It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but chances are you aren’t feeling like it. This time of the year can add a whole new level of exhaustion to the already over-worked homeschooling parent. Are you feeling burnt out from homeschooling, virtual learning or just parenting in general? How can you encourage learning throughout the holidays without causing burn-out for both you and your child?
The winter break is always welcomed by kids. And with the new chaos that is pandemic learning, more and more parents look forward to the winter break also. For many, it’s a time to reset and refocus. And for some, it’s also a time to catch up on concepts that maybe their child has been struggling with.
How can you encourage learning throughout the holidays without causing more exhaustion for both you and your child?
Identify what it is that your child should be learning during the holidays. Are they struggling with Math? Reading? Or writing? Which area of their education is in need of the most TLC? There are so many amazing ways to mix fun, creativity and learning together during this time of year so don’t get stressed out if they’re struggling in more than one area.
Identify your child’s interests, hobbies and what they just love to do. Do they love art? Playing games? Making snowmen? If you aren’t sure, spend a little time with them throughout the day. Or just ask them!
I’ve identified what they need to be learning and what their common interests are. So, now what?
Now we need to find fun ways to incorporate learning into their hobbies. It’s actually so much easier than you’d think it is. We can often get so caught up in this idea that learning must look a certain way for it to be effective. But that logic is completely flawed.
Fun Ways to Learn Through the Holidays:
Some kids love reading and writing, so if you offer them a workbook during the holidays they will dive right into it. Other kids feel that you encouraging them to learn during the holidays is a form of punishment. Each child is uniquely different, and as such, each child will have their own unique learning style. Therefore it can be a lot more difficult to find fun ways for your child to learn with. And perhaps your idea of ‘fun learning’ is vastly different from theirs, so how can you encourage learning throughout the holidays while catering to their unique learning style?
First Let’s Figure Out Your Child’s Learning Style:
There are so many different types of learning styles so we are going to just focus on the four most common for this blog.
A Visual Learner is one who learns better by observing, looking at pictures or diagrams. Additionally, a visual learner will often have an easier time remembering what they saw or read vs. what they heard. A visual learner will usually be the one attempting to take notes during class because it helps them focus. They also prefer to work alone, instead of in groups of people. And they usually need quiet time to be able to focus on new concepts.
Some additional characteristics of the visual learner: They often have an easier time remembering faces, but not names. Locations, but not street names. And they often seem to be daydreaming. A visual learner will usually love colours, and need colours in their notes to help them remember and focus. If they’re bored you’ll see them doodling, writing, scribbling or making random lists. Usually with colours and fun designs
How can we help our visual learners during the holidays?
Give them plenty of opportunities to doodle, draw and write. Handing a visual learner a workbook is usually not going to be hugely beneficial for quick and effective learning. Unless that workbook is filled with fun pictures, graphs, and colours. When it comes to visual learners, it’s usually not as easy as just picking up a grade workbook at Costco during the holidays.
When it comes to your visual learner, you will need to get creative.
- You could read them a novel each day, like one of Schoolio’s unique Novel Studies. While you read to them, encourage them to doodle what it looks like in their mind. Encourage them to illustrate the story on paper or write down key points that they found interesting.
2. Be sure to use bright colours whenever possible. If you are asking your child to look at a page of math questions, try having them highlight each question with their favourite holiday colours first.
3. Make the key points of what you want your child to learn stand out! Make it brighter and bolder than the rest of the content that is on a page.
4. Give them time to process what you are trying to help them learn and understand. Don’t expect them to just understand right away. Because Visual Learners often need time to think about what they learned for the concept to really stick.
Sounds matter when it comes to auditory learners. That’s because auditory learners usually learn so much better when the subject of their learning is reinforced by sounds. These are the learners that would rather listen to someones lecture, a story, or an audio book. They sometimes also like to read out loud to themselves because it helps them focus and understand better. Auditory Learners are usually really good at explaining things to others and they will be the ones to repeat what the teacher says until the concept sticks in their mind.
If your auditory learner needs to work on some math problems but is having a hard time focusing on the book. You could either try letting them be completely alone to complete it. Or, turning on some unique holiday music for background noise. When you’ve taught them an interesting fact, ask them to repeat that concept to you with their eyes closed. Or ask them to repeat what you said in their own words. Let your auditory learners have learning partners. Whether in person, or on zoom. Having someone to talk about concepts with can help auditory learners understand and remember.
