Who would’ve thought that all children in the United States would be learning from home due to a pandemic? With technology and advances in medicine today, this seemed like it was only possible in a Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, it is our current situation.
If your child is struggling through reading and writing, this blog post is for you. I struggled too, as a child, then later became a Language Arts teacher in multiple educational environments with students of various ages, backgrounds, and ability levels.
Language Arts is not everyone’s favorite subject, but I can promise you with some of the strategies listed below, your child will begin to enjoy this subject more than before.
1-Activate prior knowledge-Before reading with your child, examine the book and title. Help them connect to what they already know about the subject. For example: If reading the book “The Little Engine that Could” you could talk to your child about trains. Has he or she seen or heard one before? What types of sounds do they make? Look them up online and show him or her pictures of trains.
2-Music lyrics-For older kids in Middle & High School, nothing engages their attention more than pop culture. Find a few “appropriate” songs and have them Google music lyrics online. Use the lyrics to teach language arts concepts such as: Figurative Speech, Rhyming, Similes, Metaphors, etc.
3-Use online games-Skip the worksheets to practice language arts concepts and instead use resources online. Here are a few: comma usage, comma review, capitalization practice, context clues, and How to Write an Essay Rap.
4-Use technology for writing-Utilize Google Docs or Microsoft Word to type up writing assignments. Learning how to navigate those programs and a keyboard are essential life skills in today’s workforce.
5-Give choices on writing topics-Giving children choices in assignments helps them develop the autonomy to decide and makes it more interesting for them.
6-Start a book club-create a book club with your child’s peers through Face Time. Schedule a meeting per week through Face Time or Zoom and allow them to talk about the chapter or page they read answering the following questions:
- What do you think was the most important thing that happened or that you read in this chapter?
- What do you think is going to possibly happen next?
- What did you like or dislike from this chapter?
7-Take 5-Get out your phones and take 5 pictures around your home. These can be staged or random. Then, author a story about the pictures and share. This could be fun for the entire family.
8-Incorporate life skills into reading and writing-Make sure these items are age appropriate and could include:
- Forms at a doctor’s office
- Grocery List
- Searching for and reading through a recipe on Pinterest
- Rating a business
- Email format versus text format
9-Daily journal writing-Allow for some free writing time. This is a way for your child to write about anything on their mind and can give them an outlet to write about their feelings.
10-Reading practice games-Try a few reading practice games online. Here are a few I would recommend:
- How to speed read
- Speed reading test
- Reading practice for young adults and adults by reading level
- Reading practice
The world of education has been leaning more and more towards digital resources for learning. It is what engages students and can make learning fun! I hope you find these resources for Language Arts helpful and I wish you and your children the best of luck with your home school and virtual education journey.
Wendi Iacobello is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Master of Arts in Educational Media. She also has a BS degree in Early Childhood Education. Her professional career in education spans across nine years in the public education sector to include; middle and high school special education, adult education for incarcerated men, women, & youth, compensatory education, High School Equivalency instruction formerly known as GED, and community college instruction in Early Childhood Education curriculum courses. Wendi is an Army Spouse and first time mom to an adorable infant boy. Her hobbies include; volunteering in the local community, gardening, teaching aqua cycling and stroller fit classes on the military installation, and encouraging the military community through her blog Strength 4 Spouses.