How Can I Help My Child At Home?
Learning does not end in the classroom. Children who have supportive families who practice skills at home do better in school. These children also feel that school is important.
Ways to help your child in pre-kindergarten with language and literacy
- Read together 20 minutes a day!
- Read your teacher's newsletter, so you know what your child is doing in the classroom.
- Have your child play listening and reading games on his technology items such as iPad, phones, computers and other video games.
- Practice letter recognition with everyday objects throughout the day such as phone books, recipe cards, mail, magazines, DVD jackets, newspapers or cereal boxes. Letters are everywhere!
- Practice letter naming and sounds aloud with your child, touching the letter as you do.
- Ask your child to write letters in sand, shaving cream, pudding, dried oatmeal on a cookie sheet or in the snow.
- Make letters with anything that you can find, such as play dough, sticks, pipe cleaners, noodles and cereal.
- Have alphabet cereal for breakfast or alphabet soup for lunch.
- Work with your child to write labels for common household items and attach the labels at her eye level such as TV, door, phone, table, her name on her bedroom door, tub or sink.
- Play alphabet Memory (print two sets of letters from the computer, cut them up and match).
- Have magnetic ABC's on the fridge and foam ABC's in the bath tub.
- Go on a sound hunt together by making a collection of items that start with the same sound.
- Keep writing supplies on hand.
- Make up funny, silly rhymes (what rhymes with leg: treg, deg, gleg).
- Know that it's OK for children to use inventive spelling as they start to read and write, but give the correct spelling of words while they are practicing their writing.
- Tell stories and fairytales.
- Cut letters out of magazines and newspapers.
- Make an ABC book together using one page for each letter and gluing pictures of items that start with that letter (G: Grandma, Grandpa, grapes, glue, green things). Make one page a day so your child does not get overwhelmed. Or premake the pages of the book, and glue pictures onto the correct pages as you find them.
- Have a family calendar and use it with your child.
- Let your child look at the sale flyer when you grocery shop. Point out letters. Let him look for items to match.
- Cook together. Read the recipe aloud. Use ABC cookie cutters.
- Check the out the book "Eating the Alphabet" by Lois Ehlert from the library and eat some of the foods.
- Print your child's name on the computer and cut it apart to make a puzzle.
- Write with sidewalk chalk.
- Hide sticky note letters in the house or outside for a scavenger hunt.
- Ask your child's teacher for copies of games and songs from school to use at home.
- Play games like, "I Spy". Take turns with your child "spying" objects that start with a certain sound. Give clues until the child guesses the object.
- Watch Preschool Writing. My own writing books for an activity you can do with your child.
Overall strategies for school success
- Meet your child's teacher as soon as the new school year starts.
- Ask the teacher about the process for regular communication between home and school.
- Read what comes home from school and keep in touch with your child's teacher, especially when you have concerns.
- Attend parent-teacher conferences.
- Establish a consistent routine to make sure your child gets homework done. Show an interest in your child's work.
- Always talk about school and the teacher in a positive way, even if you have concerns. It is important for children to see home and school as united.
- Establish regular routines for morning, after school, homework and bedtime.
- Make sure your child is getting enough sleep, so he can focus at school.
- Talk to your child daily about school and how she feels it is going. This shows the value of education.
- Monitor and limit your child's use of technology (TV, computer, internet, video-games, phone and social media).
- Encourage healthy eating and exercise habits.
- Celebrate your child's school success at home.