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How can i help my child with writing at home
7 Great Ways to Encourage Your Child's Writing
By: Amanda Morin, Understood
1. Write a “Convince Me!” letter
Writing isn’t just about telling stories or reporting on books. There are many ways your child can use words, including trying to convince others to agree with her. You can help her practice this type of writing by letting her argue with you—in writing!
Choose a topic you don’t agree on, such as allowance or bedtime. Have your child write you a letter trying to convince you to change your mind. The catch? She has to use facts, quotes and logic to back up her argument.
2. Play a game with pictures
Photos and images are great story sparkers. Do a web search and find a few interesting images. Or cut out pictures from magazines. The pictures can be realistic, such as a photo of students on a playground. Or they can be fantastical images, such as a superhero flying in space.
Glue a couple images into a notebook. Then ask your child to write about one of them. You can prompt her, asking her to include what she sees, what the people are thinking, what will happen next—or just let her imagination run free.
3. Play “Tell Me How”
In this activity your child pretends she’s writing to a space alien who doesn’t know anything about our culture. This alien does everything exactly as it’s said or written.
Your child’s job is to choose an everyday task, like brushing her teeth or making a sandwich. Then, she needs to write step-by-step directions about how to do the task for the alien. When she’s done, you get to be the alien and try to follow the steps exactly as she wrote them. She may be surprised at what she left out!
4. Make an “I Can” book
As your child learns to write, she’ll also be learning other new skills. Making an “I Can” book will let her practice writing skills and keep track of her other accomplishments. Staple together a bunch of blank sheets of paper to make a book. As your child reaches a new milestone, such as learning to tie her shoes or hit a baseball, she can draw a picture on a new page of the book. Younger kids can then write, “I can tie my shoes.” Older kids can write a few sentences about what they’ve accomplished.
5. Play “Fortunately/Unfortunately”
This turn-taking writing game is based on a classic kids’ book by Remy Charlip called Fortunately. In it, something lucky happens and then something unlucky happens. Each event is introduced by either the word “fortunately” or the word “unfortunately.”
To play, take a piece of paper and write a sentence beginning with “Fortunately,” such as “Fortunately it was a sunny day. I wanted to play outside.” Pass the paper to the next player, who will add an “unfortunately” sentence, such as “Unfortunately, I had to clean my room.” Keep going until the story is too silly to continue.
6. Make a journal jar
A journal doesn’t have to be a diary. It can also be a book where your child writes about ideas or answers questions, like “If you could do anything next summer, what would you choose?” A journal jar is a place to keep all those ideas and questions.
Wash and decorate a wide-mouthed jar, like one that used to contain peanut butter. Then, write or print out journal prompts on slips of paper. Ask your child to pull out one prompt each day and write about it in her journal.
7. Create a family scrapbook
A family scrapbook is a great way to save memories and jump-start your child’s writing. Use an inexpensive photo album to keep souvenirs of things you do together. This can include photos, ticket stubs, and found objects, like pretty leaves.
Your child can begin by writing the date and a line about where you were and what you did. Then, you can work together to write a more detailed summary. Don’t forget to include funny or even annoying moments!
Watch as an expert shares more tips for encouraging your child’s writing, including using dictation (speech-to-text) technology:
This special edition of Growing Readers was created by Understood, a free online resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues. This article originally appeared on Understood.org.
How Parents Can Help with Writing at Home — TeachWriting.org
As an educator, I am often asked by parents how they can encourage their children to write at home. I love to provide parents with easy writing ideas and activities to keep their children writing. I firmly believe that just as reading at home helps to strengthen young reader’s skills, writing at home helps to strengthen young writer’s skills. We expect students to read every day, and we should expect them to write every day, too.
Encouraging students to write at home is no easy task. Encouraging reluctant writers to write at home is even harder. These easy to implement and screen-free writing activities will help your students and children write at home and look forward to it, too!
These ideas are perfect for:
at home and distant learning
summer writing practice
enrichment or extra practice for students of all levels
Below is my go-to, tried and true at home writing activities that kids love and will actually do! All you will need to implement these writing ideas at home are paper or notebooks, a pencil, and a few common household items. Read more about each idea below and grab a FREE printout list of these activities HERE.
