A Day Off From School - A Guide for Parents and Tweens

A day off is an opportunity for some family fun

Middle school is full of opportunities and challenges, but every now and then students get a break from school, homework and their educational responsibilities. If your child has a day off from school coming up, here are a few fun ideas on how to make the most of the free time before he or she is back in class again and hitting the books.

How to Spend Spring Break

Caucasian family watching TV in living room
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For many middle school students, spring break is a week off (or in some cases, two weeks off) right when the weather is the most cooperative. Spring break is an ideal time for families to consider a vacation during the off season. For others, spring break is a time to regroup at home and relax, or catch up on sleep, reading, and hobbies. Be sure you plan your spring break together, so that you have a plan in place before it begins.

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Winter Break Fun for Tweens and Families

Many schools offer students and teachers a mini-break during the winter months. The break may take place between grading periods, or they may be incorporated around another holiday, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or President's Day. A winter break is a great opportunity for you and your tween to hit the slopes to try your hand at skiing or snowboarding, or the days off might make for some fun indoor activities, such as movie marathons or sleepovers. Winter breaks are also a great time for getting together with family and friends for a chili cook off!

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Christmas Break Fun

The Christmas holidays offer families two weeks off from school, homework, extracurriculars and the everyday stress that the school year brings. The downside is two weeks off can be a long time for your child, especially if he or she is used to structure and keeping busy everyday. Be sure you have several holiday activities planned for your tween, and also make sure that you can enjoy a few with him or her. Hunting for a Christmas tree, baking and decorating cookies and making time for friends and relatives are all fun and important things you can do together.

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Summer - the Ultimate Break from School

Summer vacation. The two sweetest words any child can hear. For many middle schoolers, summer vacation offers three months of carefree days. While it's wonderful for children to enjoy unstructured time, it's also important to keep your child busy enough to avoid getting into trouble or developing bad habits. Consider family trips, summer camp, swimming lessons, or other activities to keep your child from getting too bored. If your tween is responsible enough, he might use the summer break as an opportunity to start a business or to take on a big project.

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Don't Forget About Snow Days

A day off from school can come unexpectedly. Snow days may bring a few days of unexpected vacation, so be ready for it. To make sure you're prepared, keep a supply of snacks and activities for your child to do, in case she's stuck indoors for a few days. Board games, books, magazines and craft projects are great to have on hand. Of course, a snow day also gives your child the opportunity to have fun outside. Sledding, snowman building and walking in the snow are all fun activities to enjoy, especially if it's the first snow of the season.

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Any Break is an Opportunity for Fun

Really, any day off from school is an opportunity for fun and relaxation. If your budget won't allow you to take a trip or even visit a local attraction, there are plenty of things you can do at home that cost nothing. Consider hosting scavenger hunts, sleepover parties or even getting a few children together to start a club. Just remember to have fun, because school will be back in session before you know it.

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