Parents, please make sure that your young children read at least one book a month outside of what is required of school and write 15 minutes a day in a journal. I’m observing that many of our students (including those who earn good grades) are behind in terms of reading and comprehension. Just because your child attends a ‘good’ school doesn’t mean that he/she is being challenged academically. Many schools don’t teach critical thinking nor effective communication.
Don’t just do what’s required in school, go beyond. Collectively speaking, many of our children are not excelling academically. We can’t put all the blame or responsibility on schools/teachers. We, as parents, must understand that we are in charge of our children’s education. Many of us MUST do more to make reading and comprehension the #1 priority at home even to the point of removing any extracurricular activities that our children are involved in. Reading and comprehension is essential to our children's lives as adults. Whether its attending college or a trade school, our children have to read and comprehend at a certain level to excel. Whether its purchasing a home or car, our children to have the ability to read and comprehend contracts and written agreements; otherwise, they will be taken advantage of while losing alot of money. Like the old saying goes, 'Reading is Fundamental'.
Here's some practical steps to take to improve your child's reading ability:
Have your child read daily. The goal for younger children (5 to 9 years) is to read 2 or 3 short books a week. The goal for older ones (9 years and up) is to read at least to 2 chapter books a month. These books should be in addition to what is assigned at school.
When listening to your child reading, ask him/her to recite orally what was read.
Teach your child how to write an essay (start with sentences and a paragraph for young ones).
Invest in an tutor for your child. Don't allow your child to continue to struggle. Its ok to ask for help.
Allow your child (8 years and older) to create a daily journal which he/she writes in for 15 to 20 minutes.
Develop your child's speaking skills. Have them do oral reports regarding a book or a documentary/movie in front of the family.
Teach your child 5 new vocabulary words each week (outside of school assignments).
Teach your child how to effectivley engage in private and social outings. They have to learn how to use their voice to ask questions and effectively communicate their ideas. Too many of our children just sit in class or in a group and say very little. How do you know if your child is retaining information if he/she doesn’t open their mouth?
We must make some fundamental changes in how we approach our children’s education as it relates to literacy (i.e. reading and comprehension). Otherwise, we will continue to see more of our children struggle in life as adults.
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