Helping your student maintain good study habits over school breaks can be a challenge. Many children are tempted to set their school work aside completely over the holidays, but this isn’t always a wise choice. American students have more consecutive days off from school than most other students in the world, which some believe contributes to their poorer academic performance. Here are a few ways to keep your student on the ball, even during the excitement of the holiday season.
Holiday study habits: keep reading.
Create a holiday reading list with your child filled with a variety of books that interest them. Make this fun! Any reading at all is beneficial to your child’s literacy skills. Books don’t need to be academic in nature; let your child choose books in their favorite genres purely for the pleasure of it. Children who love to read from an early age will be much more successful throughout their academic careers. Choose some festive Christmas read-alouds to read together as a family by the fire every day. Use all that extra free time as time to really nourish literacy in your child!
Write letters, cards, and thank you notes.
Excellent homework for the holiday season? Have your student write Christmas cards and thank you notes to family and friends. Perhaps even make a community service project out of it by having them craft and write cards to deployed soldiers, children in the hospital, or elderly residents of a nursing home. This practice will help them keep up with literacy skills, handwriting, and just good manners overall.
Set aside some dedicated study time.
At least every few days, set aside an hour or two for your student to review the schoolwork they were working on before the break. Before the break begins, spend some time creating flashcards together to cover the most important information that can’t be forgotten. Flash cards, through creating and reviewing, have been proven to help information retention. Increase motivation for study-time by scheduling something fun and festive for after the work is complete. Think: cookie decorating, looking at lights, or trimming the tree.