Happy Holidays… and hello 2016! Now that your family has a break from school pressures and busy schedules, it’s an ideal time to sit with your child and start planning for the new year. Here are some tips to help you navigate the holidays and start 2016 with your best foot forward:
Keep it light! Winter break is a time for kids to unwind, step away from academic responsibilities, and enjoy quality time with family and friends. That said, mixing math, learning, and fun sets the stage for success by keeping young minds sharp and encouraging kids to view math in a positive light! Schedule a Family Game Night and play some board games that involve math. Additionally, enlisting kids to help with holiday cooking and baking is an opportunity to work with ratio and proportion and, from a big picture perspective, allows them to experience math in the real world. We’ll be posting more math fun on our Number Sense Blog, so be sure to check back frequently for ideas!
Understand the situation. As the holiday hubbub dies down, have a conversation with your child about next year’s math goals. Your child’s first semester report card may serve as a good starting point, but letter grades don’t reflect the whole situation. Take some time to know your child’s relationship with math—struggling students may feel dejected and caught in the undertow, high achievers could very well be bored, and kids performing at grade level could be barely staying afloat. Also, keep in mind that today’s math struggles most likely took root in previous years—your child may be unable to grasp concepts because he or she didn’t grasp foundational skills taught in years prior. As you talk with your child, be positive and supportive, and encourage trust and open dialogue.
Make some new year’s resolutions! Now that you’ve assessed the situation, start the year fresh with a reasonable action plan. Commit to a study plan/schedule, and identify whether your child has the resources available to reach his or her goals. If you need some help charting a solid course of action, we’re here to help and would love to sit and chat about what your family hopes to accomplish in the new year.
Reinforce consistent effort while maintaining balance! While we all dream of “overnight successes,” truth is, it takes consistent hard work over time to get to where you need to be. At the same time, as you support your child in his or her efforts, keep in mind that while hard work is key to success, a situation that’s all work and no play never did anyone any favors. Remember those fun math-related activities you did throughout winter break? Incorporating educational fun into your established study routine will keep kids smiling all the way to the finish line!
Wishing you all the warmth and joy of the season—we look forward to helping you make 2016 the best year yet!