Whether you have a class full of thirty kids or you are a home school mom, there is nothing harder than trying to keep the kids attention during the holiday season. They are making their Christmas list and checking it twice, and that normally doesn’t include paying attention in school. Understandably, we all remember being young and thinking about all the things we wanted under then Christmas tree.
Sound familiar? If so, you’re in luck. Not only am I a home school mom, but I often find that I need to pull out some holiday idea to keep the kids attention span during the month of December. This is for the Christmas season, but the same methods will work for every holiday throughout the year. I’ve made it a point to do this around every holiday. I not only can keep the kids, no matter how old they are, listening and learning, but they have fun. So let’s get right to it!
5 Creative Holiday Ideas for Busy Teachers
Have a holiday craft ready at all time!
Throughout the years, I’ve found that if I have a holiday craft hidden away for emergencies, I can pull this out in a moments notice. Not only is this helpful, but as these crafts usually only take around thirty minutes to do, it is a easy way to give the kids the holiday spirit they so want to enjoy.
After the craft, it’s back to school work. The craft can be done at the beginning, middle, or at the end of school. I’ve done it throughout the day at all times. Basically, I pull out these holiday crafts when I, or the kids, are desperate for a break.
You can find excellent crafts at AllFreeCrafts.com. There are many places on the Internet to choose from. All you have to do is Google the type of craft you are looking for.
Holiday Book Report
One of my favorite home school tricks is to do holiday book reports. No matter what the age of your child, they can create a book report. Whether it is five lines or five pages, writing about the holiday’s is a wonderful way to incorporate writing, grammar, and history all into one subject.
You can pick the subject or let the kids write about their favorite holiday tradition. Here are a few ideas to choose from:
History of Santa Clause
The Manger Scene
Their favorite holiday song and why
Their favorite holiday food and why
The history of Christmas carols
Ok, this is just an idea. The truth is there are so many different ideas for book reports during the holidays. Choose a subject that your kids will enjoy writing about. This is the first tip on getting them to enjoy writing. If they enjoy the subject, they will get more energetic about this school project.
Holiday Field Trip
Christmas time is the best time of year for field trips. The key to keeping the kids focused on school is to have rewards lined up. If they know they have a field trip coming up, they will work all the harder on school. In our house, we have certain things that must be done in order to do the field trip like having honor roll, chores done, etc.. During school, they need to be respectful, ask questions –you get the drift. You would be amazed how attentive the kids will get when they are looking forward to something like a holiday field trip.
A great idea for a holiday field trip to travel to look at a light extravaganza or a holiday play. Whatever you choose, make a big deal about it with your children or class. The more excited they get, the better your chances are to keep them focused during school. Just remind them that in order to take advantage of the field trip, they have certain things they must do or get done!
Have Mid Morning Breaks
Breaks, even as short as 2 minutes, can help the kids get re-juiced for school. Let the kids take a moment to stretch or just stand up and sit down — either way, it will get their blood flowing and help them stay concentrating for the rest of class. Many kids just love to stop school, even for a moment. Take advantage of this time to remind them of the coming holiday field trips or special things going on! Remind them how important it is to get good grades!
It sounds funny to say to stay focused yet it can be the most important tip throughout the holiday season. As a teacher, we have to remember our goals we have for our students throughout the holiday season. Staying focused will allow all of the holiday events not take away from what we need to get accomplished: schoolwork.
Being a home school mom, I find that keeping a list of what needs to get done helps me stay focused throughout the holiday season. I know when midterm exams are. I know what tests need to be done for the month. I know when holiday break is. I try to have everything in front of me at all times so I keep focused and stay on my goals for the holiday season. This seems to help the kids and me have a better holiday season!