Managing holidays

Staying on top of schoolwork even during breaks.

Winter vacation will soon be starting, and the children will be home and it’s no wonder that keeping organised and focused on school work can be challenging for students. There are many tools to help students and families keep organised in the chaos of holidays — diaries, agendas, planners, calendars are a great way to help busy students stick to a routine during the holiday season.

Most schools provide students with homework diaries to help them keep track of homework and other assignments. But when the holidays arrive, most diaries are left in desks or in backpacks. Gone is the focus and organisational habits of school; relaxation and fun become the top priority. It’s important to remember that not every hour of every day is for fun, even during the holidays. Studies show that children actually crave structure and routine-a diary is a great way to add order to the holidays by helpings students to stay on top of any holiday homework and to keep focused on school.

You can follow these tips on using the school diary or let your children have a planner of their own throughout the holidays to add structure to and to help your child develop a sense of time management!

Make sure that any holiday homework or projects are written into the planner.

Use the planner to keep track of homework, and to note activities and social commitments as well.

Avoid the slip-slide. Days have a way of blending into one another, especially during the holidays, so continue to use a school agenda, calendar, or day planner-it’s a great way to practice time management skills and remain focused.

Have your child refer to the planner everyday; this way your child can stay on top of responsibilities and activities and practice time management.

Try to fit in one or two hours for schoolwork everyday, even just to go over school notes, to read, or to organise a binder or pencil case.

Help your child develop planning and organisation skills by asking, “What’s going on tomorrow?”

Help your child create a seamless transition to back to school by staying organised, focused, and by practicing time management skills.

A little at a time. Upcoming projects, essays, assignments and readings can be easily chipped away at during the break, even if the due dates for these projects are far off. Take advantage

of the spare time afforded by the holidays and make some headway into the upcoming schoolwork.

Turn on the Brain. It’s important that the brain is continually challenged during the holidays. Whether it is by playing board games or by reading books and thinking actively about them, maintaining an active mind is the best way to transition back to the classroom.

Keep them busy. School downtime is very often time when good school habits can slip away. That’s why it is important that students keep the school momentum going over the holidays. There is always schoolwork that students can work on, even if they don’t have any

‘homework’ during the holidays. — Agencies