Create a Writer’s Space
Children thrive with structure, if possible, create a fun space for kids to write at home. This can be a corner in their room, a desk, table, anyplace that they can go to and know it is time to write! Don’t have a space to use? Grab an old shoebox and fill it with writing tools your children will need like paper, a notebook, pencils, and crayons. Now they have a portable writing desk that allows them to write anywhere!
Make Bulleted List
Have kids keep a list of all the different activities that they do each day at home in a journal or notebook. Simply put the date at the top of the list and have kids create the list. Some activities may be everyday tasks, like made my bed, while others may be more exciting like, went on a nature walk. No matter the task, have kids record them all. This simple activity not only helps kids to write each day but by creating this list, they are actually creating a brainstormed list of “seed” ideas that they can later turn into narrative writing pieces. If you have students complete this during a school break or summer vacation, be sure they bring this notebook back to school so they can use these ideas and expand upon them.
Have students select any household item and create a descriptive web in their writing notebook. To do this, they simply write the word of the item they are describing in a circle and create a web of descriptive phrases about it using their five senses. You could also give more specific directions about what to write about such as a special toy, a piece of fruit, or something that fits in your hand.
Figurative Language Around the House
One writing skill that students love to practice is using figurative language. I don’t know what it is, but kids love to write similes and metaphors, pack a sentence full of alliteration, and write using personification and exaggeration. Have children find an object in their home and write about it using figurative language. They can simply write a sentence with one form of figurative language or a paragraph with several.
Write about Reading
Since students are expected to read every day, why not have them write about what they read. This does not have to be a long task at all! Keep it simple and have kids write a sentence or two that summarizes their reading, something that they learned, or a prediction that they have. Just a quick response to practice writing at home each day.
I love having students write in their journals each morning. While sometimes there is a basic prompt such as, write about your favorite food or something you did over the weekend, I usually let students free-write. This is an easy activity for children to do at home, too. There is no right or wrong way to write in a journal, so just let them be creative.
Tip: If you find your child is stuck and does not know what to write about, give them three minutes to draw a picture in their journal and then have them write about their drawing.
Create an Instruction Manual
Have children keep a procedural writing journal of all the things that they did while they were home over break. They will not only be practicing how to writing skills, but they will never be stuck for an idea. They can write directions for ANY TASK they did that day including making a bed, brushing their teeth, washing dishes, building a lego set, reading a book, really anything! To motivate children to write, have them create a comic book style illustrations to match. If students complete this activity while on break from school. encourage them to bring in their writing when school begins again and “teach” their peers how to do something they are good at! Since this a writing project, it will take several days to complete.
A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
This one is simple! Grab any photo, even a digital one saved on a phone or tablet and have the kids write about it. They can write about what happened that day, a descriptive piece about the setting, or even a short story. Kids love using pictures to write, so why not use ones that they know a lot about already to get them writing?
Juicy Word Journal
In my classroom, we call out of the ordinary words “juicy words. ” This could be a descriptive adjective, a new word that they found in a chapter book or a very scientific vocabulary word they learned during science class! Simply have kids record the word and its meaning in a journal and before long they will have a dictionary of new words that they not only love but will actually use in their own writing.
Be the Parent for the Day
Let the kids pretend to be the adults for the day, at least when it comes to writing. When and why do parents need to write each day? Maybe you have to write a grocery list, a recipe, or an email. Let the kids help or do all the writing that is needed that day. There is nothing better than using parent role models to encourage writing at home.
Don’t Forget the Other Genres
Writing is so much more than a narrative or essay! Encourage your child to think about something that they love and write a poem or song lyrics about it. They can also complete writing activities with a purpose like writing a friendly letter or note to a friend or family member, or an email to a company requesting information or asking a question. Any form of writing is great writing practice!
Writing at home helps writers grow! Be sure to download these ideas for FREE here to encourage your students to write at home or to use it as an at-home writing assignment. Students will be engaged and since these activities require no screens or printables, all students can complete tasks.
You might be interested in reading:
Step-by-Step: Tackling the Writing Process
How to Use Writing to Build a Classroom Community
6 Must-Have Tools To Keep In Your Writing Center
Looking for a more structured approach to at-home writing that can be used with Google Classroom? You might be interested in this featured writing project that includes PDF printouts and digital components.
