Happy Holidays! Keep Studying! (continued)
by John Pearson
I would ask all of the parents who are reading this to do a few things to help keep your child's learning intact. Sure, let her enjoy the vacation -- here in nice warm Texas, the kids can wear their candy cane bathing suits when they go swimming, drink hot cocoa in the air-conditioned malls, or throw snowballs at each other online. They've earned a break (most of them, anyway).
At the same time, encourage them to keep practicing the skills they have been working on all year. They should still be reading every night -- and examining the list of ingredients on a box of chocolate covered cherries doesn't count. They can still work on their math skills. "Santa's reindeer leave eight sets of hoofprints on each rooftop. If they visit 11 houses on one street, how many sets of hoofprints will they leave in all?"
Your kids could investigate holiday traditions in other countries, to continue their social studies knowledge. They could even keep their science skills sharp by running an investigation titled, "Exactly What the #@^! IS Fruitcake?!?"
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and have a very safe break.
John Pearson is a third-grade math and science teacher in Dallas, Texas. He has degrees in mechanical engineering from Duke University and Texas A&M, so most consider his math abilities adequate enough to teach nine-year olds. He is also the author of Learn Me Good (Lulu, 2006), a funny, fictionalized account of his first year in education. Read more at www.learnmegood.com