Really? How in the world can I compete with Santa, the Grinch, Christmas Carols, Christmas presents, Christmas programs, and Christmas movies… it’s nearly impossible! Everywhere we look Christmas is here… and truthfully…the fact that “It’s Beginning to Look alot Like Christmas…” really isn’t my problem. It’s the fact that I have to get and keep my children’s attention when all they can think of is what is actually under that wrapping paper on those gifts under the tree! Getting their attention during December is just… well nigh impossible!
Yet, in my experience I have a better chance getting their attention when we do something “out of the norm!” Sure, the old routine isn’t bad… in fact… it’s been working pretty well. Yet, I have to get their attention and keep it during Christmas – that requires every tool in my arsenal! So, bring out the big guns and change the whole thing up for maximum effect! It will definitely get their attention! An easy way to do this and keep with the train of thought that they are thinking right now… is to incorporate a themed reading unit for December. STOP… don’t walk away with panic in your eyes! It’s easy…
First, just choose a book or several books with a Christmas theme. Here is a post I wrote recently about Christmas themed books to help you out!
Second, give your readers a reading response journal. This can be a spiral bound notebook, and they simply write their feelings or opinion to each days reading from their themed books.
Third, incorporate the theme into your science, history, and math by reviewing the books and finding parts, settings, or aspects of the book that may pertain to these other subjects. For example, if your Christmas themed books are set in a historical setting have your child do a little extra research about that particular time period. Use the internet and find out more information. They could also look up information on how much things cost in that time period. I really love giving them a Christmas math assignment of having to find appropriate and interesting gifts for their siblings within a set budget. This teaches them on so many different levels!
Finally, have a big themed party night once you’ve finished all your books! We love doing things that we found in the books, and even making and eating food from our book! The most fun we’ve had was finding the movie that went along with the books we were reading… we watched it together with popcorn and snuggly blankets! Talk about a fun finale!
So, don’t let Christmas stress you out… go with it! Allow your kids to have a learning experience based on the Christmas theme and have a little fun with it!