Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday Learning Tips

I received the following tips from Commonwealth Connections Academy.  These are some great ideas for keeping your kids’ bodies and minds active during the school break (these are applicable to both homeschoolers and those with your kids in a traditional school setting).  I hope you’ll read them and let me know if you decide to use any of them.

No Holiday Homework:
But it’s Important to Keep Learning Alive During Winter Break
Commonwealth Connections Academy Virtual School
Offers Tips for Families

The winter break from school usually means no homework, but families can keep learning alive with some fun and educational tips from Commonwealth Connections Academy. There are a variety of low-cost opportunities for parents to use to keep their children’s minds sharp while they’re not in school. The educators at Commonwealth Connections Academy have come up with a great list of suggestions for activities and teachable moments. With each idea listed below it may be helpful to assess your child’s comprehension level and take breaks to answer questions.

Writing Family and Friends – Build on your student’s writing abilities and penmanship by having them personalize holiday greeting cards and letters to relatives. Expand their knowledge of geography by exploring where the card recipient lives and have them find that town on a map. Hand-written thank you notes promote social skills. Encourage your child to trace their family tree; asking older relatives about their stories. This will also improve writing and research skills.

Cooking up Skills – There are a number of learning opportunities in the kitchen which incorporate science, math, reading, writing and vocabulary skills. Children can look up ingredients for a recipe the dictionary, calculate the costs for each item in the grocery store, then help measure, pour, bake, boil and use other cooking techniques. Check out this link to see science experiments specially designed for the kitchen.

Arts and Crafts – Gift wrapping is a great way to help kids enhance their math skills by using a tape measure or ruler to figure out the correct size of wrapping paper to use. They can also get creative and make their own wrapping paper out of newspaper and grocery bags, ribbons and other materials you have around the house. Or perhaps you have an amateur photographer in your family who might enjoy taking holiday pictures for a scrap book.

Travel or “Stay-cation” – A holiday road trip can give students a chance to show their knowledge of geography and you can take along questions from Commonwealth Connections Academy’s Quiz Bowl trivia game. You can also stick closer to home and have a “stay-cation” to a local museum or other educational sites.

Reading is Key – Show your children that reading can be fun with a trip to the local library to pick out a new book for them to read over the holidays. If you read to your students every day you’ll teach them a good habit they can carry into adulthood.

Physical Fitness – Help burn off all the calories from holiday treats with plenty of physical activity, indoors and out. If winter weather produces snow in your areas have the kids make snowmen and snow angels, go sledding or launch an old fashion snow ball fight.

Commonwealth Connections Academy is a tuition-free online public charter school in the state serving nearly 5,000 students in grades K-12. The school provides an individualized approach to learning with state certified teachers, a state standards aligned curriculum, state of the art technology and community experiences to create academic and emotional success for students.

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