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Challenge: Traveling with Kids

5 Ways to Avoid the Post-Vacation School Slump

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With spring break on the horizon, it’s nearly the time of year for family vacations! But how do you avoid the post-vacation slump when it comes to school work? If your student is returning to the classroom after traveling, try these five tips for an easy transition between holiday and homework.

1. Be aware of assignments before your trip

Even if you’re traveling outside school hours, there may be weekend or spring break homework your student needs to complete. Be aware of any outstanding assignments before you leave to avoid the ‘I forgot I had homework…’ panic the evening you return. Additionally, consider making copies of any physical homework before leaving in case something gets lost or damaged while traveling.

2. Set designated time(s) for studying

If there are specific assignments due, set designated times to study. As the adult, you’re likely dictating the schedule of the trip, so be aware of how much study time you need to leave and enforce for your student. Time on the plane or in the car may give great opportunities to knock homework out early—and if you explain the benefits (e.g. more time swimming) to your student, he or she may be more willing to work ahead early.

3. Maintain ongoing lessons

Let’s say there isn’t any homework your student needs to work on while you’re away. Are there ongoing lessons he or she should maintain? Whether your student is currently focused on learning a new language or running multiplication drills, skills he or she has been practicing may need ongoing review even while you’re on vacation. Try making physical or digital flashcards, or downloading a subject-specific app before your trip and add periodic lessons throughout. (Just be sure to think about electricity options; if you’re camping, for example, hard copies are likely the better idea.) Even minor review can help keep the material fresh in your student’s mind for when he or she returns to the classroom!

4. Aim for some routine

You know what a shock to the system returning to work can be after a nice vacation—the same goes for your student! Having a bit of routine while you’re out of town, such as similar meal- and bedtimes, can help minimize the adjustment period upon returning.

5. Make connections when you can

Does anything on your vacation connect to something your student is learning in school? From aquatic life and ocean preservation at the beach to historical context of paintings at an art museum, educational connections can be made at a variety of popular vacation spots. Ask your student what he or she has learned about a relevant subject while you’re touring something new on your trip. Listen to your student’s experience in the classroom and start a dialogue about how it relates to where you currently are visiting. Traveling gives you a fantastic opportunity to teach your student new lessons outside the classroom and reinforce previous lessons with real-world examples. Take advantage of this!

For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit

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