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“My task is to make a parent become a teacher who can help their child”
“The child has impaired sound pronunciation, the child does not speak, the child has reading and writing disorders” - these problems are most often addressed by adoptive parents to Lyudmila Ferroi , speech pathologist-defectologist at the information center "Children in the family" of the charity fund "Volunteers to help orphans".
But often this is just the “tip of the iceberg”, and you don’t need to immediately put the child in front of the mirror and practice sounds with him.
In her work, Ludmila Ferroi pays great attention to verbal-behavioral and therapeutic approaches. We asked her to tell us what these approaches are, how behavior and speech are related, and why a speech therapist asks parents to write an essay “My child”.
Photo: Polina Bykonia
Speech and behavior go hand in hand
Difficulties in the adaptation of children may be associated with severe speech disorders, lack of speech, low motivation for learning, lack of communication skills and speech behavior.
When a parent contacts me, the only problem they see is that the child has no sound pronunciation and does not speak. But speech always goes hand in hand with behavior. They cannot exist separately from each other, like a "hand" and a "handle". He took a pen in his hands, which means he must write or draw, but if the pen lies separately, writing will not happen.
Speech behavior is a dialogue that depends on the leading position of an adult. Parents do not know how to support the dialogue of the child, they impose their speech on him. And verbal behavior is feedback, the child's response.
The verbal-behavioral approach that I use in my work motivates the child to communicate and helps him master the basic speech skills: making requests, marking objects and actions, repeating what he heard, the ability to answer questions. The child learns to use speech functionally, regardless of what type of verbal behavior is available to him: his own speech, pointing gesture, exchanging cards, sign language, writing, reading or typing on the keyboard.
Photo: Polina Bykonia
The parent needs to learn how to watch the child
In the first classes, I teach parents to observe. It would seem that I am a speech pathologist who was visited with a speech problem, but I am not a supporter of putting a child in front of a mirror and working out “unhappy” sounds with him.
I start watching the family. How did the parent contact the child? How did you call him? How did you formulate your request? I listen to the parent's voice, ask the child to hug and look at the parent's posture.
After that, I check how the child and parent are in the situation. What does it mean? For example, I walk past a non-verbal parent and child and drop an object, such as "keys". If the child paid attention to this, I note that he reacted to the source of the sound and saw the object. If the child picked up these keys and gave them to me or the parents, then he is in a situation. I can no longer work on his reactions, but calmly turn on the communication system: gestures, peks, etc.
Next, it is important for me to see the behavior of the parent. I drop the pyramid ring and watch his reaction. What should he do? Take a ring, assemble the pyramid not to the end, and give the last element to the child so that he finishes the pyramid. Often parents begin to address the non-verbal child with words: “Pick up”, “Pick up, please”, “Take the red piece”. Such a verbal web is formed from which the child cannot crawl out. My task is to make the parent learn to observe the behavior of the child.
Photo: Polina Bykonya
I look at the external manifestations of the parent and the child: posture, gaze, tactile touch. If a child comes up and starts to pinch the parent or pulls on the hand, I need to understand what is behind this. If he pulls by the hand, this is the harbinger of communication - the skill of request, because it seems to him (the child) that if he pulls his mother's hand closer to the object, she will give it to him.
A child's emotions are not his behavior. Behavior is what the child specifically does: jumping, running, grabbing and throwing everything. And you need to understand what is behind it and why it appeared. It is very important to teach the parent not to give a qualitative description of the child's behavior, but to see what the child specifically does.
When a parent learns to observe a child, he watches his actions: the child is standing, the child is pushing. And these actions are the most important tool in our work. The child runs all the time, but I want him to sit at the table. What can I do? I can't force him to. So, I will run with the child, roll the ball until this ball is under the chair or on the chair. A child can come up and take this ball or sit on it if it is large, and suddenly find themselves at the table. Further, my goal is to make sure that the child sits for at least three minutes. Gradually I will increase the time to 10-15 minutes, and then do different exercises with it.
Some parents look at all this with incomprehension. But by my behavior, I show them: you have a child in the family, he has arms and legs and there is a certain behavior. I demonstrate to them a way of life without demands and comments, without a “not” particle.
For example, a child does not want to leave my office. He grabs toys, mom says: "Put these toys in their place, they are strangers, do not touch." But how can a toy be someone else's? The child had just been working with her. My goal is for him to want to put this toy down and calmly leave the office. What should I do?
