Education

Are your kids bored during winter break? Steal some of these ideas.

The Triangle’s most elaborate holiday lights display

The Chinese Lantern Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary, NC treats visitors to hundreds of larger-than-life holiday lanterns made up of over 15,000 LEDs including a dragon, dinosaurs and spinning pagodas.
Up Next
The Chinese Lantern Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary, NC treats visitors to hundreds of larger-than-life holiday lanterns made up of over 15,000 LEDs including a dragon, dinosaurs and spinning pagodas.

We’re halfway through Wake County schools’ shorter-than-usual winter break. Does it feel like it’s flying by, or are parents ready to send their kids back to school?

Students who attend schools on the traditional calendar get seven weekdays off for the holidays this year – the shortest break in recent years. Add two weekends to that, and 11 days away from a normal school routine can seem like a very long time.

We asked on Twitter what parents and teachers are doing to occupy their time before they go back to school Jan. 2. Their ideas might be helpful if you’re looking for creative ways to occupy bored kids.

Shannon Anderson, who has children at Cedar Fork Elementary in Morrisville and Martin Middle in Raleigh, said she’s ready for them to go back to school. But before that? “NC Chinese lantern festival in Cary,” she wrote on Twitter, “and a quick trip to Florida.”

Some families are using their time off to tackle political issues facing Wake County schools. Renee Sekel, a Cary parent, said she’ll be organizing a rally to ask state legislators to stop the implementation of smaller class sizes at elementary schools.

Some educators, like Barbara Vinal, who trains teachers to use technology at Jeffreys Grove Elementary in North Raleigh, said she uses the time off to do “all those things I can’t get done while teaching,” like spending time with her husband and doing jigsaw puzzles.

Some educators are spending their break supporting students. Bonnie Mwanda, assistant principal of instruction at Heritage High School in Wake Forest, said she’ll be watching the girls’ basketball team in the John Wall Holiday Invitational tournament. The event at Broughton High in Raleigh runs through Dec. 30.

Next year, Wake County families will likely get eight weekdays off for winter break. Under state law, traditional calendar schools must start on the Monday closest to Aug. 26 and finish on the Friday closest to June 11. They must be open for at least 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction. The result is a summer break that lasts about 10 weeks.

Pressley Baird: 919-829-8935, @pressleybaird

  Comments