How to Introduce Kids to “A Christmas Carol”

I love A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I re-read it every December and I enjoy it more each time. So naturally, I wanted that book to be part of our holiday homeschooling.

Here are some stepping stones (plus resources) that I found helpful when introducing my own kids to A Christmas Carol — I hope you find them helpful as well!

These are roughly listed from “easiest” to “hardest”.

  1. Listen to a short story version of the classic

A Christmas Carol and Other Favorites (Jim Weiss) — This CD includes A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi, and Dick Spindler’s Family Christmas.It’s a great way to lightly introduce Dickens to younger kiddos, especially if you are a Jim Weiss fan!

2. Find a fun first way to “watch” together

A Muppet’s Christmas Carol — I have seen several adaptations of A Christmas Carol, both for kids and adults, and this one will always have a very special place in my heart. It’s tons of fun, has great songs, and isn’t too scary. If the Ghost of Christmas Future bothers kiddos, they can “check out” with the narrators (who freely admit to being frightened of that scene) and return when Scrooge is safely back in bed.

3. Dive into a beautifully illustrated picture book

A Christmas Carol adapted by Adam McKewon — This version has lavish illustrations and  keeps plenty of Dickens original wording.

4. Explore an adapted version (or two) of the tale

A Christmas Carol by Stephen Krensky — This is my favorite adapted version — the illustrations are fabulous!

A Christmas Carol (Great Illustrated Classics) — If you have a fan of these adapted classics at home (we do!), this one’s for you.

5. Listen to the original

A Christmas Carol by Tim Curry — We are currently working our way through this one, and it’s so good!

6. Watch the movie

A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart —This is my favorite version, which I watch each year without fail. It’s best for ages 11/12 and up, but if your child is sensitive you may wish to preview first.

7. Read the original

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens — The first time we read the original aloud, we read for just 10-15 minutes each day to help my younger kids stay focused on the story. I read it aloud first to kids between the ages of 7-14 (or so). I think it took us a month to get through the book. It helped that we watched the two film versions above during that time — I think it renewed everyone’s interest in the story!

Finally, if you want something fun to read (for you, the parent) I just finished Mr. Dickens and His Carol and loved it!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a great Dickens resource that I didn’t mention, please let me know in the comments!

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