Reading and writing are pivotal skills that need to be develop to ensure success in school and in later life. Here are three tips intended to help you find success in encouraging your child to read and write at home.
Tip #1 Focus on Choice
The more a child reads, the better they get at reading. Research suggests at least 20 minutes a day can greatly improve reading skills.
Children will want to read if you give them material they are interested in, so allow them the freedom to read what they are interested in. Make sure that your child is reading a just right book (especially if they are reading it on their own). If the book is too easy, their reading will not improve and if the book is too hard they won’t understand what they are reading. Click on the link below for a free poster that outlines how to pick a “Just Right Book.”
Have a reluctant reader? Try audiobooks. Encourage them to read a print or ebook version at the same time to help improve reading ability.
- Overdrive Library app (sign in with your public or school library card) https://www.overdrive.com/
- Free eBooks – Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. https://www.gutenberg.org/
- Audible (audiobooks) Stream free audiobooks online across six different languages. https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
Tip #2 Focus on What’s Interesting or Unusual
Writing, just like reading is a skill. The more a child writes, the better they will get at writing. A child is more likely to write if they are writing about things they know or are interested in.
Encourage your child to write about what they have been reading and how they feel about it or their reactions.
If you would like your child to try something new, find a great model text. Use unique and/or interesting texts as mentor texts so that your child is interested in the passage. Use short selections (paragraph/a few pages of graphic text or picture book) analyze writing elements/literary terms/style. Have child mimic style in their own writing. Read it with your child, discuss what makes it interesting or unique. Have your child try and mimic/copy the way it is written.
Review and discuss the parts of a story (literary termshttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-5-Elements-of-Fiction-Interactive-Lesson-Activities-PowerPohttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-5-Elements-of-Fiction-Interactive-Lesson-Activities-PowerPoint-editable-2813728) with your child and then connect this to the book they are reading. Have them write about it.
- Nanowrimo Resources to support young people in writing their own novel https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/ (Workbooks, Pep Talks, Videos, Blog, Brave the Page, Events, Getting Started)
- Scholastic Story Starters Creative writing prompt generator for children in grades K-6. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/
- Model Texts for KS2 English Lessons – from Creative Writing to Poetry and Non-Fiction. https://www.teachwire.net/news/the-best-free-model-texts-for-ks2-english-lessons
- Mentor Text series spotlights writing from the New York Times. https://www.literacywagoll.com/
- British Council activities to practice your writing skills. https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/skills/writing
Tip #3 Focus on the Positives
You probably know this from your own experience: positive feedback has more of an impact, and is more motivating, then focusing on errors. When discussing your child’s reading or writing with them, focus on the 2 to 1 philosophy: two positive comments to every correction. When correcting their reading or writing, look for the errors that they make consistently and focus on those.
- POSITIVE COMMENTS FOR STUDENT PAPERS (list)
- The power of positive meaningful feedback on student success
- Be kind, be specific, be helpful