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“Helping Your Child Learn”

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Parent tips from the Utah Education Association

Reading and Writing – Take the Time to Talk
By Kathy Christiansen, sixth-grade reading, writing and social studies teacher at Cedar Ridge Middle School, Hyde Park, Utah

The writing is on the wall. It’s true. When parents are involved in their child’s education, their child will achieve more. Essential to becoming a good writer, children must experience a climate of words at home. So, parents, give your child something to talk about. Dinnertime conversations and family excursions are a basis for rich talk in the home. At dinnertime, parents and children can share their experiences of the day. When parents take their child to the zoo, playground, a parade, or to visit family or friends, they can talk about what was seen, heard, smelled, tasted, touched, and felt.

Parents can introduce new vocabulary words to children through their conversations. After using a new vocabulary word, parents should explain its meaning or repeat a synonym (a word that means the same) to the children. “The basis of good writing is good talk, and younger children, especially, grow into stronger control of language when loving parents share experiences” and new vocabulary words “through daily conversation.”

(Quote taken from “How to Help Your Child Become a Better Writer” published by the National Council of Teachers of English.)