My husband and I are dorks. There, I said it. We’re always looking for opportunities for our kids to learn and lemme tell ya: tHeY lOvE iT.
That’s my sarcasm font.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m a sucker for the holidays, but as I’ve also previously mentioned, my husband and I? BIG DORKS. As teachers, we understand doing just a little bit every day has many academic advantages, including improving learning proficiency and maintaining previously retained info. There are ways to prevent “academic slips” during the summer months and even over the holidays. Don’t get nuts–I’m not saying enroll anyone in college on Christmas Eve, but once we understand how our child learns best, it’s easy to seamlessly incorporate learning into everyday life. Even on a holiday…
Let them write a holiday journal
Shameless plug time: I published a book in 2020 and it remains one of my proudest accomplishments. I mean, having kids is fine, but have you ever birthed a book? Kidding…sort of. Anyhoo, writing is a great way to keep your child’s mind active and sharp. Don’t assign essays, Scrooge! Buy them a diary and encourage them to document the holiday’s daily events. Let them write their experiences, emotions, and expectations, from family gatherings to trips. Throw baked goods at them while they write. If you feed them, they will come.
Bring math lessons to the kitchen
Did you know that your kitchen offers a hands-on approach to learning mathematics? I am reminded of this anytime I have to double a recipe. Following recipes can become a basic math lesson, from measuring, adding, and multiplying ingredients to figuring out how long to cook a 10-pound turkey. It’s not child labor if they enjoy it, so let the kids measure and weigh ingredients, read out loud from the cookbook, or calculate the cost of ingredients for each recipe. These are creative ways to cover basic math skills with your child while also spending quality time with them. If you’re a better parent than I, feel free to introduce more complicated math challenges. Just don’t ask me for help. I’m an English teacher. If you need me, I’ll be over here consulting an online math tutor .
Use educational apps and online platforms
Instead of spending countless hours playing video games or watching strangers do weird crap, kids can learn and keep their minds active through educational apps. An array of educational but fun apps are available for children of all ages, interests, and abilities. You can even find apps, software, or online platforms designed to address specific learning issues your child might have. For example, you can find gaming apps that help kids with history lessons or language learning. I know everyone is in love with their screen time these days, but if we can sprinkle in some learning in between games of whatever my 14-year-old son is yelling about from his mancave, I think the world would be a better place.
Create holiday projects
Research shows that project-based learning is an effective and fun way to engage a child’s mind. Not every project has to take place in the classroom. Convert any holiday activity into a fun project. For example, if you’re going shopping for a Christmas tree, task your child with researching the type of tree to purchase or about Christmas trees in general. You can do this with anything on your shopping list and encourage your child to present a report of their findings. If you have a kid like my 9-year-old boss lady who says so many words every single day, this is definitely right up their alley. The student becomes the teacher on their journey to complete world domination.
Please enjoy this legit horrifying picture of my child probably warning us not to touch her Legos. God bless us everyone.