According to developmental specialists, Christmas break is a productive time of the year to place a special emphasis on building your child’s schema.

Child waiting to board the Polar Express

As mentioned in our previous posts, a “schema” is the concept of helping children interpret and organize the information that they are subjected to in a cognitive manner. In turn, this aids in the learning process and helps in promoting academic excellence.

Specialists and parents may identify schemas by observing patterns of repeated behavior in children. The patterns that repeat during playtime activities and world exploration are “threads” that help connect experiences and activities to optimize learning. Now that Christmas break is upon us, it is time to learn a few techniques for building your child’s schema to ensure their success in life and in learning.

Focus on Family Traditions

Child Under Christmas Tree

The Christmas season abounds with traditions. Simply put, traditions are special stories, unique beliefs, consistent rituals, and various types of customs that pass from one generation to the next generation. Not only do holiday traditions help to build strong relationships among generations, they aid in teaching children values, provide a sense of belonging, and help kids learn special lessons about life. When building a child’s schema during Christmas break, it is important to place a focus on traditions and encourage your child to take part in those traditions. Not only do traditions help children learn about important activities engaged in by their family, but, it helps them to learn more about the world. It provides a strong sense of anticipation, continuity, and routine.

Focus on Real-Life Activities

Baking Christmas Cookies

As parents, it is imperative that we educate and prepare our children to become well-grounded individuals that may successfully thrive as adults. There are many activities that occur during Christmas break that may aid in the learning process and preparing kids for their lives once they leave home. These include cooking special meals and desserts, purchasing gifts for others, decorating their homes, attending social and religious events, and being exposed to certain concepts, such as giving to others, community services, expressing emotions, and spreading joy. Learning is much more than facts and figures. By placing a special emphasis on holiday activities, a child’s schema may be greatly enhanced.

Focus on Play

Snowman during Winter Break

While it is true that children have a multitude of responsibilities – such as school, family, and chores – play is also quite important. This is especially true when it comes to developing schemas. The holidays mark a wonderful time to focus on play. Christmas is a time of year when games, fun activities, and toys abound. Watch for repetitive actions in your child, such as lining up items, counting, and pretend activities. You will quickly discover ways to teach them through play. For example, if they line up their toys, you could encourage them to sort by color, size, and amount. If they create a snow man outdoors, you could encourage them to be creative, different, and focus on symmetry. If they are playing pretend, you could help them learn ways to make their character more realistic. Remember, no two kids are alike. No two brains are alike. To truly harness the power of Christmas break schema-building, make it a personal and individualized experience.

 

Resources:
https://miraclemathcoaching.com/building-childs-schema-spring-break/
http://underthreeroofs.blogspot.com/2016/02/schema-theory-following-threads-of.html
https://earlyyearscentre.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/schemas-in-childrens-play/

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