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Spring break is here! Whether you're hitting the road or relaxing at home, why not add a dash of learning to your week of fun? Sarah Montpas, English Language Arts Curriculum Manager for National Heritage Academies (NHA), says there are many ways to keep kids learning during their time off from school.

Reading and Writing Activities

Montpas’ number one recommendation, wherever you are, is to read, but it doesn’t have to be all about books. “If you're exploring a new city, pick up some brochures in a restaurant and try to figure out what you want to do while you're there. You can also read maps of the town that you're in too,” she shared. Montpas also suggests incorporating writing activities: “Send a postcard to Grandma or keep a journal of your adventures. It’s an activity that works whether you’re home or away.”

Child reading a map

Math Moments

When it comes to math, Montpas says everyday moments can easily be turned into math lessons. "We're on the beach. Let's count beach blankets. Let's count cars that drive by in our backyard," she suggests. It's all about making numbers part of the fun.

Observe and Document

Montpas says another activity involves taking time to really look at what’s around you. Take time to notice the flowers, trees, or birds at a new destination or in your own backyard. “Let's take pictures of all the birds that we see and figure out what kind of birds they are. That's a great way to develop research skills while having fun, and it doesn't feel like learning.”

Child looking at butterfly through magnifying glass

Interactive Learning

For those hitting the road, buckle up and get ready for some fun in the car. Montpas suggests turning those long drives into interactive learning sessions. From spotting signs for every letter of the alphabet to calculating mileage based on exits, it's like a math lesson on wheels. And don't forget the audiobooks – they’re a great way to spark a family discussion.

Children writing in journal

Set Clear Expectations

Some teens may need a little extra motivation to break away from video games over spring break. Montpas says the key is to set clear expectations from the start. "We're on vacation as a family so we're going to do x amount of family things together," she advises. It's all about finding a middle ground between learning and lounging.

Give Kids Choices

When it comes to older kids, Montpas is all about giving them a say. "Give them a choice. Choice motivates. It's that feeling of control and power over the situation," she says. Let them pick activities they're into, and watch the magic happen.

Children exploring nature

The ways families spend their spring break can vary widely. From safari adventures in other countries to riding bikes in your neighborhood, there are all kinds of ways to have fun and still learn a little along the way. By embracing a mix of fun and learning, parents can create memories that last a lifetime.

About National Heritage Academies
National Heritage Academies (NHA) is a network of more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit