Given our current administration, it is essential that we share ways to support the education of our youth despite the odds. More than ever, it is critical to ensure we are developing students who are literate in every aspect of the word — they should be able to read text, understand multiple forms of literature, comprehend what they have read, make connections to it and write. In an effort to make sure our children are able to compete with their counterparts around the world, the expectations for students in grades K-5 have risen considerably. While many factors make this a challenge for our community, we must rise to the occasion both in and out of school.
Reading is everywhere; in every profession and in every facet of life. We must make sure we are doing all we can to foster reading and writing skills at home. Here are some ideas for your students:
Here are some ideas for your little readers in kindergarten through third grade:
- Make sure to read 30 minutes per day. It can be independent, with a sibling, or read by you.
- Ask questions before, during, and after reading. Talk about the characters, predict what will happen next and retell the story when you’re finished.
- Make reading fun! There are some great book activities you can do with your child to bring the book to life.
- Look for books that interest your child. Ask his or her teacher about their reading level to make sure the book isn’t too hard or too easy if they are reading independently.
- Encourage your child to write in creative ways like making up their own story, a comic book strip, create a family newspaper or a summer journal.
- Have your child write a letter to a family member or exchange letters with you.
- Have a place at home to hang your child’s writing. Storyjumper.com allows you to order hardcover books of your child’s writing.
- Hang up sight words around the house or your child’s room.
- Cut out letters from the newspaper or magazine to make collages of their spelling words.
- Call out spelling words in the car.
- Paint spelling words.
- Write words with sand, shaving cream or beads.
And here are some ideas for middle and high school students:
- Let the child choose and make checking out/buying books a regular part of your household. This means modeling reading for leisure yourself!
- Literacy circles: Creating a book club for your child and their friends can increase their desire to read as they see their peers participating in a similar activity.
- Aim for a book that is part of a series. Getting hooked on a book series almost promises your child will want to read continuously.
- Look for books that have been made into movies. This creates a great dialogue to compare and contrast each one.
- Ask your child about their future profession. As they grow closer to high school graduation, books about their profession can also increase their desire to read.
- Create a blog, magazine or website. Sites such as Edmodo.com, madmagz.com, and kidblog.org can be used as a final product for each book they read.