Springfield schools offer advice to keep kids learning on winter break

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

South Vienna School celebrated the last day of school before winter break with a holiday party Wednesday.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Children will soon be sleeping in and celebrating with family during winter break but Springfield school principals remind parents that learning shouldn’t stop outside of school.

All Clark County students, besides Springfield City School District students, begin their winter break vacation Thursday, Dec. 21. Springfield students first day of break is Friday. Students return in all Clark County districts return Jan. 3.

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During the long summer months outside of school, educators worry about the “summer-slide,” a term used to describe when students forget what they learned during the previous school year.

The “winter-slide” isn’t as drastic because students aren’t away from school as long, local principals said, but making sure students read and learn during winter break can have big benefits when they get back to the classroom.

“We have always told the students to continue to read and for our kids, we still have goals they are working in,” South Vienna Principal Denise Jones said.

Keeping a reading schedule and encouraging students to learn during winter break can keep the student’s minds working throughout winter break, Springfield Snowhill Principal Jennifer Paxson said.

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“It’s important to build independent reading stamina and you do that by creating a reading routine,” Paxson said. “Something like charting or graphing reading time and suggesting that a student read 20 minutes a day and you can build a better reader.”

Reading is the foundation of education, Jones and Paxson said, and parents can encourage reading over winter break in many ways.

“Journaling is a great way,” Jones said. “Having the kids keep a journal will get them writing. Kids can write about what they did for the day and what they read for the day.”

Keeping track of the fun activities also can prepare students for when they return to school because teachers always ask what they did over break, Jones said.

“The other thing kids enjoy doing is spending time with their parents cooking,” Jones said. “Cooking a recipe requires reading and math and following directions and it’s fun.”

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Lots of recipes that kids can follow can be found online, she said.

Sitting down and reading with children is always a great idea, Paxson said, but doing it over break can be a good way to have important family time during the holidays and promote good educational habits.

“You sit down together and ask questions before reading, during reading and after reading,” Paxson said. “Pick books based on their interest.”

There is time to lay around and relax during winter break, the principals said, but learning should also be seen as fun.

“I believe reading should be done for enjoyment,” Paxson said. “By connecting the writing and journaling and retelling the story, that can make it fun.”

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