The biggest concern of parents of children in a French Immersion classroom is that they [the parents] don’t speak French and don’t think they’ll be able to help their child with homework. In an attempt to ease that concern and bridge a better connection between home and school, I send home monthly “tips” in my newsletters. I thought I’d share my October tips with the greybrucekids readers too!
FOSTER A LOVE OF READING!
Read with your children at least once a day (in ANY language) for at least 20 minutes. Have a family reading time – where everyone reads.
Continue reading aloud to your child even if they can read by themselves. Even if they are in grade 4 or 6 or 12.
Explore books together. Ask questions, explore character motivations and themes. Point out new vocabulary or ideas. Make connections to your lives.
Vary the text. Reading does not only have to be chapter books. It can also be with non-fiction texts such as science experiments, instruction manuals, magazines, cookbooks, comic books, movie/music/book/game reviews. menus, song lyrics, catalogues, blogs, food & product labels, brochures and newspapers. Try an audio book! Respect the genre your child chooses (even if you are scared of snakes or cannot stand princesses!)
Tell stories together orally. Talk about your family genealogy, or vacation memories. Record yourselves!
Set up a reading space in your home and make sure everyone uses it. Build a great home library. Keep reading materials in the bathroom, in the car, in bedrooms and near the tv!
Be a good reading role model. Let your children see what you are reading – share interesting things you’ve read about in books, magazines, online or in newspapers. Seeing you read will inspire your children to read and your reaction to reading has a huge influence on your child as a reader.
Visit bookstores and libraries. Get a library card, take advantage of programming and explore new authors and genres together.
Ask your child what he or she is reading, and encourage discussion.
Go places and do things together to build their background knowledge and vocabulary. This will give them a stronger basis for things they read.
Be knowledgable about your child’s progress. Find out what reading skills and strategies they are expected to have at each grade level. Talk to your child’s teacher.
Add some Writing! Provide lots of writing materials (paper, pencils, pens, markers, staplers, hole punches, yarn…) Write grocery lists, thank-you cards, posters, family newsletters, make books….