5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Learning Loss
School’s out! The holidays are fast approaching, which, for many students, means quality time with family and friends, a much-needed break from the classroom and holiday learning loss. Here are our five best tips for preventing that unwanted tagalong.
by David Tysoe // October 19, 2022
1) Plan Educational Trips
Whether you’re staying home or traveling for the holidays, there are countless opportunities for educational trips and visits.
If you’re visiting a new city or country, make sure to check out the local historical landmarks and museums. Every major city will have countless educational and cultural attractions, from the obvious such as London’s Natural History Museum, the Exploratorium in San Francisco and Le Centre Pompidou in Paris to the slightly lesser known such as the Roald Dahl Museum, the International Spy Museum or Philadelphia’s Please Touch Children’s Museum. Many of these have free guides and activities aimed at engaging young visitors. You may even find that these visits spark a lifelong passion!
If you’re staying local, use the opportunity to get to know your local area a little better. be sure to check online for seasonal and permanent activities in your region, or contact your local historical society to find the best local sites. One of our favorite local activities is going on hikes as a family, practicing plant and bird identification along the way, which is a great way to teach about the indigenous flora and fauna of your region.
2) Schedule 2-3 Hours of Education per Week
3) Read Together
Reading is one of the most important skills you can foster in a child, with untold benefits across all areas of life.
Reading to younger children is a great way to get started: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that children who are read to frequently are also more likely to count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%), write their own names (54% vs. 40%) and read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)
As they get older, allowing them to explore and learn to love reading on their own is absolutely vital. Getting into the habit of having reading time as a family can be a great way to get them involved and invested in books and stories. One of our recommendations for younger students in particular is selecting a book series to read aloud together, which is a great bonding experience that combats learning loss.
4) Play Learning Games
Help your kids use their downtime as a learning opportunity. Look for ways to relax and have fun whilst also learning.
Here are some of our recommendations:
- Invest in some educational boardgames. Some of our favorites include Scattergories (check out this online version), Balderdash, Taboo, Boggle, Number Quest and Scrabble!
- Download learning apps to you or your kid’s phone or tablet. We love Kahoot, ScratchJr and Epic! Kids Books.
- Give kids educational gifts, such as scrapbooking kits, building tasks, science experiment subscription boxes and painting kits.
- Encourage your kids to watch educational content creators during their screen time. We love John & Hank Green @ Vlog Brothers!
5) Remember to Relax!
Your kids have just finished 2-3 months of intense learning, of course they deserve a break! Whether you’re going off on holiday, visiting extended family or having an intimate break at home, make sure they (and you) have plenty of opportunities to switch off, kick back and take their mind off of the hard work they’ve been doing. Learning loss is a real issue, and there are lots of educational steps you can and should take, but no one—students and parents alike—is served by being overscheduled, overstimulated and overworked during the holidays.
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