• Strategies for Parents

    • Read to or with your child daily. Bedtime is a great time to read to your child, even after your child has learned to read independently.
    • Visit the library regularly. Give your child the opportunity to see you select books for a variety of purposes. Make sure your child has his/ her own library card.

    There are several strategies from which you can choose to foster independent reading skills. These include, but are not limited to:

    • As you read, move your finger under the words to reinforce left to right orientation.
    • Pause at different parts of a story to encourage your child to predict what could happen next, express feelings, or express opinions about the story.
    • At the end of the story, ask your child to retell the story in sequence.
    • Discuss unfamiliar words.

    There is no need to employ all of these strategies at the same time, but rather frequently include and vary them in the time you spend reading with your child.

    To encourage writing at home:

    • Always have lots of paper, both lined and unlined, and various writing utensils on hand for your child to experiment with writing.
    • Accept all forms of writing your child produces, including imperfections in formation, spelling, spacing and size. The writing mechanics will improve as the frequency of writing increases.
    • Encourage writing for fun and emphasize that it has many purposes. Identify the writing process in the following ways: story writing, poetry, illustrations, posters, note, songs, lists, labels, invitations, greeting cards and letters.
    • Keep a family or personal journal or diary.
    • Encourage letter writing to family members who live far away. 

    To encourage effective speaking:

    • Model and remind your child to look at the speaker (make eye contact).
    • Speak clearly.
    • Speak in complete sentences using proper grammar.
    • Practice taking turns speaking without interrupting others.
    • Respond appropriately to the topic.

    To encourage effective listening:

    • Model and remind your child to look at the speaker (make eye contact).
    • Listen without interrupting the speaker.
    • Give your child simple, sequential tasks to practice following multi-step directions.