At Haywood Christian School, fortunately, we have been able to accommodate on campus classes since the beginning of the school year. Hopefully, that means parents and students are ready for a break. We want to help parents implement strategies that ensure Thanksgiving and Christmas are restful, not stressful.
How to Make Sure Students Have a Restful Holiday Season
With Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks upon us, here are some important steps parents can take to help make the holidays a time of rest and rejuvenation:
1) Parents Need Rest, Too
There is no shortage of factors that could be leading to your own stress. Adults have had to keep the family going while facing uncertainty at every turn. From finances to health and wellness, you have been protecting your children through these trying times. However, if you are stressed during Thanksgiving and Christmas, your children will likely take that on as well. Make sure you take steps to reduce your stress so that you do not pass extra anxiety on to your children. You need this time as much as they do.
2) Travel Wisely
The holidays are typically some of the busiest times for interstate travel. While trying to make every appearance possible, you may feel rushed and stressed. As much as it is possible, build in plenty of time for traveling. Do not wait till the last minute to load the car with bags and kids. This will help parents and students be less stressed and more in tune to the moments they have together. If possible, reduce the number of trips you are taking so you can spend quality time at each location.
3) Rest Well
Make sure students get plenty of rest, eat well (but not too much), and take time to relax during breaks. This seems like a no-brainer; however, just because they are out of school, you cannot assume they will take the time to catch up on sleep.
4) Limit Screen Time
One of the reasons your students will not necessarily sleep well is that they will be catching up on screen time. That’s not helpful for their rest during the holidays. Continue to monitor and limit screen time. Staying up late watching television, looking at phone screens, and playing video games may seem relaxing in the moment, but there are many studies that tell of the harmful and negative effects of screen time and, if nothing else, it will only be that much more difficult to drop the screen time and return to school when it is time.
5) Keep up with Assignments
While your students are on break from class time, they are not taking leave from learning. There may be ongoing work through the holiday breaks as well as long-term assignments on which they need the opportunity to catch up. Help them keep up with schoolwork, and make sure they do not wait till the last minute of break to try and make up for the work they did not do.
6) Focus on What Matters
Make sure the focus of the holidays is not on gifts and things. If there is a lot of waiting in lines at malls, you may be communicating that Thanksgiving and Christmas are seasons for shopping. Instead, help your kids remember that Thanksgiving is a time set aside for praising God for his gifts. Likewise, Christmas is not about what is under the tree. It is about the birth of our Savior, Jesus, who came to live, die, and rise from the grave so that we can have life through Him if we only believe. Your students need to see you take the opportunity to praise and worship God during this time of year.
There is no other time during the year that our culture is so focused on Christianity than during Thanksgiving and Christmas. See this season as an opportunity to reinforce the importance of the gospel and centrality of Jesus all year long. This will help your students keep the perspective they need to be less stressed, better rested, and more in tune to fulfilling their purpose. If you would like to know more about how Haywood Christian Academy helps students grow in Christ in an academically rigorous environment, please reach out to us today.