4 Steps to Holiday Learning


For most students, a vacation means a long break from schoolwork. Without a teacher or homework assignment in sight, notebooks are quickly stuffed into the back of closets and textbooks are forgotten. However, planning to spend a few minutes during your vacation reviewing your schoolwork will be helpful when you return after the break. By doing small exercises throughout the break, you will keep your mind sharp and have less trouble getting back into the swing of the classroom. So, before you start using your agenda book as a coaster for holiday hot chocolate, here are some fun tips on how to keep reviewing while on vacation: 

  • Trivial Pursuit. Just like a traditional game of Trivial Pursuit, you can create and play your own game with your family. Grab your books and type different questions from your classes. Stick the questions on game cards, and when your family is driving to a holiday dinner, play a round of Trivial Pursuit. Don’t forget to keep score!
  • Pass the math. Make a math equation and have the person to your left/right solve it.  They then have to use their answer to make a new equation.  The first one to make a mistake breaks the chain and then everyone has to start over.
  • History over time. Play connect-the-dots starting with ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and discuss how the contributions of history still impact us today (this great way to see big picture ideas).
  • Scattergories. A regular game of Scattergories is played by having players name objects within a category, given an initial letter, and within a time limit. Change things up a bit by making your own categories relating to a topic of study (for example, biology). Make the game easier by just naming terms in the category without trying to use the same letter. If you want to raise the stakes, award bonus points to players who can explain what each term means and/or the function.



    Studying during the holidays does not have to be a tedious task that gets placed at the end of your to-do list after sampling scary holiday fruitcake.  With the games above, preparing for exams, papers, and projects can be a fun way to bring your family and friends together, and you can possibly teach them something new.  So when you sit down to the table and your grandma asks you how school is going, pull out your version of Trivial Pursuit for a fabulous conversation starter. 

    Happy studying this holiday season! 

    Article by Alexandra Mayzler

Alexandra Mayzler is the Founder and Director of Thinking Caps Tutoring, a comprehensive tutoring company dedicated to developing innovative and individualized approaches to teaching. She participates in the coordination of the New York Dyslexia Association's annual conference, is a curriculum consultant for independent and public schools, and the author of study skills book to be published in September 2010. Alexandra spends her free time thinking about how to make studying easier, more interesting, and potentially even enjoyable!