Winter break is finally here! Although we all deserve a vacation from the homework load and daily obligations, we don’t want to completely let our reading and writing skills slip during this winter vacation. Here is a very family-friendly list of activities you can try at home to keep those reading and writing skills sharp:
- Read for Pleasure. You have heard about a summer reading list – well how about a holiday reading list? Now is the perfect time for your child to catch up on all those books and magazines that they didn’t have time to read during the school year. Reading for pleasure builds vocabulary, expands your child’s mind intellectually and also helps your child become a better writer. So take a trip to your local library and let your kids choose some great books.
- Cook with your kids. Cooking is a great way for the family to spend fun and educational time together. Reading food labels and recipes can help your children improve their reading skills and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words.
- Write thank you letters. Encourage your child to write “thank you” letters for all of the holiday gifts they received from relatives and friends. Sit with your child and write your own notes at the same time.Writing letters is a heavy burden for children, so it might be a good idea to space the work and be supportive.
- Listen to audio books in the car while traveling. Spending time listening to books strengthens listening, concentration and imagination skills in children. It also gives them an opportunity to improve vocabulary and language skills. Take your child’s iPod along on car trips or while you are running errands during the holiday break.
- Go grocery shopping. Let your child carry the shopping list as you shop. They can read off the items you need. Label reading is also a great reading task for children. You can have them look up the ingredients on the labels or ask them to research which breakfast cereal has the least amount of sugar in it.
- Play board games. Here is your opportunity to expand your child’s mind while also having fun and spending time together. Games like Scrabble, Boggle and other word games are great for challenging the minds of kids. Some games require reading for clues or reading directions.
I hope that everyone enjoys the holiday break and that after those fabulous two weeks off your children will have had fun, spent quality time with the family, and kept their minds sharp and active.
Karina Richland, M.A., is the Managing Director of Pride Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Ms. Richland is a reading and learning disability specialist and speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Pride Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com