Family time is a time to learn. Did you know that children pick up the majority of their vocabulary from talks with family and friends rather than in the classroom? or that even the smallest of learners may learn to read and write by creating images during playtime?
Families have always played a significant role in the teaching and learning process, but their importance has increased as a result of the epidemic.
The research-based suggestions below are meant to be manageable, engaging activities you and your kid can do together to help them improve their motivation, self-assurance, and reading and writing abilities. While some of these tactics are applicable to children of all ages, others are targeted at certain age groups or grade levels. They will be arranged properly, as you can see. Try trying two or three of them and include them into your family’s other crucial habits, such as tooth brushing.
General methods for teaching children of all ages to read and write better
Whatever their age, your child’s reading and writing development is influenced by a number of factors, including attitude, motivation, access, and exposure. Consider the following tactics as advice for creating internalized thoughts, actions, and routines.
Set an example for your child by reading and writing in front of them.
Children’s perceptions of the importance of reading and writing are influenced by how adults see these abilities. The realization that reading and writing are beneficial and advantageous aspects of daily life is established when your youngster sees you reading a book or magazine and sending a thank-you letter or email to a friend.
Find out what your kid is interested in and get as many texts as possible related to that topic.
Make it a point to explain why you’re reading and writing to your youngster. For example, to learn about a topic of interest, to entertain oneself with an amusing anecdote, or to express gratitude to someone. Kids must grasp the importance and purpose of reading and writing in order to be motivated to read and write for themselves.
Make reading resources that your youngster will actually enjoy readily available.
Kids’ boredom threshold appears to have decreased in recent decades, particularly with today’s availability to social media and video streaming. If we want youngsters to read and write, we must make it the most appealing activity for them. When children recognize the utility in reading, such as expanding their knowledge about something they find intriguing, they are more inclined to do so.
Find out what your child is interested in and collect as many texts as possible on that subject. These might be books, graphic novels, periodicals, or digital writings available online. You also don’t have to spend a small fortune. There are usually lots of selections available at your local library or your child’s school library.
Remember that, although reading on grade level is essential, so is reading a huge amount of content and reading for pleasure. Some texts may be below grade level for your child, which is OK. Some may be above grade level. When a child is engaged in a subject, they are more likely to interact with a demanding material on that subject. A work that is above grade level also gives an excellent chance for cooperative reading with another member of the family.
Talk to your youngster… a lot
Children’s vocabulary and knowledge of sentence patterns are expanded not just via reading but also through discussions with others.
Talk to your children about their school day, what they observe on a stroll or drive around the neighborhood, their interests, the movie you saw together, the news, or anything else. Ask inquiries that generate more than a one-word response whenever feasible. A coworker, for example, enjoys inquiring about her children’s days utilizing the popular Rose, Thorn, and Bud activity. Her children each share a rose, or a pleasant thing about their day, followed by a thorn, representing a tough thing. The bud prompt asks them to share something they are looking forward to.
Give your child genuine writing assignments to help them discover their voice and create a sense of authority.
When children are writing for real goals and real audiences, with the possibility for genuine effect, they are more inspired to write.
Encourage your kid to write for practical and beneficial goals such as assisting in the creation of a weekly grocery list, writing a get-well-soon card for a friend, emailing their instructor for clarification on an assignment, or writing a letter to an elected figure appealing for change. They can even follow in the footsteps of Dillon Helbig, an 8-year-old who authored a book and self-published it by hiding it on a shelf at his local library.
Kids need to understand the value and purpose of the actions of reading and writing; knowing the why helps them be more motivated to read and write themselves.
Writing may also be quite beneficial for processing emotions. Encourage your youngster to keep a notebook to express and work through their own ideas and feelings. For younger students, this might take the form of sketching images.
Literacy initiatives for children from birth to pre-K
Preschoolers and younger are frequently referred to be “preliterate.” This term is significant because, while they are not yet “literate,” they are engaged in a variety of activities that provide the groundwork for eventual independent reading and writing. Consider the following methods as stepping stones to future reading and writing success.
You should read aloud to your child.
Language comprehension begins in the womb when children hear the rhythm of their mother’s voice. Infants imitate speech by generating noises, which are frequently excellent communication techniques for getting what they want. Toddlers begin using words and, before long, they are piecing full sentences together without ever having had a single grammar instruction on sentence building. Children learn to talk in entire sentences by witnessing and interacting with adults and other children before they can read individual words printed on a page.
Instill a bedtime tale routine, perhaps using those library books on your child’s favorite themes. Environmental print, such as store signs and street names, should also be read aloud. Children gain vocabulary, knowledge about a topic or idea, and an awareness of sentence patterns via read alouds.
Make use of your home’s print-rich surroundings.
Letters and words are not taught to children from birth. It is a conceptual knowledge (also known as print awareness) that kids develop with the assistance of adults throughout time.
Installing a bookshelf in your child’s bedroom and keeping it supplied with library books is one of the most obvious strategies to raise print awareness. Print, however, occurs in forms other than books. Display your shopping or to-do list on the fridge for them to see. Sticky notes can be used to name objects in the child’s room and around the house. Purchase a set of magnetic letters for them to rearrange on the fridge.
Providing children with examples of written texts lays the groundwork for them to learn the alphabetic concept.
