Literacy, the ability to read and write, is one of the most important skills to help your child learn and grow. Having a high level of literacy aids students to think more critically and creatively, express themselves with more clarity and can actually benefit them in other subjects such as Maths and Science. Luckily, there is a tonne of ways you can help your child improve their literacy level at home!
Get Them Reading!!
The importance of reading consistently cannot be overstated. It doesn't really matter what your child reads - non-fiction history or science books, fantasy, science-fiction, articles and news, poetry - as long as they are reading for between 10 - 30 mins a day. Find what your child likes to read and set them a goal of reading before bed. This is also a great way to get their eyes tired (unlike a smartphone or computer screen!) so they can have a restful night's sleep.
Have A Notebook For New Words
Get your child a notebook that is specifically dedicated to recording new words and definitions. Whenever your child hears or reads a word that is new to them, encourage them to write it down in this notebook with a definition and an example in a sentence and watch their vocabulary grow!
Turn On Those Subtitles
A simple trick, but turning on subtitles for TV, movies and YouTube can also help subconsciously improve literacy. Considering most kids would be watching video content anyway, you may as well have the words onscreen to get them reading without even knowing that's what they're doing!
Comprehension of Topics
You don't need to find comprehension worksheets or workbooks for your child (though this can certainly help), but incorporating questions into your daily life can help your child's overall understanding and critical thinking in literacy. Ask them what they are reading and then ask more intense questions; why do you think the character behaved in that way? How would you describe the setting? Can you give three alternate adjectives to describe the character?
One of the most difficult parts of levelling up your child's literacy is writing, but it is not an impossible beast to tackle. Encourage your child to keep a journal of their daily activities, get them to write letters to friends and family members or ask them to write short creative stories. This helps children with their ability to put their thoughts on paper and, with practice, this will become more concise.
If your child would benefit from individualised, one-on-one education with a qualified teacher, get in touch with Full Spectrum Education to organise a free consultation.
Written by Ben Maher - Director of Education | Full Spectrum Education