Ways you can engage

Building Reading Skills

Good reading skills are important for success in school . . . and in life.  Almost everything we do involves reading.  The best way to build good reading skills is to read often. You can help your child build his or her reading skills by making reading an important part of your day-to-day activities at home.  Be a reading role model and let your child see you reading for fun.  Set aside time to read together. 

Does your child claim reading is boring?  Prove that it’s not.  Look for books, magazine, even websites that focus on things he or she likes.   

You can also encourage reading by:

  • Writing notes to your child.  Leave them in difference places around the house.

  • Asking your child to read to you.  It can be anything – the headlines in the morning paper, the back of the cereal box, the recipe you’re making for dinner.

  • Limiting TV time.  Studies show that children who spend more than 10 hours per week watching TV don’t read as well as kids whose families set limits with TV.

 Source:  The Parent Institute Keys to Creative Writing

Your child will have creative writing assignment during school years.  Use these tips to get started with the next one: 

  • Think of Ideas.  Help you son or daughter dream up story ideas by posing “what if” situations.  For example, “What if people could fly?”  Or ask him or her to make up stories about household items.  Brainstorming will stretch your child’s imagination.

  • Develop the Plot.  Encourage your youngster to picture his or her story.  Have her close her eyes and imagine the events.  Then she can open her eyes and tell you the tale.  She’ll have a clear idea of what to write if she organizes her ideas first.

  • Write it Down.  Suggest that your child answer “who,” what,” “where,” “when,” “why” and “how” in her assignment.  Try providing a thesaurus so she can find more words.  Check out www.thesaurus.com.  When she has finished, have her read her story to you.  This will help her catch any mistakes and give you a chance to praise her work!


Use these tips to motivate your child do his or her homework: 

  • Tell your child he or she can decide when to tackle homework within a set time frame – like between 4 p.m. and dinner.  This puts him or her in charge and will motivate her to begin. 

  • Shake up the routine by taking your child out to do homework.  Try the library or a coffee shop.  This will make the task seem more like fun. 

  • When your child does his or her homework, sit nearby to read or do paperwork.  Homework time will feel special when it’s shared with you.

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