Five Practical Tips To Help Children Learning At Home On Holidays

Learning with kids can be stressful during your holidays since kids are very much active and will not like sitting around, and doing nothing. Here are some helpful tips for you to keep your children learning new things even when they are not at school.
May 03, 2022 | 07:53

The holidays are a time for rest, relaxation, family time and celebrations. But learning doesn’t have to stop when the school gates close. You can help foster a love of learning in your children over the holidays.

Lots of holiday-season tasks, like working on writing skills with holiday card duty or practicing budgeting and math skills while shopping and cooking, can keep your child’s mind working over break.

1. Explore Opportunities to Learn Online

Photo: InsiderUp
Photo: InsiderUp

Connect with your child’s teacher to find out what online learning resources are available for use at home during the break. This will help keep open lines of communication with your child’s teacher, and it will give you the opportunity to learn more about tools your child uses every day. As you plan out schedules, set aside daily or weekly times for your child to log in and continue their classroom learning at home.

With an internet connection, there are no geographical barriers. The educational resources are available anywhere, so children can study at home or even while away from home.

Some kids like to jump online for 15 minutes before school. For other families it makes sense for children to do online activities during dinner preparation. Children can learn at a time that best fits their own needs and their family’s schedule, any day of the week.

Online skills like accessing information, communication, and collaboration are necessary for learning and succeeding, not just in school but in life.

2. Use the Kitchen as a Learning Tool

Photo: EatingWell
Photo: EatingWell

The kitchen can offer a great teaching and learning experience. Whether reading recipes, measuring ingredients, or learning about temperatures, giving your child the opportunity to actively participate in creating your family’s delicious holiday treats is an excellent chance to sharpen math and reading skills. Plus, you’ll gain a great new sous chef!

When you teach your kids to cook at a young age, you give them many gifts. You give them a sense of achievement and accomplishment which comes from seeing themselves take a step towards independence. You also give them the chance to choose and create healthy meals for themselves and their families when they grow up. This will have enormous future payoffs in terms of being able to lead a healthier lifestyle and even save money in the long run.

When children learn to cook, they also start to understand exactly what goes into the meals they eat. As they measure out the butter for a cookie recipe, they will see and feel for themselves how much butter is used as opposed to a healthier snack like a bowl of fruit and yoghurt. Learning to cook and understanding the basic building blocks of most recipes will allow them to make better and more informed choices about the food which they eat in the future.

All children want to be independent. They want to be just like the adults around them. Being able to feed yourself and prepare your own meals at a young age is a significant step towards independence.

3. Take them to the supermarket

Photo: Bigstock
Photo: Bigstock

A study into childhood learning — aptly named The Supermarket Study’ — involved placing signs with questions on items around the supermarket.

Questions like ‘where does milk come from?’ and ‘what else comes from a cow?’ were designed to encourage dialogue and evoke curiosity and inquisition from the children. The results saw a one-third increase in conversations between parents and children — a pivotal form of informal education.

And while the study was conducted with children under 8, the inherent principles can be used with kids (and even adults!) of all ages. The idea is to create opportunities for learning outside of the school setting and in the real world.

Think about how many interesting and potentially unanswered questions we can ask about the world on a daily basis:

What kind of trees line your street, how your groceries get from where they’re grown to in your kitchen, or how the technology in your home was developed… There’s myriad opportunities for learning all around you.

By encouraging your kids to question the how and why of these mundane things, you’re fostering a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge.

4. Make reading part of the routine

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Regular routines go out the window when school stops. But you can still keep a sense of routine, and important daily rituals, all through the holidays.

Reading is one of the best forms of learning for all kids (and that includes reading to them):

Younger kids develop language skills, improve literacy, and put their imagination to good use…While for older kids, fiction books can further support their writing skills, and through non-fiction they can learn about topics that interest them that they may or may not study in the school environment.

Reading can also aid relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety, increase empathy, and promote good sleeping habits.

A recent study found that children who had access to books at home had significantly better reading skills than those who didn’t. So consider giving your kids books for Christmas!

They really are the gift that keeps on giving.

5. Let them be bored

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The holidays can often be a constant battle of finding new and interesting things to keep kids entertained.

But there’s a lot to be said for leaving them to their own devices, and letting them just be.

Children of the digital age are used to having constant entertainment and instant gratification.

So removing these distractions allows some much-needed time for quiet reflection, a wandering mind, and developing creative strategies to keep them entertained.

The best type of boredom can be found in the great outdoors, where they can investigate the natural environment.

It also encouraged imaginative play, which helps kids to express their creativity.

Encourage your older kids and teenagers to go for walks, sit in the park, and experience the world through their own eyes — even for a few minutes a day — instead of through their phone screen.

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