School breaks and closures can be a welcomed mental health break for many students, but too long of a break can lead to students falling behind. With many schools going back to remote learning for the month of January, snow days and upcoming breaks, we’ve put together a list of ways to help your child get ahead during school closures.
Create a Schedule: Help your child maintain structure by providing them with a daily schedule. For some students, this might look like a list of things to do with choice on when they do them. For other students, this might look like a detailed schedule with a timer, or anywhere in between. It’s important to remember to include time for breaks, snack, lunch, outside play time and other types of free time. Some activities you can include are reading time, computer based academic games, homework or school work, puzzles, study time, structured play time and family time.
Outside Time: If you are able to, allowing kids time to play outside is helpful for their energy levels and helps them improve their creativity and imagination by engaging in creative play. If you are able to join them, great! If not, allow them some free time outside. If they seem to be stuck on what to do, give them some goals like build a snowman, find 10 pinecones, find a four leaf clover or play fetch with the dog. Give them a minimum and maximum amount of time they can be outside and provide them with a timer if it is helpful.
Snacks and Lunch: Don’t forget to provide some brain food! Make it into another activity by asking for their help in preparing lunch. You can teach them how to make a sandwich or cut up fruit and vegetables. Providing them with a task list of steps they can take is helpful for many students. Try not to let them snack all day and help them make healthy choices if you are able.
Reading Time: Spending time in books is the number one way to increase reading ability. In fact, just 15 minutes a day can increase a child’s vocabulary ten fold and increase reading performance on standardized tests. If you don’t have access to books at home, you can find free e-books on your local library’s website, or better yet, make a field trip to the library and pick out some books to take home. There are also lots of great free reading websites such as Epic and FunBrain. Here is a great list of places you can find some free e-books!
Creativity and Art Time: If your child enjoys art, give them some simple projects to do! There are some really great activity sets you can purchase ahead of time for your child such as KiwiCo, Little Passports, and MEL’s Science Kits. Here is a list of even more kits available!
Find a Tutor: When school is out and you have to work, it can sometimes be helpful to find a tutor. Braintrust Tutors are an excellent source of Special Education Professionals that can help your student stay on track and even get ahead. They offer FREE consultations, so it’s easy to get started. Their platform will help you match with the perfect tutor for your child’s unique needs. Starting from their amazingly talented pool of vetted educators, you can use their extensive filters to narrow your options according to areas of difficulty, learning differences, location, and more! They will recommend their top three teachers who meet your needs, but you can search through other potential matches as well. Then schedule video interviews to find the right fit for your child. All before booking any sessions or making any commitments!