The holiday break is intended for family and friends to celebrate the time of Christ’s birth. Most of us aren’t thinking of keeping our kids engaged in their learning.
“The teacher wants us to do what?!!!” is the reaction we get when we send home a practice packet. It’s not a bad intention; the intention is to keep the learning flowing through our two-week break. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an hour long moment. All it takes is fifteen to twenty minutes to sit together and read a holiday book, a recipe, or an article in the daily newspaper. It’s not about drilling our children at home; it’s about having a quality, life-changing moment with them during the holidays by giving the gift of reading. The holidays can be hectic and nerve-wracking, but keeping these special moments alive makes the holidays well worth the stress.
A Teacher’s Perspective
As a teacher and a parent, I understand the importance of how reading with our children makes a positive impact in their education. When we take the time to simply sit and read a Christmas book with our children, we are making a memory of giving them the gift of reading. These types of memories are the ones that stay with them as they grow. Our children learn from us (their parents), so we should be instilling this gift in them: Reading is important and it can be done for fun.
Thanks to some great resources, here are a few ideas for how to give the gift of reading:
- Have your child/children choose a Christmas book to read together, a few pages each night, until it’s complete. This way, the children will anticipate the next event in the story.
- Take your child/children to a book store and let them choose a few new Christmas books for their holiday break.
- Read books by the author Laura Numeroff. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a favorite. These books capture children’s attention so well that they cannot get enough. Plus, there are so many to choose from. There are also activities posted online to complete as you read the stories. This would be great to do with the little ones during the holiday break.
- This one is my favorite! Thanks to this website I was able to find it again. Wrap 25 new or used books to look like gifts— one for each of the 25 days before Christmas. Each night, unwrap a book and read it aloud. It’s cute to do with smaller children because they can’t wait to unwrap the gift.
Reading at home doesn’t necessarily have to be just reading a book from beginning to end. Make it interesting and fun with choral reading (reading aloud in unison), lip reading, singing, or charades. Make the gift of reading a time to make memories with those we cherish the most. Remember, these are the type of memories our little ones will keep forever.
This Christmas, give the gift of reading.