Winter break is here. This means students (and teachers) will have a break from school as the holidays are celebrated. Although this is a break from school, this does not mean that learning should stop. Education allows students to develop indispensable tools for life. Knowledge will enable students to acquire critical thinking skills as they discover how to relate to others through practical social and communication skills. It is essential that during this time, “off,” we remember to stimulate student growth through engaging activities.
The following tips will help you to develop the ideas that are best for your student.
Create an opportunity for your student to volunteer with a community organization or church. Civic responsibility and leadership are key when teaching students about compassion — allowing students to volunteer will teach them how to work for others and embrace what is unfamiliar as they create solutions to problems that affect their community.
Review and Advance. Have your students spend one hour a day reviewing old learning objectives as well as review or prepare for future learning objectives. Learning objectives past and present can be found on your department of education website. You can also review learning objectives or skills using free education websites.
Create an exercise routine. The body and mind both need to be stimulated during this time of “rest.” Create a routine that allows students to be physically active. This physical activity can be an outside sport, dance (Zumba), yoga, walking, etc. A healthy diet should accommodate exercise. Limit snack consumption that is full of processed (refined) sugars. Focus on giving students nuts, cheeses, fruits, etc. as healthy snacks. Click here to learn more about exercise ideas for your student.
Set Goals. Work with your students to create long term goals. Goal topics should be related to developing your student’s skills and character. Focus on areas the student needs improvement in. An easy way to plan goals with an action plan is by using a SMART goal sheet. It allows students to design an effective timeline as they write out how this goal will positively affect their lives.
Plan a family excursion. Focus on your student(s) during this time. Plan a day together doing your favorite things such as an ice cream date, a sporting event, a concert, or play. During this time, strengthen your relationship with your student(s) as you allow them to share what they are feeling. This is also a great time to use conversation starters to learn about your student’s hopes, worries, and friends. Learn more about conversation starters here.
Have your student write thank you letters. Writing letters creates a genuine connection between others as students develop an essential learning tool, writing. It is crucial that your student understands how to demonstrate gratitude through words. While writing, students learn how to creatively express their emotions as they tell stories of love and appreciation. Letters will be different based on your students grade level. Use the provided examples to give you an idea on how you can help your student to write thank you letters.
College and Career Search. If you have a high school student, your student must use this time to investigate college and career options. College helps to develop mature, responsible adults who are prepared to succeed in the 21st century. Students should think carefully about where they enroll. Urge your student to think about location, enrollment size, tuition cost, as well as majors and programs that are offered. Students should think carefully about what the institution can offer them as they prioritize wants and needs. Once your student has created a shortlist of interested schools, visit all of the colleges to determine if your student’s career goals align with the university. If your student is unsure about the career, they would like to pursue, have them take a career quiz to discover their interests and strengths.