By Guest Blogger Britney Dent
How can your child stay motivated to learn, even during Winter break? In the classroom, you have a teacher to engage your child in the subject and other students to socialize with. When it’s just you and your child at home, you’ll need to take charge of the learning experience to prevent learning loss.
Fortunately, you have plenty of options. There’s a lot you can do to help your child keep his or her mind sharp. There are a variety of ways to exercise the brain, from learning something new, to exercise, to quitting unsupportive habits.
Find a balance that will enable your child to continue learning while also enjoying a break. Try these steps listed below to effectively balance both. Even do them with your child.
8 Methods to Avoid Learning Loss
Connect with others
Your child should still enjoy a sense of community while home on an extended break. Ask your child about their communication preferences so you can help them stay in touch with friends. Have a game night on Zoom with a group of friends can help them stay connected.
Give your child incentives to excel. Maybe you’ll order sushi for dinner if they read a book of choice over break. Maybe they get to spend an extra hour playing video game for each hour they spend solving math problems.
Challenge your child to some friendly competition. Bring out the old school board games and see who wins!
Take a break
Build adequate downtime into the break will help your child to reduce stress and decompress. Help your child get enough rest. Less than seven hours of sleep has been shown to impair cognitive function on multiple levels. Decision-making and memory are just two examples. Getting enough sleep will help their brain function at a higher level. Start a new sleep schedule during a long break.
Practice a foreign language
Learning a new language is challenging! Between learning new vocabulary and grammar rules, it’ll give the brain a full workout. And creates better listeners. Have your child practice their foreign language at home over the break.
Meditation is all about focus. It can be challenging for children to concentrate. Meditation feels good, helps you to relax, and gives your brain a workout. Try a new meditation practice with your child over the break.
Exercise the brain and body
There are many ways to exercise the brain. Listen to classical music, play a math game online, do a crossword puzzle, read a challenging book, make a list of random words and try to remember it. Play bridge or poker. Exercising the body can help the brain, too. A week off from school is a good time to have a family “Just Dance” competition.
Turn the volume on your TV down a notch
Set the volume to a comfortable level and then turn it down one click. See if your child can follow what’s being said. When that becomes easy, turn it down another notch. Repeat. These steps help the brain’s ability to process auditory information.
Be sure you and your children get plenty of rest during the school break but challenge your brains in new ways. Part of the reason students experience learning loss during school breaks is because there’s no plan in place to rest, have fun, AND learn. Try a few of the strategies above with your child and reap the rewards.