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How The Grinch Helped Zane Read Better at Christmas
The holiday season brings excitement and wonder to children. Everywhere you go, there are visual reminders that Christmas is just around the corner. It also provides additional time with our children as their normal schedules often slow down during this time. Children on a break from school are delighted with the change in schedule. However, it is often not long before boredom sets in and they come to their senses us for ideas of what they can do. We can use this time to get busy chasing gifts and decorations, or we can slow down a bit and give the gift of our time. Let me give you some ideas on how to make the most of your time with your dyslexic child (Zane is mine these days):
4 tips to help your child with reading difficulties during the holidays:
- Spend some time reading together. Children love to have books read to them. Choose 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 in rhythm and rhyme. An important listening skill for struggling readers. Check your library for more choices. They may even want to pick up a classic such as Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” for family read-aloud night Listening to books read to them can spark a love of great stories and increase their desire to read.
- Spend some time cooking together. Grab a family cookbook or go online for holiday recipes and spend some time baking all those treats. Encourage your child to read the directions when he is able. Not only does this provide an opportunity for additional reading, but it shows your child that being able to read fluently can open the door to being shown how to do so many fun things.
- Create cards and gifts to give away. Children especially like to give gifts that they have made themselves. Making cards can also provide some handwriting and spelling practice during these often stagnant weeks. The internet is full of cool ideas for making gifts. Creating gifts builds your child’s self-esteem (something kids with learning challenges need in truckloads).
- Take some time to play games together. Word games like Hangman or Bananagrams can keep those newfound spelling skills going 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 a chance to whine about not having anything to do this holiday season, why not break out some books, games and recipes and make this holiday season mean more than ever before. Eventually, even The Grinch realized that the holidays are a gift of time together. Knowing this (like The Grinch), Zane and I can have the best Christmas ever.
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