Ah, winter break: that time when kids are finally free of classroom instruction and mounds of homework to do, well, pretty much nothing while they’re home for a couple weeks.
Of course, this year millions of children are already home—and sometimes doing a little too much nothing. And though parents might be tempted to sit kids down with daily math problems and reading exercises to keep their brains stimulated, educators say rote learning may not be the best approach over the break.
“Students are tired. Teachers are tired,” says Emilia Odife, a middle and high school science teacher at Lake Mary Preparatory School in Lake Mary, Florida, and part of the National Geographic education community. “This has been a very difficult time for everybody.”