CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It’s the kick off to Winter Break for students throughout the Heartland.
With all that time away from the classroom, what should you do to keep your child’s brain sharp and ready to learn when he or she goes back to school?
"We're going to go ice skating, and we're going to see my cousin," said Franklin 4th grader Cecelia Sanderfer.
"Wrap presents and we're going to go Christmas shopping, and we're going to do my hair and we're going to spend time with my brothers," said 4th grader Jordan Babers.
There are a lot of fun things to do over Christmas break, but homework usually isn’t on the list.
Kids at Franklin are celebrating the end of the semester with a party, but some experts suggest that parents don’t let the break become a party.
"You don't have to go to school on Christmas," said Sanderfer.
"I'm going to have fun," said Babers.
Franklin Elementary School Principal Rhonda Dunham said kids can lose the information they learned in school if they don’t put it to use.
"You need to keep them active, but you need to make it fun and entertaining so they don't really realize that they are actually learning, that's the key," said Dunham.
"You don't have to do work, unless it will be fun work," said Sanderfer.
Dunham has a few suggestions of things you can do with your kids to keep them learning:
-Count the ornaments on the tree.
-Estimate the number of Christmas lights on the house.
-Read a Christmas book.
-Read a Christmas card.
-Encourage the child to make up and tell you a story.
-Find out how snow becomes snow.
-Make a spelling list for your road trip.
-Go to the library.
-Make math problems out of a grocery store run.
"When you're going to the store say if this costs 79 cents and I give you a dollar, how much money am I going to get back?" said Dunham.
Dunham said parents should stress how important it is to keep learning.
"Parents have that influence and they need to be aware of that, they're influence is greater than ours," said Dunham.
But she said that influence should still encourage a brain break to rest and recharge.
"I can let my brain rest," said Babers. "So whenever I don't learn, my eyes rest and my brain rests."
"If your child is constantly on the go and they're constantly thinking about everything that's happening, it becomes an overload and their mind can't just shutdown and it needs to shut down for awhile," said Dunham.
One teacher in Poplar Bluff said she will still send the students fun learning tools like YouTube links over the break to make sure they’re keeping their brains active. But she also said she doesn’t assign them work, so they can take a mental break between semesters.