Pointers for Parents are regular inspirations to bring hope and encouragement to parents. I hope to build a bridge between parents and teachers as it pertains to the education of children and how we can work together for the betterment of our kids.
When the holidays roll around each year, you can hear the children cheer. Even if you are not a school employee (who is secretly cheering too) you can tell by the countenance on your child’s face that the break is coming. Their eyes are brighter. Their smiles come faster. Laughter can be heard, even in the mornings. It is amazing how much happier they are to get on that bus when they know they only have a couple of days until a break. I know these feelings, because teachers feel them too and parents cherish the idea of sleeping in. No rushing through the morning routine. No homework wars. No extracurricular activities. Time to be together as a family awaits. Looking forward to time off is a natural human thing to do…a good thing. However, if you have a struggling student, time off can mean lessons lost. The last thing anyone wants is for their child to drop behind over the holidays. Do not fear. I am not going to tell you to fill your days with school work, but I am going to give you some secret ways to work some academic material into your holidays.
- Show them reading. When you are cooking a recipe, get them to read it to you. When you are making a shopping list, call out the words and let them write it. When you are at the mall, let them find the store you want on the map. Shhhh, they won’t even know they are reading.
- Show them math. On that recipe, let them do the measuring and mixing. The teacher who is working on fractions will be forever grateful. Give them a shopping budget and let them figure out how much to spend on each gift. When they pay, let them figure out if they got the correct change.
- Make holiday memories. Find your favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas stories and read TO them. I don’t care how old they are, they secretly want to be read to. You can do the voices of the characters, or have them be one of the characters and read those parts. Either way they will get warm and fuzzies just being with you.
- Let them build. If you have any gifts that need putting together, let them help. This may make it take a bit longer, but it will teach them how important it is to follow directions. They have to read and then apply what they read to get the item built correctly. Pretty good life lesson, don’t you think?
- Create cards. Holiday cards are fun to make. A little glue, a little glitter, and a masterpiece is born. Homemade cards are more meaningful, especially if they have a handwritten note inside. Shhhhh. Don’t tell them this teaches handwriting, spelling, and idea generation. They don’t need to know. 😉
I am sure there are many more ways to integrate schoolwork into the holidays than I have listed here, but you get the idea. Bring those lessons home for the holidays.