Reading and writing are not just subjects in school; they are useful literary skills that people use on a daily basis for their entire lives. Helping your child engage in reading and writing activities at home or with a tutor is a great way to facilitate their literacy skills development. Here are 5 simple ideas of how you can help your child develop reading and writing skills in ways they will enjoy.
1. Turn a daily chore into a literacy activity
Ask younger children to check the mail and help sort the mail into piles for each family member. This will require them to be able to recognize names. You can even turn this activity into a game by having your child try to guess what is in each piece of mail based on the words on the outside of the envelope. Look for clues that help your child identify “junk mail” versus more important mail.
2. How to “trick” your child into reading for a treat
Many snacks are easy to make and they come with simple instructions on the package or have easy to follow recipes. Next time your child wants to have a snack like macaroni and cheese, hot chocolate, a sandwich or any other snack, ask them to help you make it. They can help by reading out the recipe or instructions step by step, while you follow their instructions to produce their snack. If there is no written recipe for your child’s favorite tuna sandwich with pickles, ask them to write their own recipe with detailed instructions for you to follow. Your child will be motivated to read or write the instructions knowing that they get to enjoy the snack in the end.
3. Include your child in party planning that involves literacy skills
For your child’s birthday, instead of planning the party for them, encourage them to use their writing skills by making a plan for their own party. They can list the food items they would like to serve at their party and the activities they would like to do during the party. They can even write their own invitations to send to their friends to invite them to the party. This is a good opportunity for your child to learn how to format an invitation and properly write addresses on envelopes. They will also be proud to have been able to help with their own birthday party.
4. How to choose a good book for literary skills development
Going to the library can make for a fun outing on a rainy day. When selecting books for your child you should always choose books that are of interest to your child. Here are some guidelines for choosing appropriate books
- Have your child read a page of the book aloud to you so you can make sure it is the proper reading level for them. They should be able to read almost every word with ease and fluency.
- Choose books that your child can read silently and independently.
- Also include books that are more difficult that will challenge your child and may require some parental help or help from your child’s reading tutor.
- Select books that are too advanced for your child, but are perfect for you to read aloud to them, or for your child’s reading tutor to read aloud to them during tutoring sessions. Reading aloud to your child will help broaden their vocabulary and sets a good example of how to read fluently.
5. Hire an in-home reading tutor for your child
If your child is struggling with reading and you are not sure how to help them, having an in-home reading tutor can help your child improve their ability to read. Reading tutors can work one-on-one with your child and create lesson plans designed to meet your child’s specific needs. You can also ask your child’s reading tutor or school teacher to suggest books that are appropriate for you and your child to read together.
There are many other ways to incorporate more literacy learning opportunities into your child’s life outside of the classroom. The main thing you can do as a parent is to be supportive and to encourage your child to read and write every day!