Here are articles I've written at Scholastic Parents Learning Toolkit, and some I've collected from other sources, about ways we can encourage our kids to engage with reading, writing and creating.
I have a reluctant writer in my brood. He has the most amazing imagination, stories are bursting to be told, but put pen and paper in front of him, and he immediately starts the bum-seat jump and shuffle. To see his reluctance, and so early in his writing journey, makes me a nervous Nellie.
While many parents build a special time for reading into family life, we don't all do the same for writing. I believe we should. I call these times "read o'clock" and "write o'clock". It doesn't matter when we fit reading and writing into each day, so long as we do. Read more at Scholastic Parents.
We know a good piece of writing when we read it. But what makes the writing "good" and how can we teach all our kids the skills that seem to come naturally to a few. Here are six principles teachers and parents can follow to improve their children's writing.
Wide reading helps our kids develop important language skills they need for school and for life. By reading widely, our children develop general knowledge and imagination. Reading widely in fiction is just as important as reading widely in non-fiction -- fiction helps kids develop empathy for and understanding of others.
Children love to play games. I believe that children NEED to play. As Kay Redfield Jamison says, "Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity." Play is just as crucial for children's development as fresh air, a balanced diet, and exercise.
In English, the letters A-Z are commonly referred to as the alphabet. They are the building blocks of words and underpin children's development of skills in reading, writing, and spelling. The letters have a name. The letter "b" for instance, we pronounce as "bee." The letters also make sounds within words.
A couple of years ago, early one morning, I received an SMS advising "resadents to stay indoors because of a nearby insadent". I was shocked by the spelling, as much as the message. Surely, I thought, if it was a real message then the spelling would be correct. Spelling matters.
Creating an avatar can be useful educationally. Plus, it's lots of fun! While your children manipulate an image editor or app, they will pick up all sorts of skills that help their digital literacy. Creating digital content is a task that permeates student learning through high school and beyond. Read more at Scholastic's Learning Toolkit.
In my recent post here at Scholastic, Helping Kids to Write, I talked about how important it is to have a regular time for writing each day, a time I refer to as "write o'clock." I also gave some suggestions for writing activities. Today I'd like to share more ideas. Read more at Scholastic Parents Learning Toolkit.
As parents, most of us know how important it is to read to our children. We regularly share books with them, and encourage them to borrow from the library. However, sometimes we forget to make sure our kids get a balanced reading diet. Sadly, poetry can be left off the menu and that's such a shame. Read more at Scholastic Parents Learning Toolkit.
Ali Parrish Educator, Educational Consultant, Instructional Designer has three strategies to help writer's block.
One way to help kids enjoy and relate to what they read is to link reading to other activities. For some children, crafts will grab their interest. For others, it needs to be something even more physical, perhaps putting on a play or organizing a book stall.
Here are some ideas to help your kids connect books to their everyday lives, and celebrate reading. Read more at Scholastic Parents Learning Toolkit.
There are ... lots of simple music-related activities we can incorporate into everyday family life. These are not only helpful for developing literacy skills, they're lots of fun too. Find suggestions for activities like these at Scholastic Parents Learning Toolkit.
Here are some drama ideas we can add to our parent toolkit. By participating in drama games and activities, our children get the chance to develop their self-confidence and all sorts of communication skills. Read more at Scholastic Parents Learning Toolkit.
Kids love their toys. Do you remember wondering what your toys did while you were asleep? ...Why not tap into that fascination and encourage your child to take photos of his toys? Use those photos to spark some writing OR plan your story first, and work out what pictures you need to accompany the story. Here are some ideas for children's writing that use photos of toys as their focus: Read more at Scholastic Parents.
There's nothing more calculated to produce blank looks in kids than an empty piece of paper and the instruction to write. Everyone likes a challenge, so try these ideas as writing prompts the next time your kids are stuck. Discussing the idea for a few moments, and encouraging them to jot down thoughts might be helpful too.
Read more at Scholastic Parents.
Simple writing technique to stimulate narrative writing and embed structure. Once I spent a weekend with my brother (a theatre director), to catch up and relax after a long week at work. But because we both enjoy our jobs so much, conversation soon turned to work and my brother shared a game he likes to play.
Make sure your kids SEE you writing. Point it out to them and explain your purpose when you make a list, write a thank you note/invitation, or create a plan for your next holiday. Encourage kids to join in when you write. Little ones could help by drawing a picture; older kids might spell out part of a word or write their own ideas. Participate as a family in events like Put a Poem in your Pocket Day and International Book Giving Day. Read more at The Book Chook.