Saturday, March 14, 2015

GREAT Reading & Learning Resources for School Breaks, Vacations or Anytime!

Alternative Ideas & Activities for Spring Break

Have a special family get-away planned for this year's spring break? Is a roadtrip with children in your very near future? Do you know a challenged reader for whom a break from school could mean a loss of content or even a disruption in the daily learning routine? You are certainly not alone! Many families are about to embark on their annual spring break vacations, and more than a few parents wonder if this time away from the classroom will negatively impact their children's learning at this critical time of the year.

Every educator (and nearly every parent) is more than aware that annual achievement tests will be conducted in most US schools during the month of April. With these tests looming, is a March vacation a wise idea? Well, family time is very important, but not all family time needs to be in the pool, at the beach or playing games and sports together. In fact, parents and their children might wisely consider a spring break that involves some time with these activities but also a good amount of time spent in other pursuits---together.

Since many families will begin their spring break sometime during this month, we wanted to provide some good resources here to help parents make this spring break's time together more beneficial for all members of their families. What's more, we also wanted these resources to help keep students' brains sharp and ready to successfully complete the school year upon their return to the classroom.

First of all, you will find a brief list of ideas for this spring's vacation that you may not have considered in the past. Then to follow that list, you will discover a second list of links to materials, activities, ideas and other resources to enhance your family's time together this spring (or anytime!)

We hope you'll agree that these resources could make ALL the difference in helping your children stay on-track academically, decrease the chances of a loss of learning and yet truly enjoy the time together as a family this spring break! We guarantee that all of these activities and resources will keep the creative juices flowing and help promote continuous learning throughout the season---AND and well into the summer for your children! Have a wonderful spring break!

Alternative Ideas for Spring Break

1. For a vacation away from home, choose an educational destination for this year's trip to help your child or teen better understand a past or upcoming unit of study at school. For example, a visit to Williamsburg, Virginia, would provide much for learning about Colonial America. For a trip closer to home, consider a visit to your state capital that might include witnessing the legislature in-session (depending on government scheduling, etc.) You can incorporate some swim time at a hotel pool or practice a few shots together at a local playground near your motel, but time spent learning together just might create some of the best memories for all of you.

2. For quality time spent in-town, plan together a visit to a different "learning location" each day of the spring break week. Consult with your child or teen as to what and where they would like to visit and learn more about---locally. Your child's input will provide you with excellent guidance and give you many in-depth insights about him that you may not have known previously. Your teen who is crazy about video games may want to see the local museum's exhibit of Heroes from Baseball's Early Years. Your daughter who really enjoys playing with dolls and their miniature fashions might suggest visiting a local fabric store for a free demonstration of Sewing for Beginners. Your 'tween son who already shows a penchant for programming and coding might recommend attending or even participating in a local "hackathon" to try or even improve his skills. You yourself might even learn the rudiments of writing code! These are just a few of the great possibilities that exist.

3. Talk with your children about the opportunity to visit an organization that could really use your family's assistance for a day or two. A local kitchen that serves the needy might truly benefit from just a couple of hours of your time plating meals, cleaning tables or doing other important work. Your children and you will experience and learn much during such a visit. Don't be afraid to return at a future time, too! Of course, always call ahead to plan helping sessions like these rather than just appear at the location and then offer assistance.

4. Spend time at home cleaning and re-organizing storage areas, particularly clothes closets that are overstuffed and needing your attention. Then donate any unneeded or outgrown garments to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to help others. Prior to your visit, ask if the organization might need your help with any activities on the planned day of visitation. You never know, but this could be the beginning of a long-term relationship between that charitable group and your good family!

5. All the while that you are riding in the car or a train, flying in a plane or waiting in an airport, have plenty of things to READ---for everyone! If an e-reader is your thing, bring it along. Let your children SEE you reading for enjoyment. Of course, don't forget to read TO them, too. If a toddler's board books will chase away "the boredom blues" for your little one, then pack them into your carry-on bag or purse. Reluctant teen readers will rarely turn down a comic book. Plan to have a few of these handy if your teenager is less than thrilled about picking up a book. Of course, some comic books or graphic novels are much better than others. Enlist your teen to choose titles for himself---with your good guidance, of course.

