TEACHING READING, WRITING, AND LITERATURE AT HOME
If you want to play with the academic career of your child, here’s a sure way: let your school teach English by itself. Leave it to, in his teachers ‘ hands. He might learn how to read and write well. More probably, he won’t.
This warning is not an indictment of the school of your child. It may be okay. However, be aware that even great teachers have a hard time teaching these crucial skills on their own. This is one area where all teachers need time and assistance. If you want your child in school to do well, you must help him learn how to read and write.
That doesn’t mean that you have to take the lead in teaching language arts. That’s the job of the teachers. What you must do at home is to strengthen your efforts. You have to keep track of the classroom lessons and work with your child on them. For example, if he learns the letters of the alphabet in school, you must teach them at home, perhaps by pausing occasionally to ask about the different letters you read aloud, or perhaps by creating flashcards. If he learns to sound words, sit down with him every day for a while and encourage him to decode, letter by letter, and sound by sound. If you have a spelling test, call the list of words while each word is spelled. Read about his writings. Please make sure he does his homework.
As your child gets older, you may begin to feel intimidated by lessons you have forgotten about yourself, such as ” past participle ” and ” onomatopoeia. ” It may not be as difficult as you think to refresh your own memory. The most important thing, however, is to continue to show interest and enthusiasm. As long as your child knows that you are carefully watching, he will learn his lessons more.
One of your main aims is to get your child ready. The best way to do so is to share with him books and stories. One adult looking back on his childhood once wrote: ” There are some people who forget the awful task of learning to read when they are grown. Maybe the greatest effort the human being makes, and he must do it as a child. I remember that words-written or printed-were devils, and books were my enemies because they gave me pain. ” Then an aunt stepped forward with a book of Arthurian legends, and John Steinbeck fell under the spell of literature. Books became friends of himself.
Share with your child wonderful books and stories-as many as you can find. Chances are that he won’t grow up as a great novelist, but he might find a passion to read. The magic of his education and life will work.