4 Easy (& Sneaky) Tips to Keep Your Child Reading & Learning in the Holidays
By Cafe Mom – Shannon Ryan and Unnati Ved
With Dussehra holidays round the corner, its going to be a challenge keeping the kids engaged. Studies show that the learning loss due to holidays an pose a real challenge for students, teachers and parents. But keeping your child engaged with learning and reading year-round can be easier than you think — and most importantly fun.
As a working parent of 7 and 3, I am so stretched for time. Most of us long for the days when we had uninterrupted time to pick up a book and learn about whatever we wanted.
To us, reading is a luxury. But for our kids, it’s a skill we need to help nurture.
As a reading, public speaking and drama teacher here are a few sneaky ways that have worked for me and I have got my kids interested in books.
How do you keep your child learning and reading throughout the year, especially during school breaks? Read on for my tried and true tips for how to keep your child reading and learning year-round
1. Put down the book, device, and workbook; have fun!
There are many opportunities to get your child to read without a traditional book or workbook, and it often means putting down the device as well. The way to be most successful is to disguise it as play. For instance, pick up a board or card game — Yahtzee, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Monopoly, Rummy — that requires your child to practice math and reading skills. Ask your child to read the rules out loud or keep track of the points.
2. Model independent reading.
It’s important for your child to see you reading independently — particularly with a hard copy of reading material. Children don’t always associate reading on a device with actual “reading” and they see it more as a tool for social media and gaming. Have a time when the family sits down for 30 minutes and picks up their favorite reading material. Keep magazines, cookbooks, and travel guides around the home and encourage your child to pick them up — perhaps reading the comics or movie reviews, or reviewing possible destinations for your next vacation trip.
3. Make reading and learning part of a memorable experience.
Children are more likely to remember a concept when they have a strong, fun memory associated with it. If your child’s school uses an online book resource like Big Universe or Epic, ask the school if you can log in during long breaks. These online reading platforms offer thousands of books and have an abundance of nonfiction interactive books — such as cookbooks and travel, science and art books. Have your child read through the instructions and do an experiment outside or design a fun art project. Make dinner with your child and ask that they double the recipe to practice mental math. And at the end of the day, your child will learn important concepts while sharing memories with family and friends.
4. Baby steps — start small and build up to longer, sustained reading periods.
Most parents are aware that educators recommend 20 minutes of reading every day. However, all children need to practice reading to sustain their endurance, interest, and concentration abilities. Start with five minutes of uninterrupted reading, and increase by a couple minutes. Before you know it, you’ll have your child reading 60 minutes a day (hey, we should all be doing this!).