Our Kinaesthetic learners (sometimes called Tactile learners) are the ones that learn best through experiences or doing things. They like to touch and feel, and to get involved, or to act things out. Kinaesthetic learners usually have to get involved in order to understand. And they are often the ones that just can’t sit still which often makes them really good at sports and dancing!
The Kinaesthetic learners need to take more breaks than most other types of learners. If you’re trying to read them a neat story about history, you could have them act it out. Mixing movement with short and simple lessons is an excellent way to encourage learning throughout the holidays for Kinaesthetic learners.
Reading and Writing Learners
This category is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a reading and writing learner, you’ll know. They are the ones that learn the very best through written words. These learners will express themselves best through reading books, writing, and diaries. They often appear to have a hunger for learning, always looking things up and searching for new books to read.
For this learner, you can absolutely encourage them to dive into some novel studies throughout the holidays. Encourage them to write stories about the holidays, and what their favourite part of this time of the year is. Be sure to have plenty of interesting books, and writing materials available for them to utilize throughout the holidays.
What type of learner do you have?
There’s a huge chance that your learner will fall into one or more category. As some of these categories do overlap in different areas of learning. If you’re having trouble identifying which learning category your child falls into. Try taking out and pen and a paper and write down the different characteristics of each learning category. Then circle the categories that are best suited to your child.
If you have more than one child you will likely find that your children are incredibly different in so many ways, including their learning styles. Determining which learning style works best for each of your children, and then finding ways to bridge their learning together will help you not get so stressed and burnt out trying to accommodate everyone.
Using their unique learning styles to encourage learning throughout the holidays.
Now this is the fun part. When you get to find unique ways to help your children learn. I always find it so funny how we get caught up in this idea that learning must only come from workbooks and planned out lessons. When in all actuality, learning is all around us, all the time.
For your hands on learner, they can gain expertise by helping you with the holiday baking. You can encourage them to draw bright pictures for family and friends. Alternatively, for your auditory learner you can press play on some unique stories. Once they’ve completed listening, you can ask them to tell you about it in their own words. For the Kinaesthetic learner, you can get them outside in the snow, shovelling and having fun. Mixing in a neat verbal science lesson while they rummage through the snow. And for your reading and writing learner you can get them to make beautiful Christmas cards, and keep the novels and neat lessons stocked up for them to jump into when they start to get bored.
For every unique learner, there is more than one unique learning activity that you can utilize to encourage learning throughout the holidays. Just remember not to get caught up in the idea that learning must look a certain way, because it doesn’t. And that applies to holiday learning and learning in general.
Keep learning holiday themed to gain interest!
It doesn’t matter which type of learner you have. Most kids really enjoy the holiday theme. Therefore, incorporating peaceful, fun, and holiday themed, mini lessons into your holiday plans has proven to be beneficial for our kids. Even if they aren’t necessarily ‘behind’ or in need of extra practice, it will benefit your learner to brush up on different concepts and take on some light learning through the holiday season.
Which is why the Schoolio Marketplace is the ideal place to land when searching for interest led learning for our kids.
Some really unique lessons that your kids will love this time of year:
Teaching your kids about celebrations had around the world is a fun way to pique interest, and help them learn some amazing new facts. With this Special Interest Unit your child will have the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal People’s Winter Solstice, Lunar New Year, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Diwali and Christmas. There’s something for every learning style, from writing activities, stories, to baking and crafts. Adding this to your holiday learning plan, will prove to be beneficial.
Another fun way to encourage learning throughout the holidays is to jump into The New Year Special Interest Unit. Your child will study Math, Science, Language and Social Studies through fun lessons like ‘The History of New Year Celebrations’, ‘Making Resolutions’, ‘Counting Down to the New Year’ and more. Be sure to pick up your copy!
Remember, encouraging learning through the holidays doesn’t have to be holiday themed though.
If your child has no interest in holiday themed learning, then try incorporating some other fun, learning activities. Like lessons about trees and forests, pirates, or investigations. There’s so many neat lessons over at the Schoolio Marketplace. So, go ahead and check it out: https://schoolio.io/mini-units/
Just remember not to stress, instead have fun and happy holidays!
For more information on how to help unique learners:
- Hey Teach! – Accommodating Different Learning Styles – https://www.wgu.edu/heyteach/article/accommodating-different-learning-styles-3-tips-guide-you-01702.html
- Rasmussen – 4 Types of Learning Styles – https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/education/blog/types-of-learning-styles/