During the winter holiday break, many students and parents take the opportunity to step back from their crazy schedules and focus on their families and being able to enjoy each other’s company. Just like with summer break, it is essential to continue to involve students with different aspects of academia to keep their wondering minds ahead of the game. It is important to stick to routines such a student’s bedtime and daily responsibilities. Being able to stick to the daily routines helps alleviate any difficulties when students return to school in the new year.
There are many ways where students can take a step back from the classroom but still do a tremendous amount of learning within the household. Taking a bit of time each day to read aloud to your child or have them read independently provides students with ways to increase learning, specifically in the comprehension and vocabulary area. This time also enables parents and children to spend quality time together. These learning moments enable parents to connect the home environment to the classroom. Reading and analyzing texts that are grade level or above provide students with deeper understanding of text.
There are other resources outside of the household where students can learn and challenge themselves over the break. Some of these resources include supplemental education, museums or planetariums, and workshops geared towards students. Enrichment programs provide students with challenging yet simplified subjects areas and museums or planetariums making learning fun and hands-on. Museums not only teach students about science and history but make learning a fun, hands on process. Students are involved with aspects such as IMAX movies on planets and nature and look at the evolution of ancient history, bringing those history textbooks to life.
For students to want to learn, you want to make learning fun. Students should take initiative rather then feeling like they must do something because they are being told to do so. Get involved in the learning process with your children. Just as brain drain could happen over the long summer months, it can also happen throughout the winter break. Focus in on what students enjoy doing and make it a fun experience with the ability to learn new things. Sign your children up for culinary classes, technology workshops or different crafting opportunities. Take them to the zoo or aquarium and allow them to experience learning all about the animals and nature all around us. Remember, for learning to be effective, it must be fun.
Parents, here is a fun yet educational Halloween activity that keeps kids entertained while still practicing their math skills! Print the below coloring sheets and have your kids solve the math problems at the bottom of the coloring page to determine what colors should be used to complete each coloring sheet.
Download the coloring sheets HERE!
A big thank you to all those that participated in the 2018 Eye Level Literary Awards. We are proud of each students efforts and congratulate the winners of each region.
Thank you to all those who joined us at Eye Level Market Day in Parker, Texas to kick off this back-to-school season! Congratulations to all the raffle winners! We hope to see you all next year! @ Southfork Ranch
Almost everyone remembers to read over the summer with their children to keep up with literacy skills, but what are you doing for your child to keep up their mathematics skills? According to researchers at Duke University, math skills decline the most compared to other academic skills with some students losing up to three months’ worth of learning (Mukisa, Math Insider). Here are 8 great tips to help prevent the “Summer Slide” and might help to increase your child’s mathematical thinking.
1. Read a Math Story. As mentioned, most children are continuing to read over the summer, so why not read a math story together? My favorites include the Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan. This book series is appropriate for students in grades 1-8. For younger children (Pre-K-2), consider reading “How Much is a Million?” by David M Schwartz or “The Math Curse” by Jon Scieszka.
2. Play a Game. Anything with dice or cards are great games to play with kids. Playing with dice with help children automatically recognize numbers up to six and addition facts up to twelve. To work on subtraction facts, have your child roll only one die at a time. For example, if your child is seven spaces away from winning and he rolls a 4, he will begin to intuitively know that he needs a three to get to the desired location. With cards, students will recognize numbers up to 10. Even younger children can work on their skills such a similarities and differences. For older children, you can introduce them to other classic games such as chess or checkers.
3. Math Websites. There are so many great resources available to you online. You can find a game about anything and everything! Prodigy is a great game for students in grades 1-8. If you are looking for something more academic, check out Khan Academy. Khan Academy has material for all ages from three to ninety-three. I go on myself sometimes to brush up on my calculus skills or to increase my computer programming knowledge.
4. Let Children Use Real Money. Money is such an important part of everyday life, and it is crucial that children get exposed to the value of money. If your give your daughter a five-dollar bill to buy her $1.75 drink, let her figure out how much money she should get back. She can even determine the different ways to make $3.25. Even young children understand the power of money and they will feel important if they are permitted to help.
5. Bake. Baking involves a lot of math, from measuring the ingredients to telling time. Although it might take longer or be a bit messier to bake with your child, it is worth the memories that are created. Then at the end, you have something delicious to eat that your child will be proud of! You can try having your child help you cook vegetables, too. Maybe she will be more likely to eat them.
6. Set a Lemonade Stand. If your child has practice dealing with money and baking, now is a great time to put these skills to use and set up his own lemonade stand. He can go to the store and buy the supplies, determine how much he needs to sell to make a profit, measure the lemonade to put into pitchers and cups, multiply if someone buys more than one cup, and then provide exact change to his customers. Maybe you will even inspire the next Alex, who gave the profits from her lemonade to childhood cancer research. She raised $2,000 at the age of 4 and over a million dollars by the age of 8.
7. Visit a Museum. You are looking for something to keep your son entertained and a museum is the perfect place to go. Of course, you can go movies and the playground again, but there are more educational places that you can visit. Take advantage of this time so that he will associate learning with something fun.
8. Help Plan a Trip. Since you already planning a trip to visit grandma and family vacation to the Grand Canyon, why not let your child help? You and your daughter can pick out the flight and then she can determine the total cost by multiplying by the number of people in your family. She can let you know what time you need to arrive at the airport so that you are two hours early and help determine what time that means you should leave your house. Your son can help you map the miles between all the great National Parks near the Grand Canyon and can make a gasoline budget based on the fuel efficiency of your car and the price of gas. He can even determine when and where are the best spots to take breaks based on how much gasoline fits in the car’s fuel tank.
Whatever you decide to do, try to be conscious of your child’s education throughout the summer and incorporate fun activities to instill the value of learning!
Adam Grant offers 5 practical actions to unleash originality that you can take. The following extract is taken from his bestseller.
1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or schools. Then Have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation?
2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people-it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child so something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you _________.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people-they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?”
3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong-and to avoid the action in the future.
4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important.
5. Create novel niched for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on their role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice-children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original idea instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a difference frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?