By engaging your child in activities that have learning and skill development as a goal, you not only help your child do better in school, but you teach them that learning and homework are not a chore or punishment. Instead of fighting your child’s boredom with more screen time, use these activities to further develop your child as a life-long learner.
Get Your Child Writing
For young children, letters to Santa are a great way to get them writing. If a letter to Santa has already been written, you can have your child fill in thank-you cards to the people who purchased them gifts (or even Santa himself). Another idea is to have your child write about something they would like to do the next year using their 5 senses. It doesn’t really matter what they write about: they could talk about going to a Jays game or even going tobogganing. What is important, however, is that they use the 5 senses in their writing to heighten the level of description used.
Teach your child the fun side of science by showing them some cool science experiments! For a holiday-themed experiment, here are some instructions on how to make snow:
You can even make slime with your children if that’s more appealing to them: https://sciencebob.com/make-some-starch-slime-today
Cooking and Baking
Preparing food involves many different scholastic skills. Reading recipes, following directions and taking measurements are just the tip of the iceberg in the essential skills your child will use. Even though it will probably slow your process, I guarantee both you and your child will benefit from the time spent together in the kitchen. For some inspiration, the BBC has a great website filled with children friendly recipes: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/kids-baking
Donating Clothing and Old Toys
Teaching your child the value of the things they no longer use is essential to helping your child appreciate and understand money. Have a donation day in your house where you clear out old closets and bins together. Create three piles: keep, discard and donate. Your child should sort through their toys or clothes. Bring your child to the donation centre and, if possible, get them to talk to staff about why donation is important.
Reading should be an everyday activity. I believe the most effective way a parent can engage their child is by taking turns reading. Building this habit early is essential. Holiday reading should be fun and should help develop a love of reading. ReadWriteThink (http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/) has a plethora of resources to help any parent help their child with reading.
However, if your child is struggling to read, more intensive intervention might be necessary. Reading problems must be dealt with as soon as they are noticed to prevent any longer term delays.