Current research indicates that children learn best when they are engaged and actively involved in their learning. You may be relieved to know that you don’t always have to sit down to drill with flash cards. Use these helpful tips to help your child acquire essential reading and writing skills.
- Read, Read, Read: Exposure to language and book skills is one of the best, and most enjoyable ways, to promote reading skills. Use a variety of methods to make the experience fun. You can read aloud, read silently, read with a partner, listen to the book on tape, or record your child reading on tape. Your child will enjoy spending time with you, and your active monitoring of reading will increase your child’s skills.
- Write, Write, Write: Practice writing about what you read. You can write about your favorite part of the story, rewrite the ending, write a sequel, or create a new story based on the characters. There is software available to help your child create a story with typed text and illustrations. Also, several companies offer to print and bind your child’s book. Wouldn’t that make a great addition to your family library?
- Label the environment: Children needing a boost with sight word word recognition, including second language learners, benefit by having their environment labeled. Write words, of common objects, on index cards and place them around the house. Label things such as the clock, microwave, refrigerator, bed, dresser, door, bathroom, etc. If you would like to incorporate writing into this activity, lightly write the word in pencil and have your child trace over the word in a dark colored marker
- Play Sounds games: Playing games is a sure method of actively engaging your child while teaching skills. Use a few spare minutes to play while driving in the car, waiting for the dentist, waiting in the checkout line, etc. The more you practice, the easier these games will become!
- Blending sounds: Say the sounds of a short word: c-a-t. Your child will listen and tell you the word is”cat”.
- Segmenting sounds: Say a short 2-3 letter word: cat. Your child will listen and tell you the sounds in the word: c-a-t.
- Compound words: Say two words, that when blended, create a new word: butter-fly. Your child will listen and tell you the new word
- Syllables: Say a word. Your child will say it with you, with a hand placed underneath his or her chin. As you say the word aloud, your chin will touch your hand each time you say a vowel sound. Count how many times this occurs to count the syllables. Afterward, clap the syllables. Ex. Alligator (4 syllables)
- Parts of Speech: Does your child need practice remembering what is a verb, noun, adverb, or adjective? Get some Mad Libs! These silly stories promote learning parts of speech and let you have a good laugh together!
Using creative methods to teach skills increases your child’s motivation to participate and learn-and that is half the battle!