking. Build memories together. And be sure to give yourself a pat on the back: you are making a difference in their lives through your dedicated involvement!
What creative ideas have you tried to keep your kids learning during winter break? Share your brightest and most successful activities in the comments.