The holiday break is both welcomed in the family home, but also presents a learning gap from which we must recover in the classroom. Literacy is the last thing on our minds as we bake cookies and prep gifts, but what if we could support parents and families in continuing literacy growth throughout the holidays? Consider putting these ideas in a Listicle for your community this holiday season to keep the spirit of literacy alive!
Family Reading Breaks
Stress can abound in the holiday season, threatening our mental well-being, but building in calming breaks can help us to unwind and focus. Set a time each day when your whole family pauses and reads - whatever they want - for 15-20 minutes. Practice deep breathing exercises as you read, which naturally calms the heart rate and the body, telling your brain that you’re safe and there’s no need to kick into fight-flight-or-freeze mode. Even snuggling up on the couch and reading a picture book together can give your whole family a togetherness pause that supports literacy.
Instead of counting down the days of December or the 12 Days of Christmas with tiny toys or molded chocolates, let’s encourage the gift of literacy. Wrap a box of books and number them, allowing your kids to unwrap one each night. It’s a great idea to make them holiday-themed for younger children, but older kids can receive a chapter book a week with the promise of reading it together or of tandem reading, where you and your child read the same book at the same time.
A Book in Hand
Schools can even give each student the gift of literacy by handing out books as gifts or having the school participate in a one-book event where every family receives the same book. There are discount stores, used book stores, and even publishing companies that would pair with your community to help everyone have a book in their hands for the holidays.
The Gift of Reading
Encourage students to give back by reading to someone else this holiday. Visit nursing homes, libraries, animal shelters, and soup kitchens to read to someone. It’s a great way to practice reading without the stress of a classroom of eyes and delights community members by seeing children give back to the community. You could even do a school book drive and give books out to the less fortunate.
No matter how you choose to further the gift of literacy, nothing says hygge like a cozy spot and a good book.