Reading and writing are fundamental practices to communicating in our world, and the more time that children work at developing these skills, they naturally grow into good listeners and more confident communicators. Taking the time to create unique ways for our children to develop these skills at home, becomes essential to their overall growth. This happens through modeling, a commitment to practice and mindful enthusiasm.
Some unique ways that we can encourage reading and writing development at home can be done through shared reading with parents and children. Parents of younger children can read books to them that capture their interests and hobbies, or books on a new topic. Younger children should be encouraged to read back to parents to help develop fluency and overall skill. Parents of older children can have dialogue with their children about a particular read, to invoke intellectual conversation and analysis of a particular subject.
Discover new places away from home or school for children to enjoy reading.It’s always fun finding special spaces in nature or indoor cozy spots to enjoy favorite reads. Parks can be good spaces for any age. Even a neighborhood cafe may become a “cool” spot for older children to enjoy. Reading ‘play dates’ and small book clubs for children can become creative ways for motivating reading and building social skills.
Writing down difficult words in a journal is a great way for children to go back later using a dictionary to define and practice proper spelling. This strategy promotes vocabulary skill building proper use of text resources.
Children can practice writing at home by keeping daily schedules, making a shopping list before going to the store, or jotting down a recipe and following the step-by-step process while cooking with family. Older children may enjoy keeping a diary, tracking and writing down current events and their personal thoughts surrounding them. Additionally, older children seek out interesting newspaper articles to read and write a summary about it.
As children begin to write more, they become aware and connected to their own thoughts, creativity and uniqueness. As an educator, and parent, I encourage reading and writing to become a normal practice for children at home as well as at school.
Raishlyn N. Grant
Upper School ELA