Support your child’s learning
As your child’s first teacher, you are an important partner in your child’s education.
You can help your child make connections between what they learn at home and at school and everyday experiences at home and in the community. Talk about it and listen carefully! Children build capacity for reading and writing through talking and listening.
Here are some ways to share the joy and the importance of literacy with your child. You don’t need to use them all, and you may have many more ways to make reading, writing, speaking and listening more interesting to your child.
- Be curious and show an interest. Talk to your child about day-to-day situations and ask questions that will encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas (e.g., what if? how did you know?).
- If it’s available to you, speak to your child in another language. Languages are an important part of our identity. Reading and talking to your child in various languages helps them learn how languages work and are used. Children transfer their knowledge from one language to another.
- You are your child’s role model, so share with your child that you too are reading and writing for your own purposes.
- Share the joy of reading with your child every day – read and share stories aloud.
- Look for a variety of materials your child will enjoy reading – stories, poems, graphic novels, song lyrics, magazines, comics, online media.
- Encourage your child to choose books and materials themselves.
- Browse online together based on themes and topics that interest your child.
- Ask your child to talk about what they are reading. Leave notes. Encourage your child to write back.
- Suggest a scrapbook or e-book to record special times, a diary or daily reflection book.
- Stay informed about your child’s learning by staying in touch with their school and teachers. If you are unsure of your child’s progress, or how you can support your child’s literacy learning at home, ask your child’s teacher about skills and experiences required to support your child’s learning.
Make it fun!
For younger children, here are some things you and your child might enjoy:
- Look for words and phrases that are all around us – on cereal boxes, street signs, maps, posters and books.
- Explore public libraries – they have great resources and in-house programs.
- Play board games and card games (e.g., word bingo, memory and rhyming games).
As your child gains competence and becomes a critical thinker, here are some things you and your older child might enjoy:
- Keep reading with your child. Read a variety of material – magazines, e-books, poems and comic books
- Tap into their interests and hobbies – children are more likely to explore what they are interested in.
- Read some of the same books and materials as your child, so you can talk about characters, stories and topics together.
- Find fun and meaningful opportunities for children to write, or for you to write together. Some examples: create greeting cards, shopping lists, party invitations, gratitude notes, posters, records of special events, and so on.