Winter break should be a much-deserved time of freedom and fun after a semester of hard work. However, when January comes, it can be difficult to get kids back in action after two weeks of holiday cheer. The following tips can make the transition from holiday break to back to school a little easier.
First, for all kids, even ones a little older, pick a bedtime and stick to it. Having a consistent bedtime and wake-up call will eliminate sleep-all-day grogginess once school is back in session. Small adjustments to a student’s sleep schedule can allow for later nights and not-so-early mornings while still sticking to a routine.
Next, try and structure the days and weeks with activities that keep kids moving and focused on designated activities. This keeps their stamina up so that when school starts again, they are able to quickly respond to the needs of the school day. Activities for younger kids, such as cooking as a family, can support reading, math skills, and creative problem solving. For example, if you’re making cookies, say, “Ok, we ran out of chocolate chips. Now what?”
Finally, having the family set goals for the holiday break can give a sense of accomplishment over the holidays that can encourage goal setting in the classroom. Try setting a family reading goal of 50-60 pages that all family members must meet by the end of the two weeks of vacation. Create a tracking chart and hang it up in the house for each member of the family to add to each time they meet their goal. Having fun while setting and achieving goals will support a child’s desire to set their own learning goals at school.
The holidays are a time for rest, relaxation, and renewal, but keeping to a routine and supporting school habits can make the transition from winter break to second semester a little easier.
Emily Jamerson is a freelance writer and CLUE teacher at Snowden Elementary in Memphis.