Spring break is a good tell of the summer to come. Our children long for the days of no school, no homework, and no early rise. Our kids like to take their brains out and put them away until school starts up again. As a result, much learned information is forgotten, skills are lost, and teachers are frustrated with review upon student return. What can we do to better our children’s vacation? We can take advantage of study work your child has brought home and any teachable moments.
Our students have study material. Most of this material is through previous homework. Any moment can be turned into a learning moment. I have second, third, and fourth students that come to me with their busy after school schedules that they use to try and reason their way out of studying their multiplication tables. My fifth through eighth grade students use the same technique to find a way out of studying. I simply ask the students, “Did you travel by car?” During car travel, kids can turn the radio stations off, put the electronic devises down, and study. Commercials are also a great time to take advantage. The average half-hour show plays approximately ten minutes of commercials. Ten minutes of studying is ideal for simple skills, such as multiplication tables. A parent has the burden of making sure their kids study. Torture is not needed and threats have a negative effect on study time. Instead, let’s study with our kids. I understand that you are tired, have too much to do, and may have no desire to relearn something you have not seen since you were in your child’s grade. Take the leap. If your child sees you are interested and want to learn, their disposition of the subject will dramatically increase.
Another moment to keep our kids sharp is teachable moments. A teachable moment is a moment of realization and discussion. Cooking is a great teachable moment when you have a student learning measuring or fractions. Going shopping gives students a chance to work with money and change. Next time you are at a store, try allowing your child to give the cashier the money, and see if they can figure the change. Simple stimulation to the thought process is enough to keep information from becoming lost.
The goal during vacation time is to keep our kids thinking. Allow your child to figure situations out before dismissing them and moving on. Don’t allow your child to leave their brain at home. Any situation can be turned into a learning situation; most of the effort falls on us as parents to put in the extra effort to keep our kids learning. The extra effort is well worth it.