Winter break is approaching and I have found that my students are eager to get away from school. I don’t blame them. I would be lying if I said I hate winter break and rather be in school during this time. It is a time for the students to relax and not worry about their classes. Everyone needs a break. Unfortunately, I am afraid that due to the apathy many students have formed with school, very few are thinking about keeping their mind sharp over the holidays. Now, many parents think that their children should be doing some schoolwork or studying over the break to keep their minds sharp, but I do not agree. I believe this will only make students more uninterested in school. I suggest that you try and let you child relax. Let them do what they love to do. If you want to keep their mind sharp ask them thought provoking questions about the things they like. Encourage them to look into their passions. Try to build their intrinsic motivation to learn by asking them things they care about. For example, if you child is interested in baseball. Maybe you want to ask him or her who there favorite player is and why. This might force them to look into that player. You may think it is idiotic, but it gets the mind going. It gets your child thinking. All this is really subjective to your child. If they like puzzles, do a crossword with them. The activities and questions that you give your child is really up to the child’s interest, but all these activities and questions have one thing in common: the child is thinking. Keeping their mind sharp does not have to be content-based or school-based; it just needs to keep your child thinking. I know this a very vague subjective idea for mind sharpening, but I believe it is a more effective way of keeping the mind sharp. Who knows, maybe your child will surprise you on what they know and can do. I know I have never been a parent, but I have been a child and I have found this really effective. My parents used to do this to me during breaks without me even realizing and I have found that I was able to get back into the swing of school better than my classmates when returning from break. I believe this method works on something that is more important that content: intrinsic motivation to learn. I am not saying this is not going to be difficult at times because your child my just give you one word answers or not feel like participating in activities but you should keep trying regardless. One day your child might decide to participate or answer a question. I hope this helps all you parents out there. Happy Holidays.