As part of our school plan, the staff and students are really focusing on developing reading and writing skills in the students. There are a number of things that we are doing in the school to increase these skills for every student. However, like all aspects of education, the teaching and learning does not start and stop at the school doors. It is just as important for parents to help their children build these skills and be involved in the teaching and learning for them. Not only does this help the students develop these skills more
quickly but it also sends a strong message that their education is important to you, as parents, and that you are willing to help them along the way.
This column will be included in every newsletter in an effort to give parents some ideas about how they can work with their children at home around reading and writing. Pick and choose the ideas that you think will work for you and your child(ren). The more practice, the better these skills will develop!
- Read with your child every single day. Have them read to you or you read to them. Either way, it will build not only their skills but their confidence as well.
- Discuss what you are reading. Ask questions before, during and after about the reading to see if your child is understanding what they are reading.
- Pick reading material that is of interest to your child(ren) or a common interest between you and them. This will make those discussions easier.
- Have a reading time set aside in your home where everyone reads something. If kids see adults reading, they are more likely to do it themselves.
- When in a vehicle, play language games. Make it fun!
- Who can find every letter of the alphabet on the signs as you pass them?
- Try to name an animal, town, sport, etc. for every letter of the alphabet.
- Where on the map am I? Pick a town and have the student locate it on a map?
- Reading is part of everyday life, not just books, so have your child read using a variety of sources such as:
- newspapers - there are often sections specifically for kids or read interesting articles together
- magazines - there are a variety of kids magazines that will pique kids interest
- cookbooks - as you bake - with or without your child - have them read the recipes
- comic books - the funny nature of these keeps kids interested and coming back
- brochures - works really well for vacations or small trips
- songs - have kids follow a the lyrics of a song while they listen to music
- food product labels - gets kids understanding foods to make positive choices
- catalogues - make them read the description of the pictures of things that might interest them
- DVD/CD's - reading the back will give them an idea of what they are all about
- By having your kids do this type of reading, they will find it easier to see how being a good reader affects their everyday life.
- Encourage your child to write in a journal or diary.
- Create a story with your child
- Become a news reporter about an event in your home or community
- Let your child work on the computer where they need to do writing (making posters, emailing family, etc.)
- Have your children write thank you or birthday cards
- Write a letter to a grandparent
- Like reading, writing comes in a variety of forms and sources so do activities such as:
- make a menu for a meal you are having or that they help make
- make lists for things like groceries, birthday/Christmas present ideas, To Do's, etc.
- set goals - can be personal or school related
- write down the directions for a trip