Monday, 27 November 2017

Keeping Your Child's Mind Active During Christmas Break*

If you are a parent, then you probably know your children better than they know themselves. Knowing when they are up to something, when they want something, when they're sad, when they can't contain their excitement, you can read it all. However, with the winter holidays coming up, you won’t need any of those parental skills to sense your child’s overflowing anticipation to finally get out of school. Winter holidays are some of the lengthier holidays that children get from school, and it is easy to completely forget about education and any sort of responsibilities during the time. Of course, that’s partly what it is all about, but keeping your child’s education in mind should be a priority, especially in the age of a brutal working world where it’s hard to find any job above minimum wage, if at all, even for decently educated individuals. As a parent, it is your responsibility to provide them with all the possible assets which could make their life a lot easier somewhere down the line. It is often hard to get your child to get invested in anything educational during holidays without them temporarily hating you, but there are a few ways you could go around that, making the whole process much more pleasant.


Image source: Pexels


Drudging through homework

If your child’s school is like any other, it probably provided them with a decent chunk of homework to do over the holiday season. While this makes your job of keeping their brains active during the holidays technically easier, it can put a damper on some of the usual festive activities. Realistically speaking, they could not have given an insane amount of work, and if you sat down with your kid and helped them out as they went along, you could probably have it done within a day or two, leaving the rest of the holidays full of guilt-free lazing about. This is of course, the optimal scenario. Getting any kid to sit still for more than an hour without the use of a monitor or handcuffs can prove near-impossible, especially when they have to concentrate and actually think during that time. As previously mentioned, no one knows your child better than yourself, so depending on their personality and capability of concentrating, you should come up with a work schedule which fits them. Are they incredibly hyperactive and bad at sitting down for even 30 minutes? If so, present the situation differently. Rather than putting an amount of time on it, say they need to complete an certain amount of tasks each day, motivating them to get done quickly and actually giving them a reason to do work with a very tangible end goal each day. If you know they are slightly more capable of concentrating and can sit down for a decent amount of time to actually do some work, give them an hour or two to work on their homework a day. If inspiring them to do work proves more difficult than it should be, resort to the easy way out, rewards for completing tasks. Sometimes the promise of free time just isn't enough, they need something more tangible, like a toy, videogame, or maybe just some sweets. It all comes down to knowing your child well, and seeing what they respond to positively.


Image source: Pexels


Edutainment

The Christmas holidays mean downtime for kids, but for adults, it is usually quite the opposite. In the midst of shopping, decorating and present wrapping, business owners aren’t snoozing either. With more time than they know what to do with, children often start getting somewhat bored during the holidays, making this a perfect time to get them involved in activities which are educational at the core, but still exciting. Going around museums might not seem like the most exciting thing during the average weekend, but during the holidays when they’ve already sat outside playing with friends for a week straight, it might be quite the enticing change of pace. If you are looking for something to do on a budget, London itself has several museums which you can visit absolutely free of charge and sometimes even host events for kids during the holidays. Places like the Natural History Museum, full of giant dinosaur skeletons and precious gemstones are bound to appeal to just about any child, regardless of their interested in biology. Dinosaurs are just cool. The Science museum which is just around the corner from it also sports several impressive technology-oriented exhibits with quite the “WOW factor”, making it a no-brainer attraction for children.


Image source: Pexels


School Trips

If you live in an area where you don’t have more museums and activities than you can shake a stick at, it might be worth turning to your child’s school for help. Often, teachers wouldn't mind making some extra holiday money and organise school trips to all sorts of events, some local and some even going abroad to different countries. With the main intent of the trip remaining educational to at least some degree, it might be hard to detect that for the average child, making it seem just much more exciting.

You could even get in touch the school yourself and convince the teachers to organise something for the holidays. Why not suggest a school trip to Iceland? Often overlooked, but an incredible experience for teachers and students alike. Full of dramatic landscapes with volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs and geysers, it is a perfect geography-oriented trip, full of wonder and adventure. As well as geography, even some historical lessons could get involved, focusing on the its rich Viking history tracing back hundreds of years. Viking oriented museums, merchandise, historical sites and more, are bound to keep your children interested and gaping at everything in awe, forgetting they are even doing anything school related. Not to mention, school trips are most definitely more memorable than your average 45-minute lesson which consists of writing and sitting in a classroom, making the knowledge they gather there much more likely to stay with them past their exam dates.

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