People are given breaks for many different reasons and oftentimes, we take them for granted. Breaks are a good opportunity for a lot of families to go on a vacation, to take a breather. Many students and working professionals take this time to re-energise and recover from burnout. But what does it actually mean to really “take a break” and just how can we make the most of it? We’re often under the impression that breaks are a good excuse to slack off. And while that is reasonable, there is so much more that we can do to make our breaks fun and productive without having to take away the very essence of “going on a break.”
It’s all about the mindset. You can walk away feeling refreshed and pumped to work again but empty-handed or you can take the time to re-energise whilst learning something new and being productive. And neither choice is wrong! After all, it’s a well-deserved break. But have you ever had those moments where you ask yourself, “What am I going to do now? What else is there to do? How can I get over this boredom?” It feels as though your mind just goes blank because you have so much time on your hand that being unproductive becomes frustrating. It’s not fulfilling! This is even more exhausting for children and young adults as they naturally have shorter attention spans.
Familiar situation? It’s not surprising that this scenario is relatable. We’ve all had those summer and winter breaks! How exactly can we get past this dilemma? Now that UK Virtual School is going on a term break, we listed down a couple of ideas to make your child’s breaks much more meaningful.
Plan ahead and get into a routine
Routines are important. Going on a break means straying far from the usual routine your child is used to. Any interruption to their routine could shatter consistency – and that is not healthy. If you’re anticipating a somewhat lengthy break, it might be a good idea to plan a transition. You can map out a plan and schedule activities they might be interested in doing. Now, it doesn’t have to be a concrete plan and you don’t even have to strictly stick to it. But having a general idea of the things you can potentially work on takes away the indecisiveness compared to not having anything planned at all. Looking at a bird’s eye view of your routines withdraws the pressure of going on a break blindly. With a routine and a plan mapped out in place, you have a clear direction of where you want your child to go – or where they can steer the wheels to make stops along the way.
Set your goals
Many families overlook just how impactful goal-setting can be. Goal-setting is an entirely different thing from planning in a sense that it’s more about looking at the long-term results on a larger scale. It gives you the room to look forward to what you and your kids want to achieve. And this is a huge deal because knowing your goals determines the path you’ll take to get there. Having a clear objective motivates our kids to seek the end result, and thus allows them to make smarter decisions and set priorities. It helps them realise that whatever they are doing today will have an impact tomorrow.
Take on a new hobby
There’s a certain confidence boost associated with knowing that you are good at the things you’re passionate about. You know yourself better than anyone else. But what’s even more exciting is getting to know yourself more than you already do. Let your child be curious and never let that inner curiosity die down! Encourage them to find a new hobby. Whether that’s going on your first family hike, trying out photography, or baking their very first cake – just give it a go! Discovering brand new things about oneself is a rewarding experience. That old saying “you’ll never know unless you try” might sound cliche, but it is actually true. There are loads of opportunities out there if only you’ll let your child explore.
Declutter your home
Decluttering is nothing like your regular household cleaning. It means having to take away things that you have no further need for, allowing us to save space in our homes. It teaches our kids to let go of the things that don’t serve them anymore. And that’s completely fine! Start by making a checklist of the items you want to dispose of. These can be old clothes, toys, or simply any item that collects dust in your home. Grab a box or a bag and sort them. Not only can this be a good bonding with your kids, it’s also an opportunity to teach them the significance of letting go. What’s more, these things don’t go straight to the trash, they can be donated for a good cause or you can even hold a garage sale!
Learn about the places you visit
Going on a vacation is probably the most common option for many families. Nothing’s more fun than traveling and joining recreational activities – everybody needs a breath of fresh air! Visiting new places is always exciting, as is experiencing new sights, unfamiliar culture, and meeting new people. When you’re traveling with your family, do encourage your kids to ask questions about the places you visit. Whether it’s a historical landmark or an old two-storey building, get them curious about it. You’ll be surprised at just how much knowledge they can take home. This is exactly what we’re trying to achieve with our Worldviews classes – to have an outward mindset that goes beyond our comfort zones.
Start a journal
Journaling is more than just keeping a record of our days. Training your child how to make journal entries early on allows them to develop a lot of core skills that are beneficial to their educational journey. And these are valuable skills that support many aspects of learning. Firstly, journals encourage extensive practice of organisational skills. They’re able to plot schedules and relevant dates, jot down important notes, identify the activities they need to prioritise, and make checklists. It also touches their creative side – they can decorate their journals with stickers and even use colourful pens when writing down! Moreover, journaling stirs their imagination and expands their vocabulary. It’s a great way to help them process events in their lives whilst broadening a significant skillset at the same time.
Now that the term has come to an end, we can definitely look back and say that we’ve had a fruitful first half of the year. And there’s still so much to look forward to beyond the horizon. The holiday spirit is right around the corner and whilst we’ve laid out some tips on making the most out of your break, whatever you decide to do, remember to put your heart in it. Above all, just relax and enjoy the break!
But before we get off on each other’s radars, we’ve planned a Christmas party for our UK Virtual School community. Make sure to come and show up on your best Christmas outfits on Monday, 6th December 2021. This will be a great time to shake off the last bit of stress in our bodies before we fully embrace the cold of snowfall. See you there!