What to do with your kids over break
Posted by AdminLinkEd
January 27, 2009, 4:13 pm
This month we spoke with Martine Guerrier, the Chief Family Engagement Officer* of the NYC Department of Education about different educational opportunities to help keep your kids occupied over the holiday break. Take a look at the lists below for ways to keep your kids engaged with the fun side of learning during this winter break.
*The Chief Family Engagement Officer leads the Office for Family Engagement and Advocacy (OFEA), an office dedicated to parent support and family engagement. OFEA is responsible for family outreach and ensuring that the parent voice is heard to promote more student achievement and well rounded kids.
Regents exams are in January - do you have any suggestions of fun activities parents can do with their kids over the break to keep them prepared?
It's not just about reading, writing and arithmetic; it's also about the love of learning. To help your kids stay sharp for the Regents exams, have them stay up-to-date on current events.
Tips from Martine
Have children or the whole family read the newspaper or watch the news.
Attend one of the many college forums happening over the break and expose your high school student to new ideas and discussions.
Keep them in touch with the things that they have learned over the past semester.
There is a new hit movie out that is also a book called Twilight. You could have your kids read the book then go see the movie, or go see the movie then read the book. Connect the two things and discuss them; what were the differences between the two?
Have a family debate night and talk about real issues like the economy and current events. Help your children understand what is happening in the world around them.
Talk to them about global history. Try to explain historical events that respond to the question: How did we become so connected? Look at the ways in which older historical societies have merged into our lives today.
As parents may start thinking about new year's resolutions, what are some ideas you could share with families on how to get involved with their child's education, be it by becoming more active with the school or at home?
Once a month, send a note to your child's teachers and find out how your kid is doing in school socially or academically.
Once a week: parents should check their children's notebooks. Do this even for high school kids. You have to ask for notebooks and remember - it shouldn't be a negotiating point. Check their notebooks and check the bookbag for notes and notices. Find out what is happening at school.
Talk about college with your children regardless of their age or grade level. You can talk about college through conversations about college football or any college sport. What are the top teams and what are they known for accomplishing? Pull down stats on the teams and find out what programs the athletes are in and what else has helped them get there.
Attend free events: there are concerts all over the city and schools often receive free tickets or discounts. Go to the school secretary's desk or parent coordinator and pick up the coupons.
Are there any upcoming events that you would highlight for our readers happening over the holiday break?
Some top events or activities that my son and I certainly recommend are:
Visit the Climate Change exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History Museum
Window-shopping and looking at all the holiday decorations
Skating in the park
Trip to the bookstore; my son loves this
Playing games together
Visit to Lincoln Center, the New York Hall of Science or the Brooklyn Museum of Art
Additionally, many local colleges are offering symposia and theater productions; if you are near a college, look at what they have to offer. What is Queens College offering? If you live in Brooklyn, what is Brooklyn College doing? Go check out the Society for Ethical Culture's offerings for thought provoking events or the local Ssports Lleague which is may be having invitational's or try outs. There is plenty to do in this city at a very low cost.
Are there other great resources we should share with our readers?
Call 311 for answers. That is an incredible resource for anything in NYC. Always ask your parent coordinator for information about free events that your school has been made aware of and take advantage of them.
Before the break, do you have any last minute tips?
Before the holiday break, have your kid get phone numbers from at least 5 other kids in his or her class and so they can stay in touch. Have your kid call the others and after they are through talking to each other, ask to speak with their parents. Get to know who is in your child's school and who the parents are. Stay in touch with those parents and maybe organize an outing together. When you bring kids together that are all in the same class, they can end up helping one another without even realizing it. During group outings, bring the conversation back to school and have everyone talk about what they are learning or what they need to do over the break. Maybe even challenge them. Find a problem in the workbooks that your kid didn't understand and have the group solve it together. There is nothing like having 5 kids help each other without even realizing it.
Regardless of what you choose to do this holiday break, just remember to stay connected and interested in your children. Make time to listen to them and share their interests. At the end of the day, children just want to know that we care about them, respect them and love them.
Check out these additional resources online:
4. Go City Kids has a comprehensive listing of kid-friendly events in the city