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How to Keep Kids Successful During Holiday Break

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Some Simple Strategies to Help Keep Your Kids On Track During School Breaks

Some of the feedback that we get from our community is frustration that school breaks disrupt the positive rhythm their kids have during school.

Even though school break can seem like a gift, the reality is that the abrupt schedule change can be really disruptive to kids. The result is that kids can act out, become moody, and then struggle to get back into a school mindset when break is over.

Of course not all kids are the same. Some really do well with the downtime school break can provide. However, for families that want a little help navigating school break, here are some simple tips.

Structure Can Actually Be Helpful

While nobody likes to feel “over scheduled”, many studies show that having structure to your day helps reduce anxiety, depression, and confusion. This is particularly true with kids. Believe it or not, kids actually do really well when expectations are laid out clear for them. It reduces worry and wonder for them, especially in kids who have not yet developed self-direction.

Structure can look like something as simple as creating a time sheet of general activities:

Of course somewhere in there will fall any number of other activities, like running errands with mom, or scheduled extra curriculars. The point is to have a general framework for your kids to reference so they can anticipate their day.

It also empowers them to come up with activities, but within limits. It can be overwhelming for a 8 year old to be told to “go play something” (leave me alone basically) for some indefinite period of time. However, when they know they have “art time” for the next hour, or “screen time” or “outside time”, they are able to focus on a singular activity. Some great projects you can offer up are crafts kits and STEAM based activities, many of which can be done with supplies already laying around the house.

Sleep Schedules Matter Too

During school break, another way to maintain structure is to maintain a set bedtime and wake time. This keeps a healthy and consistent sleep schedule for them and prevents the classic shift to “staying up way too late, and sleeping in way too long” that parents often see happen during breaks. A change like that in sleep schedules actually makes it difficult for kids when it is time to switch back to a school schedule, and disrupts their circadian rhythm.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a regular sleep schedule, making sure your child gets enough sleep but not too much, and to have no screen time at least a half hour before bedtime.

Just Because There is No School Does Not Mean There Should Be No Work

From there, you might try to build in some simple tasks and expectations for them. This can help parents avoid having to constantly entertain and monitor their kids, and it can help kids by giving them some directive and focus. This might look like a project list and a daily chore list.

Researchers concluded that kids who had chores fared better later in life.

For example, during break task them with a project such as weeding the garden, or organizing the garage, and cleaning and organizing their bedroom. Daily chores might include loading the dishwasher, sweeping the floors, and dusting.

The great thing about chores is that it gives your kids a task to accomplish, it helps mom and dad, and it also gives kids a productive way to earn privileges, such as screen time or a sleep over, for example.

Research from a well-known 75-year Harvard study examined the childhood psychosocial variables and biological processes that predicted health and well-being later in life. Researchers concluded that kids who had chores fared better later in life.

Innovation Academy is Here to Help

If your family needs more ideas and ways to help keep your kids busy during school breaks, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our amazing educators here always have great ideas that are going to be fun and productive for your kids!

Interested in learning more about how this Las Vegas Middle School is raising the bar for education? Schedule your tour today…come by and see for yourself just how much fun we have learning here at Innovation Academy!

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Best Las Vegas Middle School | Innovation Academy Las Vegas