Many children see winter break as a reprieve from the demands of school and eagerly look forward to days filled with fun activities instead of schoolwork. Just because they don’t have homework during winter break doesn’t mean children can’t practice their reading and writing skills to prevent them from slipping.However to keep skills from slipping doesn’t mean that children need daily drills or flashcards to keep their reading and writing skills sharp. Instead of boring workbooks, drills and flashcards there are many fun ways that parents can help keep their children’s reading and writing skills up during winter break without their children feeling like they are doing schoolwork. Here are eight of my favorite ways to help children’s reading and writing skills up during winter break.
How To Prevent Children’s Reading and Writing Skills From Slipping During Winter Break
1. Visit Your Local Library
To help your child keep up on their reading skills during the winter break pay a visit to your local library. Many libraries offer special reading programs and incentives to keep children interested in reading during winter breaks. For younger children many also offer weekly or special story times that feature a holiday story and craft.
2. Make Lists
List making is a great way for your child to practice both their listening and writing skills over the winter break. Parents can dictate a variety of lists such shopping lists, daily things to do lists, guest lists, what to buy for who lists etc.
3. Say Thank You
Writing thank you cards is another way children can practice writing skills during the winter break. Even very young children can dictate what they want their cards to say to an adult who can write it for them. Seeing what they say in print can encourage children to start writing on their own.
4. Spread Holiday Cheer
If you have holiday cards to send let your children practice their writing skills by addressing all your cards for you. Not only will they be writing they will also be able to practice their address if they don’t already know it. For older children have them write a family news note detailing everything major events that have happened to your family during the past year and include it in your Christmas cards.
5. Spend Time In The Kitchen
During the holidays many of us have extra baking to do for family and friends. To help your child practice their reading skills invite them to help you in the kitchen to prepare a favorite holiday recipe. Reading a recipe card is a great way for children to practice reading skills, following directions and even math concepts.
6. Read On The Go
If you will be traveling during the winter break you can help your child practice their reading skills by asking them to help you find a specific exit or you can play the alphabet game. to play, each person must find the letters of the alphabet in order on signs and car license plates that they pass on the road. The person who gets to Z first is declared the winner, A variation of this game is to give each child a word to spell and the one finds all of the letters in their word first wins the game and can pick the next set of words.
7. Spend Time Together
Planing a family game night is a great way for parents to help encourage reading skills during the winter break and spend some quality family time together. Don’t have any board games? Then try a game of hangman. All you need to play is a piece of paper and a pencil. Hangman is a great game to reinforce reading, writing and spelling skills.
8. Spend Time Online
The computer can be a powerful learning tool to help children keep up on their reading and writing skills during winter break. There are many websites that offer reading and writing practice in a fun game type format. Two great sites for young children are Starfall www.starfall.com and Scholastic www.scholastic.com
By keeping reading and writing skills up during winter break parents can help their children prepare for a hassle transition back into the school routine once the winter break is over and ensure that the second half of the school year gets off to a great start.
Keep Skills Sharp During Winter Break written by Kristin Finello