The holiday season brings excitement and wonder to children. Everywhere you go there are visual reminders that Christmas is right around the corner. It also provides added time with our children as their normal schedules often slow down during this time. Children who are getting a break from school are delighted with the schedule change. However, it often isn’t long before boredom sets in and they are coming to us for ideas of what they can do. We can use this time to become busy chasing after gifts and decorations, or we can slow down a little with them and give the gift of our time. Let me provide a few ideas for making the most of your time with your reading challenged child (Zane is mine these days):
4 Tips for Helping Your Reading Challenged Child During the Holidays:
- Spend some time reading together. Children love to have books read to them. Chose holiday themed books that rhyme to improve phonemic awareness in a fun bonding way. Titles like ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss or “Twas the Night Before Christmas” offer stories told with rhythm and rhyme. Which is an important auditory skill for struggling readers. Check out your library for more choices. You may even want to pick a classic like Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol” for a family evening read-a-loud. Hearing books read to them can create a love for great stories and increase their own desire to read.
- Spend some time cooking together. Grab the family cookbook or go online in search of some holiday recipes and spend some time baking all of those goodies. Encourage your child to read out the directions when they are able. This doesn’t only afford a chance for extra reading, but it shows your child that being able to read fluently can open doors to being shown how to do so many fun things.
- Create cards and gifts to give away. Children especially love giving gifts they have made themselves. Making cards also can supply some handwriting and spelling practice during these often stagnant weeks. The internet is loaded with cool gift making ideas. Creating gifts builds your child’s self-esteem (something learning challenged children need in truckloads).
- Take some time to play games together. Word games like Hangman or Bananagrams can keep those newly gained spelling skills honed while you spend time together, but any game will increase everyone’s critical thinking skills.
So, take some time to think ahead. Before your little ones even have the chance to start nagging because they have nothing to do this holiday season, why not break out some books, games and recipes and make this holiday season mean more than it ever has before. In the end, even The Grinch came to realize that the holidays are about the gift of having time together. Knowing this (like The Grinch), Zane and I can have the best Christmas ever.