Prevent learning loss
over winter break
Caribbean Life, Dec. 27, 2019-Jan. 2, 2020 31
Children await winter’s arrival for many reasons.
Those who live in cold climates may be
anxious to see the snow and enjoy sledding or
throwing snowballs with friends. The season also
is prime time for magical holidays, like Chanukah,
Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Another eagerly anticipated component of
winter is the break from school that typically
coincides with late-December holidays. Many
children are often off from school from December
23 through January 2. Before school lets out
for winter recess, lessons also tend to be shortened
to make time for the many fun events that
take place in schools to mark the holiday season
— everything from sing-a-longs to plays to craft
The education experts at Brainly — the world’s
largest peer-to-peer learning community — indicate
time outside of the classroom can have a big
impact on students. Even though the bulk of learning
loss occurs over summer vacation, it can still
be measurable during other school breaks. Students
should be urged to keep their brains sharp
even as they focus on fun and family during the
holidays. Here are some enjoyable ways to ensure
learning continues over winter break.
• Connect with the teachers. Parents can ask
their children’s teachers if there are any specific
deficits their child is experiencing and whether
he or she can recommend worksheets or online
learning apps to help close any gaps.
• Take an educational trip. Use the break to
visit a museum or historical landmarks in another
town or city. Concerts or even nature walks
can stimulate the brain as well.
• Visit a science center. Plan a visit to a museum
geared toward science. The National Air
and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., has educational
offerings, as do places like the Exploratorium
in San Francisco, Museum of Science in
Boston, the Arkansas Museum of Discovery, or
the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey.
• Build learning into holiday activities. Ask
youngsters to count Christmas cards or multiply
ingredients in cookie recipes. Discuss the
history of holiday traditions and customs. Have
children read stories synonymous with the holidays
so they learn some new words as they celebrate.
• Fill stockings with books. Give kids a few
age- and level-appropriate books for the holidays.
Encourage time away from toys and devices for
an hour a day so they can catch up on reading.
With some focus on fun educational activities,
children can prevent learning loss during winter
recess and return to school with sharp minds
ready for more learning.