Supporting your child at home
Developing children’s literacy skills is dependent on the mastery of several areas in the English language. Children can build up their literacy skills in a number of ways, from practical hands-on activities to interactive PC games. Below are just a few ways to raise your child's confidence and competency in the subject....
Get children to emulate the style of an author...
By the time children reach the age of 6, they may have already started to develop a preference for a particular author or genre. Get children to ‘Magpie’ or borrow literary devices, vocabulary, plots and story structure ideas from the books they read on a regular basis. Children can then apply the information they have gleaned to their own extended pieces of writing.
Discussion about the vocabulary choices made by the author and the impact of these is also vital.
Encourage children to write a journal...
Writing in a journal or diary on a daily or weekly basis will ensure that children will have regular opportunities to improve their writing skills. Maybe try giving children ‘free writing’ books and, as their work is not assessed, children will feel they have the freedom to choose what they write about – this often leads to a more creative piece of writing. A perfect time to start a journal is during the school holidays and I'm sure your child's class teacher would enjoy reading this upon returning to school.
Encourage children to write at every opportunity
If children are intimidated by longer pieces of writing, simply get them to tackle shorter pieces. Children can help you write the weekly shopping list or write thank-you letters to friends/family members that have given them birthday presents. If families take a holiday during school breaks, children can write postcards to loved ones using the same structures they use for letter writing.
Think about the provision that is available to your child/children at home. Invest in paper and a range of pens and pencils to engage children and encourage them to write rather than play on their IPads and phones. The increase in the number of children, particuarly younger children, using lapptops, phones and Ipads has had a significnat impact on their fine motor skills.