Spring Break? Teacher walkout? Three ways to keep littles learning during time out of school - MetroFamily Magazine
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Spring Break? Teacher walkout? Three ways to keep littles learning during time out of school

by Callie Collins

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Oklahoma City family fun brings textbook lessons to life for children. 

Spring Break is coming up next week already at most schools so I feel the need to make a plan. Whether you have one child or many more than that, you know that having them home all day presents a challenge: what to do and when to do it.

Camps come in all varieties and if you haven't found one yet, there's still time to make some calls. Click here for our Spring Break Camps Guide.

There's a Spring Break Day-by-Day Guide here too with outstanding ideas and our Spring Break Fun Guides are better than ever, with 50 Things to Do Under $5, Farmers Market locations and a calendar of what's happening nearby.

I always feel nervous when these dates roll around, mostly because of the change in routine. The fact that a teacher walkout is looming in our state also gives me some anxiety since that'll also be a departure from the usual get-up-go-to-school-learn-and-progress schedule. I want to make the most of breaks, whether they're planned or not. This year feels unusual that way. 

My husband is a teacher and he's the first to say that kids do need a break from formal studies and that the designated Fall/Spring Breaks are necessary for students to come back refreshed and engaged. That's a hard concept for me. I absolutely support the potential teacher walkout but I want my children to stay engaged during that period too.

Here are three easy ways I'm planning to use the extra break time without stressing anyone out or resorting to good old-fashioned workbooks: 
   Visiting our public library:
My kindergartner keeps asking me when we can get to the library. Our weekends have been spent getting ready for a new baby, with all the household tasks one wants to tackle before making a major life change. I get the Metropolitan Library System's emails with their program announcements and the creativity of local librarians amazes me. What I like about this strategy is that it encourages reading and makes what's old new again. We always come home with a stack of titles to enjoy together. 
     Going around the world in OKC: Travel is part of our family's life because my sons are dual citizens. However, I'm almost nine months pregnant and it isn't happening right now. Click here for suggestions to discover how multiculturalism has come to our city. A simple lunch out can be so much more than another meal, with new Guatemalan food, pho and goro ramen options in our area.
      Getting to know what makes your community stand out: How many of these 20 iconic OKC attractions have your children visited? Some venues might be familiar already, like Science Museum Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art but the majority are probably unfamiliar to most kids. Knowing what makes your city stand out instills a sense of pride and identity. When my sons ask what an architect does or where museum curators work exactly, I want them to be able to pinpoint examples of real professionals who do jobs they can dream of without feeling that anything is out of reach. 

Another activity I've considered but that doesn't make sense for us right now is to visit the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. Crystal digging season is just getting started April 1 near Jet, a small town about three hours away from central Oklahoma. Someday, when we can all take a car trip with a much-older baby, we'll give it a try. I've heard it's like digging for buried treasure, which would definitely appeal to my three sons. Click here for more information, including how-to instructions and where to stay.

More practical matters seem to be on everyone's mind right now, between school and services logistics and all that happens in the background that kids may or may not realize. Spring Break might seem inconvenient or like an after-thought. There's a time and a place for everything, though, and my hope is that we do enjoy the break together, even as this year's time outside the classroom just might last a little longer.


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