It’s hard to believe it’s already December, especially considering how long 2020 has seemed at times throughout the year. It’s been a particularly challenging school year for many students as they had to adjust to going from “regular” on-campus education (with a multitude of extracurriculars and other social activities that made for a well-rounded school experience) to learning through a virtual or modified format. In some cases, students also had the added challenges of going back to school in the “new normal” only to have to return to online schooling after a few short weeks of being “back in class.” It’s fair to say students around the country have been tasked with some never-seen-before difficulties in 2020. As the year comes to a close, it’s understandable that many students may be more than ready for the winter break.
And much like “spring fever,” many students may already be a little “checked out” from their routine schedule. However, there is still lots of school time left before the break begins so it’s vital that kids stay the course. Kids may already be staying up later than usual or not getting up early to do their usual morning routine before “going to class” — aka turning their computers on and their cameras off! Side note: one of the benefits of schooling virtually may be going to class in pajamas but doing that on a routine basis can actually take away the structure and formality of education so parents should keep “pajama days” to a minimum. Instead of letting the school year slip away throughout December, Apex Leadership Co. encourages parents and guardians to help students stay fully engaged in their education as the excitement of the upcoming winter break builds.
How to Engage Kids and Students?
Maintain a Schedule — With holiday events and lots of things to do during December in anticipation of the holidays, it’s easy to get off track and let the kids stay up late, skip their usual nighttime routine, or let the studying/homework time slip. However, it’s important to stick to the schedule up until winter break commences. This ensures kids get plenty of rest (which is super important on test days when they need to be alert and focused) and stay engaged in their regular educational activities. It also places continued emphasis on the importance of education — even though it may be online or virtual in some capacity. (Yes, that means having the kids get up, get dressed, and make their beds, etc. all before heading to campus or logging into their daily online learning portal.)
Create a Countdown — Even while sticking to a schedule, families can (and should!) get excited about the well-deserved upcoming winter break. Why not encourage the kids to make a paper chain countdown and tear a piece off each night before bed? This routine can help little ones visualize each step closer to their winter break and help build excitement.
Establish Motivational Milestones — Encourage students to keep working hard and going strong all the way to the winter break “finish line” with a little motivation! Establish some milestones, such as reading for 30 minutes each day or practicing sight or spelling words nightly, and offer some incentive… There’s nothing wrong with providing a reward for these accomplishments such as a special activity to enjoy during break, an occasional sweet treat, or even some “time off” from chores.
Winter break will be here in no time, but there is still plenty of time before then to make sure students finish the semester strong. With many upcoming tests or finals, project turn-ins and more to accomplish before the final bell of the term, parents, and guardians can continue to help students stay engaged by checking in on a semi-regular basis and offering friendly reminders of due dates and test days.