The holidays aren’t just a time for festivities but they’re also an opportunity to foster new memories. As we approach this joyous time of year, it’s essential to recognize the power of reading and storytelling in shaping the holiday experience for children. The season is alive with the magic of narratives and parents and caregivers play a crucial role in encouraging continued reading at home over breaks. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of reading with your children over the holidays!
The holiday season is an opportunity to develop childhood memories and nurture family traditions. It’s a time of year full of stories and storytelling, from family tales passed down through the generations, to favorite classic holiday books.
While many children are looking forward to a long-awaited school vacation, the holiday break can also offer an opportunity for parents and caregivers to encourage continued reading at home, strengthening and developing literacy skills in a fun way that creates connection.
Now more than ever, it is important to keep children engaged with reading while they’re away from the classroom. As the mother of a pre-teen and the CEO of a K-12 learning solutions provider, I know that inspiring an early love of reading is often easier said than done – especially during time off from school.
In fact, recent data has shown that rates of reading for fun are dropping among U.S. children, as student literacy proficiency levels remain concerningly low. One of the main indicators of children becoming strong readers is at-home literacy, but it takes both support at home and instruction in the classroom to build the next generation of strong readers.
Reading mastery starts early, and requires consistency
If you are an avid reader as an adult, it’s likely your love of reading started early. Studies show that the earlier reading is introduced and literacy skills are developed, the better, and reading during extended breaks from school – like the holiday season – is an important time to keep children engaged in the process.
Practice and repetition are how children strengthen literacy skills, and exercising those skills shouldn’t be confined to the classroom, or the calendar school year. While kids are home for the holidays, winter break offers valuable time to practice and strengthen reading skills with friends and family.
With any time away from the classroom comes an opportunity for young readers to explore books that inspire them, and to get excited about reading. It’s also a great way for parents and caregivers to spend quality time with kids through the magic of stories.
When readers are engaged, their chances of greater overall success improve. Stories that engage curiosity and a sense of wonder have the power to build overall emotional intelligence, with stronger reading ability consistently linked to greater opportunities for advancement and success throughout life.
Learning to read, and read well, is one of the most important journeys in a young person’s life. When that journey is nurtured and enhanced, and not disrupted, while away from the classroom, we can expect our kids to achieve greater academic success – and greater overall growth.
So as we look to the approaching holiday season, consider giving a child in your life the gift of continued learning and connection by reading together. Could there be a more precious gift to give than to instill a lifelong love of reading?