Winter Olympics Reading Challenge

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reading challenge

I am a voracious reader. I read so much that I may have a problem. I spend as much time reading as an Olympic athlete does training for their event. From morning devotionals, magazines, blogs, classics, to bestsellers, I am devoted to my reading time.  

In honor of the anniversary of the First Winter Olympic Games held in Chamonix, France in 1924, I am holding an Olympic size reading challenge this winter in my homeschool that you can try with your kids too.

I am always looking for different ways to motivate my girls to read. I think this challenge will be full of lots of snuggling while reading some great books together in front of the fireplace wrapped in warm, fuzzy blankets. In my Pennsylvania homeschool, this is what winter is all about!

Winter is a great time to slow down the pace and enjoy our time together. It is a great reminder of the choice I made to homeschool. Homeschooling is a sacrifice, but the blessing of being able to spend time together because of our flexible schedule is one of the greatest joys.

This laidback pace is the perfect time to focus on cultivating a love for reading. Because of the weather, we are indoors more, and this calmness has my girls less distracted by the outside world and more focused on our hours together. This motivates me to make sure that I have lots of fun activities planned during the winter that prevent any of us from going stir-crazy.

The kickoff to winter is spent at the library and on some of our favorite book review websites to brainstorm and create our list for the Olympic Reading Challenge. For example, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women are both on our list for read alouds. The girls also choose picture books, and I gather winter themed poems, plays, and short stories.

My goal is that from January to March we read a designated number of books. When we reach our number, the real competition begins. We all need to choose one book from all the books we read. After picking the book we will each focus on, we need to create a board game that is able to be played.

My girls are competitive, so to step it up a level, the game needs to be Olympic themed. For clarification purposes, our game boards, game pieces, and theme of the game needs to replicate the rules of a sport played during the Winter Olympics.

To make sure that we are all engaged with our reading, the games we create must prove understanding of the book. This is important for both the game designer and players. Every game must include questions that range from vocabulary and comprehension to real world connections and themes. The learning that takes place during our discussions as even the youngest of my daughters create thought provoking questions is what makes the Winter Reading Challenge worth every second.

As a homeschool mom, I know I will never regret the time I spend with my girls. Heading down these exciting rabbit holes together as we read and create are the memories we will all cherish for a lifetime.  

Kristi Hertzog was a public high school teacher for 17 years. Now she shares her love of learning by homeschooling her three youngest daughters. Kristi, who is strongly passionate about all things education, blogs for the co-op program her daughters attend. This wife and mother of four daughters has faced numerous medical challenges. From battling debilitating Postpartum Depression to spending four months hospitalized due to complications from the flu, Kristi found purpose in the storm by sharing her story. She had the honor of sharing her personal story on the TEDx stage and writes about her life on her blog, Mom Battles: On her blog, Kristi also shares how strongly she believes in advocating for others.  As the Founder and Executive Director of Coming Home with Grace, a Nonprofit 501c3 Organization, Kristi and her team are on a mission to help people live with the grace and dignity they deserve through custom home renovations and community projects. She has spent the past 14 years advocating for her own daughter, Camryn Grace, a teenager with Autism and an Intellectual Disability and also the inspiration behind Coming Home with Grace. Kristi graduated with a B.S. in Secondary Education/English/Communication from La Salle University and an M.S. in Education from Villanova University. Currently, Kristi is enrolled at Drexel University for certification in Nonprofit Management. Follow Kristi @ Read her article for ideas on how to help guide our kids during the journey.

reading challenge

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).