The holidays can be an exciting time and yet they can also be stressful. There are so many mixed emotions. There can be financial stress as some try not to spend too much money while others may not have enough money. There can be stress related to changing routines, travel, or the dynamics of extended family visits. There’s the stress for many families who have to figure out alternative childcare because their child is out of school but they still have to work. For some families, that reliable food source of breakfast and lunch is gone for two weeks. The holidays are often full of a whirlwind of all kinds of heightened emotions.
As educators, we feel the excitement and stress too! While we may feel the need to focus our efforts on planning parties, programs, and last minute instruction, we also know that what children really want is quality time with people they love. ReadyRosie can provide that gift of family learning during family time. ReadyRosie wants to support you as you support your families. We created this Holiday Learning flyer in English and Spanish for you to print and send home to your families for the holiday break. The time your students spend learning, talking, and playing with their families creates enduring memories. As educators, we know that these bonding moments, these games, build confidence, resilience, and a depth of background knowledge and higher-level thinking that extend into the academic areas you are working so hard to teach!
We know from research that children do best with a routine. Routines help children feel safe, give them a sense of security, and help them develop self-discipline. Our Holiday Learning flyer allows children to maintain the routine they have established of watching the modeled moments that support what is being learned at school. At a time when their usual schedule is interrupted, the Holiday Learning flyer allows children to maintain a sense of security while additionally providing great family time.
This flyer serves as a physical reminder to log in to ReadyRosie’s digital gameboard playlist page where families will see playlists of suggested videos for all ages to enjoy while spending time together. Here are some simple suggestions for making joyful holiday home learning happen with your families:
- Share the Holiday Learning flyer with your students and talk about what is described in each gift. Encourage your students to think about which “gift” they are most looking forward to sharing with their families. Give your children time to write a letter to their families requesting the gift of their time and describing which of the gifts they’re most excited about. Attach the handout to this letter. Decorate it! Wrap it up like a real present! Help your students see that time together really is a gift!
- During the week before the holiday break begins, preview the playlists. Use transition times or right before dismissal to take 2-3 minutes to view a video together. This helps build excitement and provides early access to any children whose families may not have consistent access to the internet over the holiday break.
- Play one of the “games” in a center or station the week before the break.
- Create a custom playlist that highlights other favorite activities to support these holiday learning ideas or practice scanning the QR and using the digital gameboard with your students! In your playlist, be sure to include a warm holiday message to your families. Your students and their families would love to hear about one of your favorite family traditions and the playlist message space is a perfect place to make that meaningful personal connection!
What better gift can we give our families but time to be together and learn together? We aren’t asking them to “do homework “or practice skills. We are inviting them to play games and talk together! The unexpected gift is that while spending this family time together, not only are we giving children what most of them want and building strong, healthy families, but children are also “practicing” skills that have been taught in your classroom.
If you missed watching our webinar about our holiday resources live, don’t worry, we recorded it for you!