Simple ways to help children avoid learning loss over the holiday break

Tips to Prevent Learning Loss

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - There are fun and easy ways to help students avoid learning loss during the winter break.

The South Carolina Connections Academy has a few recommendations for science experiments to test out at home.

Color Changing Milk

Here’s what you need: plate of milk, food color, dish soap and a cotton swab.

Instructions:

  1. Fill plate with milk
  2. Add drops of food color into bowl
  3. Put cotton swab in dish soap
  4. Touch the milk with the cotton swab

Staff at the South Carolina Connections Academy said the food coloring allows kids to see the invisible activity of the milk’s fats and proteins and its reaction to the dish soap.

Borax Crystal Snowflake

What’s needed: Jar, pipe cleaners, string, pencil, boiling water and a table spoon

Instructions:

  1. Cut pipe cleaner and tie it to replicate a snowflake. You may have to trim the sides to be able to fit the snowflake inside your jar
  2. Cut the string - make sure it’s long enough to tie one end of the string to the center of the snowflake and the other end to the pencil so the snowflake can hang in the jar
  3. Set those aside and add boiling water to the jar
  4. Add in roughly three tablespoons of Borax per cup of water in the jar and stir

Josh Kitchens, executive director of the South Carolina Connections Academy, said it’s critical to keep students engaged during the time away from school. He said activities don’t have to be traditional, like math problems, but real-life examples such as measuring in the kitchen.

“Research shows just twenty minutes a day can make all the difference in keeping students learning process where it needs to be,” Kitchens said.

Kitchens added that research shows time away from learning is going to have a negative impact, even if it’s a small amount of time. He said it may not be significant, but it is there.

“You want them, not only to keep their brain working, but you always want to keep them interested,” he said.

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