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4 Simple Ideas to Keep Your Child Cognitively Engaged During the Winter Break

Posted on December 14, 2015

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Winter break is almost here…how exciting and stressful at the same time! I have to admit that I do love the holiday season. I’m a father of two busy boys, who by this time of the year are looking forward to some down time. Breaks are needed and are a very good thing. However, on the other side of that perspective, as an educator and administrator I have seen how difficult the transition back from winter vacation can be for many students. For many reasons it is important to maintain some healthy habits while also enjoying a well-deserved break. It is with this in mind that I wanted to share 4 simple strategies that you can try over the holidays.

1)     Stay physically active – Physical movement is important for your health in many ways. One aspect that receives less attention is the cognitive impact of physical activity. During the winter holidays encourage your children to get outside and play. Just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a significant impact on the cognitive health and attention span of a child. It is good for the body and the mind.

2)      Encourage 30 minutes of reading – Rest during the holidays is so important! However, to keep the momentum going forward for those kids that may have learning difficulties reading (preferably aloud) for 30 minutes 5 times per week can be a great way to keep kids engaged.

3)      Review the goals from last term – If you did not set goals with your child last term, that’s ok…the essence of this is to review last term and discuss the good elements of the term as well as the areas for improvement. This can be a great exercise in reflection.

4)      New year’s learning focus – With your child discuss what educationally based changes they would like to see in 2016. Gain an understanding of where they would like to see improvement and focus and write it down. Try to keep the changes general (to improve my reading rate) and to have the goals be tangible (by reading aloud 5 times per week with mom and dad and working with my teachers at school I would like to be able to read 5 books on my own this term).

If you’re a parent, please consider doing these 4 simple things this holiday season in order to facilitate a smooth transition back to school in January.

I wish you all the very best.

In education,

Mark Watson
CEO, Eaton Arrowsmith

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