Anytime, Anywhere Winter Break Learning

Thank you note

Daniel's thank you note to Mike and Belle. Photo by daBinsi, on Flickr.

And now for something completely different. Guest blogger Martine King, TASC’s new Director of Education, offers eight ways that parents and kids can have fun and exercise their minds together over winter break.

Write thank you notes.  Your child can show appreciation while mixing spelling and penmanship with arts and crafts.

Write and decorate holiday cards. Never got your holiday cards in the mail? The kids can fill cards with art and cheer for the start of a new year.

Cook up a storm. From baking cookies to fixing simple peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches,cooking combines great learning about measurement, fractions and literacy. More ambitious: Start writing a recipe book with your kids.

Shop together.  Still buying or returning gifts? Your kids can keep the budget. They can learn real-world money management by finding the best deal for your $20, paying for an item and calculating the change or finding comparable items to exchange.

Read a long book. While you and your kids have the time, explore a longer chapter book that keeps you all in suspense for days.

Write your own book. Why not co-author a story about what you’re doing for the holidays? Map it with a graphic organizer, then add dialogue, thoughts, feelings and action to make the story come alive. Paint illustrations. More ambitious: learn to make your own paper.

Digital Learning. Computer time can also be learning time. Start by exploring Starfall, Scholastic, Funbrain, or PBS Kids.  More ambitious: start learning typing skills

Project-Based Learning. You can help your kids explore interests outside of the classroom walls through multi-step projects they plan and execute.