How to support your kid’s studies during the festive season?
Photo by cottonbro studio
Even though the holidays are a welcome distraction from school, it doesn’t mean educational opportunities don’t exist throughout the season.
There are ways for parents to support children among all the excellent food and company, especially if they have exams or assignments due after the holidays. Discover genuine and engaging ways to sustain your child’s studies during the festive season.
No matter your child’s age, stories are an ideal magical aspect of the holidays. Whether you’re still reading to them or they can do so on their own, encourage them to step into fantastical worlds and witness different perspectives through literature.
Though holiday stories may not seem like the most educational outlet, stimulating that creative center for a child can motivate and expand their imagination. Getting into a reading habit while they’re young is the best way to solidify an interest in language and reinforce an empathetic worldview.
Give educational gifts
No matter your age — even into adulthood — gift-giving is still one of the most exciting, anticipatory aspects of the holidays. Parents’ options vary widely since many educational presents are disguised as strictly entertaining.
From more tactile, traditional gifts to electronics, supporting your kid’s studying with holiday gifts has never been simpler. This way, nourishing development also increases children’s trust in adults as learning examples. Knowledge-supporting presents can vary depending on age:
- Babies and toddlers: Give toys that engage gross motor skills, like blocks, stackable rings, and rattles. You can also get other sensory-specific items like musical stuffed animals and small instruments to gauge reaction time. Mobility-focused presents like wagons and jumping toys provide physical education. Number and color puzzles encourage problem-solving.
- Preschool: The best gifts include visual toys that encourage learning letters, numbers, and shapes, such as board games, tablets, and cards. Other toys can prepare them for more complex subjects in the future, like telescopes or microscopes.
- Grade school and onward: Create-your-own experiment kits range in subject, from growing plants to making glow-in-the-dark objects. Alongside other electronics, such as higher-tech tablets and GPS technology, these can teach kids everything from geography to drawing.
Attend local events
The festive season bolsters community connections in a new way, inspiring neighborhoods and cities to host events that introduce kids to new experiences. Novel interactions are educational by themselves, especially for young children. Here are some places to look for festive, educational possibilities:
- Local art and history museums
- Botanic gardens
- Community centers
- Parks and pavilions
- Local theaters
They can introduce new concepts or different people, possibly forming new friendships by expanding communication skills. Events also support studies by showing theories in tangible environments. Kids that hate science but love looking at the night sky at the observatory’s holiday stargazing event could gain a new attitude toward education.
Hang out in the kitchen
Who doesn’t spend a good portion of their holidays eating delicious food? Invite children to cook and bake because it supports education in unexpected ways. Apart from the obvious that it helps them understand math and measurements, it can reveal cultural traditions if your family cooks inspired by their heritage. Cooking also refines fine motor skills, with delicate handling strengthening precision.
Don’t forget the creativity the kitchen provides with decorating cookies or adding new spices to an old-fashioned recipe. Support critical thinking and problem-solving if a dish doesn’t come out as it should. Ask kids what could’ve caused it and what they can do to fix it.
Have realistic expectations
No matter the kid’s age, they will want to have fun — and they should. Parents must have balanced expectations because the reality is that students will not study as much on vacation as they would during a regular school week. The holidays present a wonderful chance to get creative with educational outlets and how parents interact with them with their children.
Having realistic expectations about your kid’s studies also requires expanding your perspective of what constitutes education. If opening textbooks is impossible over the holiday season, communicate to their sensibilities with podcasts or YouTube videos. Ask yourself how you can offer feedback and inspire discourse around the topics presented in these mediums, especially with modern modes of communication.
Though the festive season is a time for leisure, supporting routines make transitioning back to formal education less stressful. Routines hone the soft skills all children need to excel in their studies, including time management, self-motivation, and prioritization. The key to enforcing habits over the holidays is to be flexible and fun — kids will question the process if you’re too strict.
For example, it’s probably not helpful to force children to wake up to an unfairly early alarm every day. However, encouraging them not to stay in bed too long is tempting when enticing, festive activities await.
Educating kids throughout the festive season
The holidays aren’t the most obvious time to embrace education. Still, they can provide countless learning opportunities that a traditional school environment can’t provide. Prioritizing exploration and malleability with studying during this time still allows a mental reprieve from school structure while continually feeding the well of knowledge.