Turkey or Test Prep: How to Balance Both this Holiday Season

November 14, 2017

Thanksgiving is the time for feasting and family tradition.  As the weather gets colder, this holiday gives us a chance to be surrounded by loved ones and temporarily escape from our day to day responsibilities.  Whatever your tradition, whether it involves carving the turkey (or tofurkey, in my case), ordering food in, or watching the parade in your pajamas, Thanksgiving provides us a chance to pause, savor, and reflect on all the things we are grateful for.

It is so important to take the time to relax and take in all the sweet joys (did someone say pie?) Thanksgiving has to offer us. However, fast-approaching admissions exams and deadlines put pressure on parents and students to fit in as much study time as possible over the long weekend. The key here is to attain balance.  It’s important to carve out both the turkey, and time for test prep!


Here are some tips to help you do so:


  1. Take the time to relax. A healthy dose of relaxation and quality time among family and friends will provide a much-deserved break from the school week.  A well deserved rest, combined with delicious food will allow children to clear their heads and gain a renewed sense of focus.

  2. Take advantage of extra time. Thanksgiving means school is out for the long weekend, and students are given the advantage of extra time.  If you have a long car or plane ride during your Thanksgiving travels, use this time to practice vocabulary flashcards, read stories and talk about stories together, or go over review questions.  Even using this time to discuss test-taking strategies in a more relaxed environment can help your child better prepare.   

  3. Use family and friends for support. With family and friends around, everything is more fun! Get your child involved in helping to set the table, prepare foods, and clean up.  Test their memory for recipes and chores.  Use your downtime to play interactive games that will keep your child engaged and learning.  Not every learning opportunity has to feel like test prep -- find ways to get different family members involved and create activities to do together!     



This Thanksgiving, strive to incorporate test prep into your holiday weekend without compromising relaxation, fun, and family bonding.  Finding a balance will make you feel all the more grateful this year!


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