I found this article online - hope it provides you with some ideas. Happy Holidays everyone!
The year always seems to fly by and once the Christmas decorations hit the stores (and classrooms), comes the excitement for the pending break. 5 weeks of no school - Yep... sleep ins, no lunches, no uniforms, no boredom…oh wait.
I’m sure you have often marvelled at just how much your child has learned in just one year. Reading, writing, maths.. with growing demands to learn new curriculum, it’s important to balance a healthy break from school with just enough mental stimulation to prepare them for 2015.
So here are 15 tips to help get you through the holidays and keep little minds active from now until the end of January:
- The WRITE stuff: Write letters and Christmas cards. This is the perfect time of year to brush up on handwriting skills. Keep a journal of holidays events or write your own brochure for the place you are staying at on your vacation. Of course a letter to Santa is always good too!
- Use the web: Online programs such as Reading Eggs or Study ladder are great Literacy tools to continue practising basic skills such as rhyme, letters and sounds. And don't forget to use the links on this blog to access some great learning sites too!
- Apptastic! – Search the education section in itunes or marketplace for some great suggestions of apps on letter tracing, letter/sound matching, rhyme and sight words.
- Cooking: Get children to read the recipe to you and help follow the instructions. Basic recipes are a real hit and you're covering mathematical concepts too! You can then package up the goodies and write gift cards or labels, attach them and give as gifts to others.
- Visit the local library – the library often has great holiday workshops, plus their website is pretty good too!
- Sight word games! Children are likely to forget a number of sight words if not revised periodically. Make it fun by playing games such as snap, bingo, concentration or speed read. You can even put them into alphabetical order.
- Shopping! Together write a grocery list. This might take some time and a few sheets of paper! Once you're shopping, see if you can estimate the total cost of the groceries. Maybe see if you can work out the change you'll receive too.
- Finish text books that may have come home from school with several pages unfinished. Even read through the work completed in the text books and recall and extend the learning.
- Money revision! Christmas time is the perfect time to have a few lessons on coins and notes as children will likely be looking for a bit of money to go shopping! Try cutting up the junk mail and ask your child to sort groceries into ‘more than $10’ and ‘less than $10’. Maybe play a game of ‘shopping’ and ask questions like: “What can I buy for $5?” Children can find things in the shopping that match that price. Alternately, you could create a wish list based on ‘more than $20’ or ‘less than $100’ etc. Don't forget to round up or down!
- Help with the washing! Sort clothes pegs into colours, or make a pattern - or try counting in 2’s whilst hanging clothes on the line! How many groups of 2 can you make? This also works well for those amazing travelling pairs of socks!
- Number stuff: Work on those reversals – practise makes perfect! Any teacher will agree with this one!
- Number games: In the car, waiting in line etc. Games such as “What number am I?” are good time fillers. Give three clues eg “I am between 15 and 17, I am an even number, I am a teen number…etc”
- Treasure hunt: Together make a map of your backyard or house and then try hiding ‘treasure’ for your kiddie to find on the map! (The popular Elf on the shelf) can be a partner to use for this too.
- Days of the week – make a weekly timetable of what you have planned for the holidays. Talk about what you are going to do each day. What day is it today? What are we going to do tomorrow?
- Keep a journal – especially if you are going away on holidays. Children often forget what an amazing holiday they’ve had.
- BUT MOST OF ALL – READ, READ, READ, AND READ together !
Don't forget your class teacher provides you with a short list of areas that your son/daughter could work on. Your child’s report card is also a good indication of areas that you might like to continue working on over the holidays!
So when that bell rings on the last day and you and your child throw back packs and lunchboxes in the air…enjoy the break, you’ve certainly earned it! Have a few weeks off just enjoying time together, then gradually once or twice a day sneak some of the above suggestions into your day.
By keeping little minds working, you’ll both be ready to take on new challenges in 2015!