Reading & Learning Resources for Spring Break (or Other Vacation Time)

Spring Break Activities by Katherine Lee
Here are some great ideas for family fun and activities (for school-aged children) during spring break.

Spring Activities for Teens - Fun Activities for Teens - 12 Week Series by Denise Witmer
Fun Spring Activities for Your Teen to Do This Spring

Ten Totally Inexpensive but Super Fun Spring Break Activity Ideas
Guaranteed Fun for Families

ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK by the United Way---LIVE United (Student United Way)
Trade your beach towel for a tool belt this spring break. Take part in United Way’s Alternative Spring Break and work with other students to improve communities around the nation. Sign up here for our mailing list. We’ll update you as we release more information.

3 Cheap Ideas for Spring Break by Miranda Marquit
Whether you are a college student getting ready to head out for a little party fun, or a family trying to figure out what you can do while the kids are out of school, there are plenty of possibilities for spring break. Unfortunately, some spring break ideas tend to be rather expensive. Do you really want to spend $1,000 on your spring break? Plus, air travel is expensive during spring break season, and sometimes hotels charge more, too. If you take a few minutes to find your creativity and your inner frugality, though, you might find that spring break doesn’t have to be that expensive after all.

Fun Family-Centered Activities for School Break
No activity will fit every family perfectly, but these activities can be easily adapted to work for your family. They’re all designed to get you working together and interacting with your kids during the school break.

Spring Worksheets for Kids
Check out collection of FREE printable spring worksheets for kids. We created these high quality spring worksheets for you to use for free and hope you have fun using them and learning with your kids during the spring season. Younger kids will enjoy the tracing lines worksheets, spring counting practice and word and picture matching worksheets, while slightly older children will love the missing letter and spring word scramble worksheets as well as our secret spring message cryptogram puzzle. All of these spring worksheets for kids are available in perfect printable pdf format.

Spring Theme Unit - Free Printable Worksheets, Games and More
FREE spring theme printable worksheets, reading activities, word puzzles, coloring pages, craft projects & more to supplement lesson plans.

Spring Worksheets
Spring is not only the most beautiful season of the year; it is also the holiday season. With Easter, spring break, May Day and more lined up, spring season will find kids being at home more often than not. Keeping children occupied during this free time will be a cakewalk with our free spring worksheets! Introduce your kids to these fun and FREE printable worksheets to help them learn all about this wonderful season.

31 Things For Kids To Do During Winter Break by Allison McDonald
Although these activities are mentioned as those for a winter break, many would also work very well for a spring break, especially for any rainy days during that time.

Spring break activities for teens and pre-teens by Jennie Withers
Spring Break is right around the corner. For most area schools it is March 26-30. Many of you are planning to get out of town, while others plan to spend it at local ski resorts. For those of us who don't ski and aren't planning a Spring Break trip, here are some inexpensive options to keep our teens and pre-teens busy.

Spring Break Resources for Families of Children with Additional Needs

Spring Break Ideas for Special Needs Families
Here are some of our ideas for Spring 2015 that are fun and encourage the sense of wholehearted love and group integration that enhances well-being and entrenches each child’s sense of self within the context of family. This can be especially important for a child with additional needs.

5 Great Spring Break Activities for Children with Special Needs
Spring break can be a great opportunity to engage your child in new activities, even you aren’t traveling to a luxurious locale. It is also a great time to work on generalizing speech and language skills. In speech-therapy, it’s important to remember that getting away from the environment in which we were taught a skill is the best way to generalize and reinforce the lesson. Take advantage of spring break and consider these activities for your child.

Activities for Special Needs Children - Autism Activities
Here you will find an extensive list of various activities and resources for children on the autism spectrum and their families.

For information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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