Participate in art projects
Young children learn the motor skills and physical stamina required to write words, phrases, and paragraphs through sketching and painting. Drawing individual letters helps your child develop the brain connections required to eventually link sounds to letters and letter patterns while learning to read.
Instill a bedtime story routine […]. Read aloud environmental print, too, like store signs and street names.
Provide your youngster with items such as paper, crayons, and finger paints. You may also have some fun (and get a little dirty) by having them write letters with salt or even pudding with their fingers (the reward is pudding for dessert). Allow your and their imaginations to soar!
Kindergarten to second grade strategies
These students are actively learning to read. Through the act of decoding, they are expanding their grasp of phonemic awareness (the particular sounds in words) and learning to connect those sounds with specific letters and letter patterns (also known as phonics). If you want to learn more about those two themes, the links above will lead you to previously published blog entries about them.
Meanwhile, here are some simple tasks to attempt at home.
Take turns reading out loud to one another.
Students in this age range are likely to bring home decodable texts from school that employ the letter patterns they are learning at the time. Encourage children to read by asking them to read these texts to you and rewarding them properly.
Continue to read above-grade-level novels to them as well. While children of this age may not be ready to read chapter books on their own, reading more complicated texts aloud to them can help them comprehend vocabulary and language structures as well as increase their comprehension.
Inquire with them about what you read together.
The purpose of asking questions is not simply to assess children’s comprehension of a material, but also to help them think more deeply about what they are reading (or listening to).
Pose questions to your children that begin with “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “how,” and “why.” Inquire whether they can forecast what will happen next and what in the text leads them to believe so. These questions assist children in becoming engaged readers who can create connections in a book.
Take part in word games.
At school, kids this age are doing a lot of word study. They are learning to identify specific sounds in words as well as to mix distinct sounds to construct new words. They are discovering how base (root) words, prefixes, and suffixes may assist them in understanding the meaning of novel terms.
You may help them discover the relationships between sounds and letters by playing rhyming games. You can have students examine words to determine their many pieces and associated meanings. Word construction games such as Zingo Word Builder or sight word bingo can be introduced.
Strategies for students in grades 3 and up
Authenticity is important to these children. They must derive genuine benefit from their reading and writing efforts. Also, if your child is having difficulty reading or writing, it is critical that you communicate with their teacher. They may require additional and specialized assistance in gaining specific abilities.
Listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks all at the same time.
While we may enjoy music, podcasts, and audiobooks through our ears, all of these forms require a writer or team of writers to conceive, develop, and polish ideas before clicking the record button. Share that information with your youngster and have fun with these sorts of stories together.
If your kid is showing struggles with reading or writing, it’s important to reach out and stay in close contact with their teacher.
Discuss and evaluate some of their favorite song lyrics. Songwriters employ creative phrase patterns and unique word choices. These are excellent opportunities to examine how language may be utilized for stylistic impact and vocabulary building.
There seemed to be a podcast for every possible topic. Podcasts improve both listening comprehension and speaking language abilities. It may also inspire students to make their own podcasts, which will require a significant amount of reading and writing. Scroll down to my final advice for helpful links on podcast creation.
If kids struggle to read fluently, following along with a book while listening to the audio version might be beneficial.
Assess the reliability of online information to practice digital citizenship.
Readers are bombarded with disinformation in today’s society, and it may be difficult to identify whether information is reliable. Common Sense has chosen a selection of websites and applications that help youngsters build their media literacy abilities as responsible content consumers and producers. Family tools are also available from the News Literacy Project and Media Literacy Now.
Younger children may frequently begin by recognizing text type and relate it to the author’s aim before progressing to differentiating truth from opinion by evaluating crucial clues such as the usage of “loaded” words. With continued teaching and practice, older children improve their ability to evaluate sources.
If your child has a social media account, explain to them that they are part of a genuine media ecosystem and that their postings are examples of actual writing that may have a real impact on others. In order to reinforce this concept, ask students to analyze their own postings or reposts using the same critical lens as other online sources.
Encourage them to produce new texts using digital technologies.
Today, “real-world” writing is digital writing. People utilize keyboards, computers, and other digital devices to convert their ideas into language that can be read by an internet-connected audience. Your children may already be using Google Docs to collaborate with their classmates on a daily basis. Technology also enables authors to use multimodal components such as graphics, photos, videos, audio clips, animation, and linkages to other sources to enrich their thoughts.
Request that your child produce texts using digital tools so that they are better equipped for real-world writing and have the opportunity to geek out with technology that interests them. Check out this selection of free multimedia tools that your child may experiment with while creating new texts. Common Sense includes two more lists of suggested websites and applications (both free and commercial), one for creating films and animations and the other for podcasting. The creative potential of children is absolutely infinite here. They can even “publish” these texts for real-world audiences. NPR, for example, hosts a yearly student podcast competition with real cash prizes!
Implementing these methods
Reading and writing are not limited to the classroom. They are necessary actions in daily living. And they entail abilities that we learn through time with the help of teachers.
Your formal job title may not be “teacher,” but you are a significant influence in your child’s life, which qualifies you as a teacher. These family reading and writing tactics do not involve any particular training; all that is required is that you and your kid spend some quality time chatting, reading, and writing together. You can do it!