Huntington Learning Center offers advice for parents
For Encino-area children, the winter holiday season doesn’t just mean enjoying home-cooked meals, hanging out with long-distance cousins at celebratory gatherings and opening presents. It also means winter break is near and they will have more than a few days off from school.
While many kids in the local community are counting down the days to when they don’t have to wake up early in the morning and head off to school, local parents should consider putting together a winter break plan for their children. However, “it should be a plan that keeps them mentally-engaged while out of the classroom,” says Norbert Weinberg of Huntington Learning Center of Encino.
“There’s nothing wrong with a child having a few days off from school. After all, we all need a brain break!” Weinberg said. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your child stimulated and engaged. In fact, encouraging your child to participate in educational activities during the school break will make it easier for him or her to get back into the routine of things when he or she returns to school.”
Weinberg recommends parents in the Encino area utilize the following tips to keep their children mentally engaged during the holidays:
- Skip the screen. Although it may be tempting to let children spend their free time watching movies or playing new video games, a balance must be maintained. Try limiting kids to the amount of screen time they have during the school break. This will require them to come up with other creative ways to have fun.
- Visit the library. If your child doesn’t have a library card yet, get them one as a holiday gift. Be sure to visit the library during break and make it a point to actually spend some time there. If your child is old enough, drop them off for a couple of hours and let them explore on their own.
- Take an educational family fieldtrip. Whether it’s to a museum, a nature center or even a zoo, day trips as a family are an excellent way to teach children new facts. After your visit, have each family member share the most interesting thing they learned. Or, get creative and ask children to draw pictures or create collages of what they saw.
- Keep a journal. With lots of traveling and frequent visitors, the holiday season presents an ideal opportunity for children to reflect on the experiences they are having. Encourage your child to keep track of his or her memories by keeping a journal or even posting a blog.
- Have fun with numbers. When they are not practiced regularly, math skills quickly diminish, so be sure to work math into the holiday break in fun ways. Bake cookies and use the measurements to get kids to practice their fractions. Track the daily temperatures or measure items around the house.
Huntington Learning Center of Encino helps students (ages 5 to 17) achieve improvements in their grades, test scores and self esteem. Weinberg says the success of its programs is due to the one-to-one attention its certified teachers devote to each child. In addition to on-site instruction, the center works with schools to ensure that educators are aware of the services that are available for struggling students.
“We hope that parents consider using these helpful tips during their children’s winter break this year. And, if their children need year-round help, they can certainly contact our center and talk to our experienced staff,” Weinberg said.
For more information about Huntington Learning Center in Encino, please contact Norbert Weinberg at (818) 907-5555.