Today is Presidents’ Day in the United States and Family Day in some parts of Canada. This suggestion is relevant for both.
Making Presidents’ Day meaningful for young children is a challenge. There are crafts and other activities to do with little ones, books and stories to read or tell. There are games and songs, too, and community activities.
What are some of the things most memorable about Washington and Lincoln? Their words! Both of them gave some powerful speeches. No matter how your family celebrates Presidents’ Day today, one way to honor their memories is to spend some time exploring words and encouraging your child’s language learning. Words can create memories and are important in all kinds of ways.
One thought on “Readiness for Kindergarten – Presidents’ Day”
When I was a special ed theacer, I had a group of boys who all read on or below a 1st grade level. Considering they were all 14, this presented a LOT of problems! I didn’t have the heart to do to them what had been done in years past give them a 1st grade reader and keep drilling them with dolch word flash cards and phonic pages. Their records indicated they’d done that for years. Instead I bought each of them a copy of the same book and I read to them. My rule was that I’d keep reading as long as I saw them following along. If they didn’t, THEY’d have to read. No non-reading 14 year old wants to read aloud so the threat worked. We read good books too! I avoided all the textbooks with partial stories out of context. They were boring and non-productive. We read literature. At the end of the year all were reading at or above 4th grade level. Their self esteem was high and they were beginning to take pleasure in reading. Considering where we started, this was extraordinary. READ TO YOUR CHILD. Write notes to him/her. Help them write notes back. Make word cards and stick them around the house, words like DOOR, WINDOW, BEDROOM, STAIRS, TOOTHBRUSH. Make chore charts, calendars, bulletin boards, and art with words. BUT don’t resort to only worksheets, flashcards and readers or you’ll kill the love of reading. My oldest has severe dyslexia. He didn’t learn to read until he was 11. Thanks to BASSMASTER magazine, he was reading on college level by age 12 and while he still has dyslexia he also has a degree from a college that gave him a huge scholarship ($80,000). My next two sons both learned to read fluently by the age of 3 and 4. My daughter isn’t fluent yet due to some visual problems but she’s getting there! Read fun stuff. Read exciting stuff. Find a bunch of Dorling Kindersly books and pour over them together. My third son is 15 and has read grad student level history books for years now. He loves to learn (and play ball and play music). I tried very hard to not kill that love of reading. Books are the MAIN Christmas presents requested by my children. Oh, one last point. We keep the video games to about 1/2 hour once a week. We keep the TV off unless its PBS or an old movie. We spend a lot of time outdoors exploring, hiking, gardening, playing in the creek. Outdoors play grows brains! Games, computers and TV makes for quiet children maybe but doesn’t grow their brains much.