It all depends on the situation. It happens that I allow you to take a toy into the corridor while the child is dressing, and I carry out an exchange: I give him some other encouragement for dressing quickly, and he personally passes this toy to me. When I collect all the toys, I do not directly address the child, but do exactly the opposite: “Hey, guys, don’t yawn - quickly collect the toys!”. I collect toys at a fast pace, leave the last one, and then I turn to the child with the words: “Well done! I took the toy and put it in its place! Works like a focus. Children see that I do without demands, without comments, and the next time the child runs to me. And together we try to ensure that he can run to his mother when she says: "That's it, the lesson is over, let's go home."
Some parents think that if they come to a speech therapist, he will start a workbook, paste pictures there and write down words. No, it's not. I have a completely different approach. Children do not have workbooks.
Photo: Polina Bykonya
After I have observed the family, I give my parents a task: please write an essay “My child”. This essay can consist of two sentences, or maybe 20 pages. In this letter, they need to formulate a problem. Why do I ask to write essays? Because children always listen to what someone said about them and how they said it. So that the child does not once again hear the complaint from the parents, we do not discuss the problem in front of him. The parent shall voice the request in writing in his composition.
I also give the parents a chart and they fill it out while watching the child. After writing and compiling the behavioral and response tables, I write the program and our work begins.
Photo: Polina Bykonya
Classes are held once a week. And I immediately warn parents that they will not only be an observer, but also a participant. I ask them to record everything in a workbook and say during the lesson: “Pay attention to what I will do with the child now. Describe my behavior, and when you get home, use this method."
That is, both the child and the adult are taught in parallel. The parent often has stereotypical behavior: if there is a child, he is obliged to speak and is obliged to do what the adult wants. It is very important to give the parent the opportunity to look at everything from the perspective of the child.
And that is why the speech therapy work that was carried out earlier is already outdated.
There is always a therapeutic approach to my work
If a child screams, pinches, bites, engages in auto-aggression, it is important for me to understand why this happens. I use a sensory questionnaire and test, identify the sensory features of the child and include them in our program. It is important for me to ensure that the parent enjoys communicating with the child, and the child with the parent.
I am the indicator and the model. I had a case when in a group lesson one of the foster mothers refused to take part in the lesson, but simply sat and watched. From my side there were no comments to this mother. I just started to keep interacting with her child. I demonstrated the “mom-chair” task: the mother sits on the floor, the child sits on her knees, and together they do various exercises, during which tactile and visual contact with the child is maintained. At the 15th minute, my mother joined the lesson.
The therapeutic approach in my work is that I do not make comments to parents, do not overestimate the requirements, but simply demonstrate a model of a different behavior. My principle: “We do not change the child, but his behavior. We do not change the parent, but his behavior! I am not changing myself, but my behavior!
Thus, parents need to be taught what triggers a certain behavior of the child and how to respond to this behavior. After all, parents often believe that the child owes something. In my work, the child owes nothing. I always tell parents: “We must create comfortable conditions for the child!”.
First of all, it is important for me to understand why the child does not speak: this is due to physiological characteristics or neglect. To understand the problem for each child, I receive recommendations from the foundation's habilitation team (psychologist, physical therapist, neuropsychologist) and other specialists: a neurologist, a psychiatrist, a pediatrician. And the parent must be included in the work.
My task is to make a parent become a teacher who can help his child. So that he understands which specialist is suitable for the child and which is not, which school is suitable and which is not. Then the quality of life of the child and family will be better.
The material was prepared as part of a foundation project that aims to change society's attitude towards foster parenthood. As study showed, 34% of the participants in the survey conducted by the foundation disagree or doubt that raising an adopted child is harder than a blood child. We asked the speech pathologist to tell her about the problems her adoptive parents come to her with and what difficulties the child's adaptation in the family may be connected with. The study of society's attitude towards foster parents is carried out with the support of the Absolut-Help charitable foundation.
9 rules to help you do homework quickly and efficiently
How much time you should spend on homework
There are rules that determine how much time students of different ages should spend on homework per day. In our country, the rules are:
Grades 4-5 - 2 hours;
Grades 6-8 - 2.5 hours;
9-11 no more than 3.5 hours.
