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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Concrete Ideas About What Parents Can Do At Home

Writing:

  1. Let your child see you write letters, postcards, shopping lists, messages and display them at home on the fridge door or on a memo board.
  2. Encourage them to write letters to friends and relatives, thank you notes and get well messages.
  3. Give them presents associated with writing – different types of pens and pencils, paper and pencils, paper and different shapes and colours, a desk lamp, a diary, a dictionary and erasers.
  4. Support the writing process in the classroom by taking the time to confer with your children about their writing. During the revision stage, offer genuine praise and constructive criticism. Avoid critiquing surface errors such as spelling and grammar until the editing stage.
  5.  

Reading:

  1. Read to your children as often as you can, and invite them to read to you. Discuss your opinions and interpretations.
  2. Convey the importance and joy of reading by letting them see you read a book, magazine or newspaper article in your spare time.
  3. Give books and magazine/newspaper subscriptions as gifts.
  4. Visit the public library regularly.
  5. Praise every effort in reading, particularly if confidence is low. When you encourage reading, your children are not only improving their reading skills, but also their writing and spelling skills
  6.  

Word Study:

  1. Show your children how to use this simple technique of learning new words or words they frequently misspell in their writing:
      - Look at the word and say it softly
      - Cover the word and try to see it in the mind
      - Write it from memory
      - Check … and repeat as long as necessary
      - Colour code letters that are most often omitted
  2. Show your children you personally value word study by letting them see you consult a dictionary or thesaurus when you are in doubt.
  3.  

Mathematics:

  1. Encourage your children to make use of mathematics as your family faces daily experiences which involve mathematical problems – budgeting household expenses, deciding on the shortest route to the library, deciding on the shortest route to the library, deciding which is a better buy, estimating the grocery bill.
  2. Remember that you have a major influence on your children’s attitude to mathematics. Be positive.
  3. Reinforce risk taking. When children begin to realize they can learn from their mistakes, this will strengthen their commitment to the task.
  4. Reward perseverance. Encourage your children to keep trying by asking questions that will lead them in the right direction.
  5. Be patient with your children and realize that all children develop at different rates.