Here at Time Timer, we have a lot of experience with and knowledge of the ways that school can have an impact on students—including when school is out for summer or winter break.
Now that we are nearing the end of the fall semester, students are studying to pass their final exams, with the feeling that winter break is going to be one great relief from all that work.
However, the truth is that kids of all ages and abilities get used to the structures that school gives them, even if they dislike or resist those structures. Despite the vacation’s lack of quizzes, the loss of structure can lead to a difficult winter break for a child.
A Break from School Is a Breakdown of Routine
Winter break more or less pulls the rug out from under kids when it comes to schedule changes, with extended time given to them to sleep in, stay up late, and spend more time playing with friends.
For many children, even the ones who most look forward to winter break, this interruption of a schedule they had become long acclimated to can create new struggles.
This is especially true for children with cognitive differences, who respond to changes in schedule and routine with greater sensitivity.
To make the transition to winter break easier for your child, be sure to follow the tips below.
Try to Preserve Certain School Routines that Your Child Liked
It is safe to say that waking up early may go out the window, but many children respond to things such as a set lunch time or recess, or a certain after-school activity, that may not be present over winter break.
If your child participated in, say, chess club, then it may be a good idea to start playing consistent or semi-consistent chess games with your child so that there is still fun to be had.
Sports can be difficult to accommodate, especially if snow hinders physical activity, but motivating your child to stay active can help preserve the fun and rush of competing out on the field or court. Children will feel even more motivated if you remind them that physical activity can keep them in shape for when school sports start up again.
Encourage Reading and Other Educational Activities
After final exams, the last thing most kids want to do is keep on learning, but finding small and fun ways to keep learning over break can be the key to a great transition into (and out of) winter break. Otherwise, boredom, distraction, and other negative emotions may take charge.
You may ask your children what they wish they had, but did not, learn about in the school year so far. This can be good for identifying what their interests are, and you can offer a trip to the library or bookstore so that they can learn outside of school.
Additionally, you can ask what subject was your child’s favorite of the past semester, and help them continue their education in that area. Emphasize that this does not have to mean that their winter break will be eaten up by “homeschooling”. When there is no pressure of tests, homework, or other deadlines, self-education can be much more fun for kids.
Use a Time Timer Product to Offer a Sense of Routine
Though some children relish and flourish in the breakdown of routine that comes with winter break, others may best thrive with a routine.
This certainly applies to many children with cognitive differences, such as autism, who actually feel best in the presence of repetition and sameness. Spending a certain amount of time performing a certain activity, such as drawing, can be instrumental in creating the sense of repetition that some children feel is essential to productivity and/or comfort.
Order can relieve the stress some children feel when experiencing change and unpredictability, and a Time Timer product can be a great tool for creating order in the home setting.
For instance, our Time Timer MOD - Home Edition can be the perfect addition to your child’s winter break, as it can be a comforting and relaxing reminder for children that the power to structure their routines is in their hands.
More Great Time Management Products from Time Timer
Time Timer products have been essential for creating success in homes and classrooms around the world, with a variety of uses for Time Timer products for people with special needs.