But in practice, these norms are not observed - Russians have to help children with homework every day. According to a study by the Scientific Center for Children's Health, the daily volume of the total educational load of students in grades 5–9 is 10–13 hours. That's 50 to 78 hours a week. For comparison, the working week of an adult is 40 hours. Therefore, the issue of canceling homework has been discussed for several years now.
According to a study by Office Deport, 25% of American families believe that students are given more homework than they can handle. Almost 50% of moms and dads would like to cancel homework in at least one subject. 40% of respondents admitted that at least once a week they quarrel with their children because of the lessons.
At the Foxford Home Online School, each lesson is accompanied by assignments, sometimes even a deadline is set for their completion. But these are not classic homework for evaluation. Foxford tasks are an opportunity to work out the acquired knowledge in practice. Their implementation is voluntary: the better you decide something, the more “experience points” you get. In order not to spoil the motivation, no marks are given. The ability to safely make a mistake when completing a task develops independence in children, they are less likely to call on mom and dad for help.
Foxford Home School experts have compiled homework rules. We hope our recommendations will help your child do homework quickly, efficiently and stress-free.
1. Doing homework should become a habit
Doing homework should be as natural as brushing your teeth or making your bed. It is necessary to form this pattern from the first class. It is desirable that the child is engaged at the same time and this was preceded by some kind of ritual. For example, turning on a table lamp or laying out notebooks on the table. The brain will get used to this routine and will tune in to study once the ritual has begun.
When homework becomes a habit rather than a choice, the child is less likely to put it off.
2. There should be nothing superfluous in the workplace
The surrounding space affects a person's productivity. It is important to ensure that the child's room has a normal temperature, lighting and silence.
A student's desk should always be removed. There should be enough space for a laptop, textbooks, notebooks and other study supplies. Do not litter the workplace with soft toys, photo frames and other things that can distract the child from doing homework.
3. The child should not only have a class schedule, but also a homework schedule
Planning relieves feelings of anxiety. It is important for the student to visually see what lessons he needs to do. Sit down and work out a homework schedule with him. Set the frequency of solving regular tasks, prioritize tasks that have a deadline. Control over the situation gives the child confidence that he is able to cope with all this.
Let the student write the plan himself, preferably on paper rather than on a gadget. According to many psychologists, writing down goals and objectives by hand increases the likelihood that a person will follow them.
4. Large tasks must be broken down into parts
Essay, presentation, scientific experiment - all this requires serious, thoughtful and step-by-step work. Help your child break down a large task into parts and include each of them in the lesson schedule. Sharing the workload will eliminate the feeling that big tasks are long, difficult and tedious.
5. Starting to do better homework with the most difficult subject
The desire to put off things we don't like is at the core of human nature. But the resources of time, attention and energy are limited. Therefore, homework should be started with the subject that is the worst given or least liked by the child.
The more energy a student spends on simple tasks, the more difficult it will be for him to move on to complex ones. And having completed a difficult task right away, the child will receive a charge of positive emotions and easily complete the rest of the homework.
6. A short break should be taken every 30-50 minutes
Intense mental activity should be alternated with physical activity or simple short idleness. Set a rule: every 30-50 minutes of homework resolution, take ten-minute breaks. Working in segments is called the Pomodoro method, we talked about it in an article with time management techniques.
The child will be happy to be distracted, just agree in advance that the "recess" in the preparation of homework will take place without social networks and serials. Explain to the student that the new flow of information will not let the brain relax. It is better to walk the dog or eat something nutritious. For example, nuts activate brain activity.
Parents should push for the correct answer, not do homework for children
Every mother and every father strives to help their child. But let's be honest, if a student comes with questions about lessons, and an adult simply solves problems for him, he does not help him. He seeks to end this as soon as possible, to save his time and nerves.
Don't dismiss your child when he asks for help with homework, but don't do it yourself either. Guide him to the solution, read the textbook together, watch the video, show how similar problems are solved. If you can't get to work right away, arrange a time that's convenient for you.
It is important to set clear boundaries: homework is the responsibility of a child, not an adult. That is why the Foxford Home School mentors never do homework for the students, even if the parents themselves ask for it. The next step is a gradual, from class to class, weakening of control over the correctness and timeliness of completing homework. A teenager must learn to manage his time and be responsible for his actions.