Helping your child learn outside of school
1. Provide time and space for your child to read independently. This reading time should be free from distractions such as television.
2. Ask your child what topics, events, or activities he or she likes. Then look for books, magazines, or other materials about those topics that would motivate your child to read.
3. It is also helpful when your child sees other people reading at home. You could share what you have read.
4. Start a family book club. Let different members of the family pick the book. This could be a good way to enjoy quality family time while experiencing the joy of reading together!
5. Be sure your child has a library card. Children should select books in which they are interested to develop a passion for reading. Mesa Public Library has activities that make reading fun for the entire family.
6. Use technology to help build your child’s interest in reading. There are several websites where students can read books or articles online. The computer will help with words the student cannot read independently. Libraries also have computers students can use to access those sites. Feel free to ask a librarian or teacher for suggestions.
Ideas from Council of Great City Schools
Everyday Family Activities
- Setting aside at least 15 minutes per day for family reading.
- Making books available around your home and take the child regularly to the library.
- Reading stories to your child, even after he/she learns to read.
- Making sure that your child reads books that are not too difficult. A rule of thumb is if your child misses five words on the first page of a book, the material is too difficult. Find a book that is easier to read.
- Listening to your child read stories; discuss them with him/her, bringing out the main idea, details, sequence of events, and reactions to the story using the "wh" questions, i.e., who, what, when, where, why.
- Clapping syllables with your child; e.g., com/mon (two claps for two syllables).
- Writing notes to your child suggesting that he/she do things; e.g., Please put your backpack away.
- Having a "Turn Off the Technology and Read Day" one night a week.
- As a family, learning one new word every day. Use this word often so it becomes a part of the child's vocabulary.
- Encouraging your child to write thank-you letters, pen-pal, or friendly letters to family and acquaintances. Check spelling and punctuation.
- Writing positive special notes to your child and encouraging written responses.
- Putting spelling list from school in a prominent place (on bulletin board or refrigerator). Assist your child by dictating words for him/her to write.
- Going over papers brought home from school and stressing the progress your child is making in writing, spelling, and penmanship. Display student work in a prominent place for all the family to enjoy.
- Being selective in television viewing and time allotted to technology.
- Teaching your child good telephone manners (how you want your phone answered, how to take messages). Keep a pencil and paper near the phone.
- After a family picnic, trip, or excursion, asking your child to tell or write what happened, stressing the sequence of events.
- Encouraging your child to keep a journal at home.
- Assisting the child with writing about events in his/her life.
- Playing letter sound games with your child; e.g., “Can you tell me the spelling for the /er/ sound in bird?
- Allowing your child to voice his/her opinion and defend it with quality reasons.
- Helping your child find the two words contained in a compound word; e.g., steamboat is composed of steam and boat.
- Encouraging your child to read menus, maps, signs, and directions.
- Playing affix games; e.g., find the prefix in unhappy (un); find the base word in unhappy (happy; find the suffix in unhappily (ly).
Ideas from Fremont Unified School District, CA
Technology Resources for Parents
Harcourt Trophies (Resources for parents, teachers and students)
Kids Research Portal (Kentucky Virtual Library - How to do Research)
NBC Learn Explore NBC Learn for offers unique collections of video resources, primary sources, historic footage, images, mini-documentaries and text resources designed for use in the K-12 classroom.
Top 12 Comprehension Apps (free or low cost)
Top 11 Phonics Apps (free or low cost)
Top 13 Vocabulary Apps (free or low cost)
Top 10 Spelling Apps (free or low cost)
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