Preventing ‘brain drain’ during the holiday breaks

 For kids, the holiday breaks are a time to unwind and play with Christmas presents, but it is also a time they forget everything they have learned in school. Over the holidays, your child can lose weeks of academic learning.  When kids return back to school, they often spend days, if not weeks, catching up to where they were when the holiday break began.

One local mom is making an effort to keep her kids brain in shape over the holiday break.  The key to education is activity-based learning that makes concepts relevant in the real world. Kristy Lewis said even though holidays are a time to relax and spend time with family, it is not a time to stop learning.

Lewis and her 10-year-old son Gavin are spending some quality time together.

“Family is very important to us,” said Lewis.

Lewis is not only a mom of two, but she is also the Head Start Director for Paducah public schools.  She says she knows all too well the effects of brain drain.

“During the holidays, it can get really stressful for parents and for the kids too because sometimes their routines are broken. One of the biggest things we do in our family is try to keep that routine,” said Lewis.

Lewis said there are ways to prevent kid’s brains from turning to mush over the holiday break.

“Take that time to read, 10 to 15 minutes every night will make such a difference,” said Lewis.

She also suggests to bring the learning to the kitchen.

“That’s the best time to incorporate math skills. For my fourth grader, we can talk about division, for my four year old we can talk about just basic addition skills,” said Lewis.

For Lewis and Gavin this is time spent together.

“You want your child to enjoy it just as much as you do because those precious memories they grow up so fast,” said Lewis. 

Besides reading, you can help your kids explore their interests. Play thinking games with your kids like Scrabble or Boggle. Most importantly – do not over-do it. Give them that time to enjoy being a kid. 

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